A few weeks ago, I was standing with the Sears cashier, handing him my credit card. He thanked me, using my name, Mr. MacDonald.
Then he hesitated and started to chuckle.
Having lived with my full name for many years, I recognized the humor. People find my name somewhat funny sounding.
This young man took it a step farther and called his supervisor over to “check out the name of this guy”. I stood sheepishly wondering if I should laugh with him or act like I’d never heard the joke before.
A name is so important.
A recent study (that I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it) proved that if you have “positive” initials — ones that spell out things like J.O.Y. or W.O.W. — you’ll live nearly 4.5 years longer than people with neutral initials.
The “scientists” conducting the study didn’t want to leave it at that though. In their wisdom (and probably our tax money), they queried if someone with “negative” initials (like D.U.D., A.S.S., I.L.L., D.E.D., etc.) had their life longevity affected. And… they live nearly 3 years less than the “neutral” initials.
A name or initials means a lot to the longevity of… you!
In business, you have to be careful with your organizations’ name too. Here are 4 things to be careful of:
- Easy to Remember. You want people to remember your name and what you do. Your name will be assigned to that. If it’s a weird spelling or an odd name, you may have problems. Or it may actually help (ie. Google, Geico, Verizon, etc) if you have enough dollars to throw at it.
- Near the first of the alphabet. This gets you near the top of the list when you’re in a directory. This little edge may be the perfect thing that helps you!
- Available in a short URL. You’ll need a website, so your name should be somehow part of your address (URL).
- Unique. If you’ve chosen a name that everyone else has, you’ll be pushing your marketing plan up hill. In a snowstorm.
Naming a company a good name is critical to your success. Just like naming your kid the wrong name could shorten his life. When my parents added my middle name to my first and last name perhaps they could have paused and reconsidered. Or maybe that’s how you’ll always remember me from now on. Mark Donald MacDonald.