“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—” or The short story behind my company name
Finding a name for my business was a challenge.
I had 3 problems to solve:
- find a catchy name that people REMEMBER
- find one that helps people THINK OF ME
- find one for non-English speakers that’s EASY TO PRONOUNCE
In the 1990’s, when I first came to Italy, everyone said, “You need a catchy name that sounds British or American.” I was coaching executives in English and so I thought Ford, Anderson Consulting, Johnson & Johnson or Sherwin-Williams. They say that naming a company is like laying the cornerstone of a building, get # 1 right and everything lines up, get it wrong and you might get….
Point # 2 is easier today. Current thinking is, if you can’t go catchy, be the face of your company because YOUR COMPANY is based on YOUR PHILOSOPHIES and YOUR EXPRIENCES in business. OK! But I am a second generation Italian-American and I have an Italian last name. People might THINK OF ME, but might not know that I AM A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER.
Point # 3 was another challenge. Many non-native speakers of English are very creative when pronouncing certain letter combinations or letters that are pronounced differently it their language. And I was hoping that my eventual company name would be an acronym one day. I was thinking NBA, DHL, CVS.
Spoiler alert: I followed my heart. What did I do?
Because I was the new kid in town, I chose the name The New School. It’s worked out so far despite the fact that:
- it’s not particularly catchy or original
- you’ll associate it with me if you know me or see it printed in the full title
- the “th” sound is famously difficult for non-native speakers of English
So that’s why I decided to just use my own name in the end. Now I’m johnangelori.com DBA as The New School. And depending on how your know me or what you’re interested in, I’m either that mindfulness teacher or that language coach.
What would you have do in my position? Do you think there are other changes I can make to be more effective? How can I introduce myself to more people?