“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
For as long as I can remember, Proverbs 22:1 has been one of my favorite verses. Why? Because of the importance behind our name and the impact and influence that our name can and does have.
When I think back to the days when I was pregnant with my son, I can’t help but think of the different name possibilities my husband and I brainstormed. We wanted our son to have a name with meaning. A name that set him apart. A name that would capture who he could become. After going through many possibilities, we chose Liam Matthew, which means, “strong-willed warrior, gift of God.” It was perfect! And to this day, I remind Liam of the strong-willed warrior that he is and that he truly is a gift of God.
Take a moment to think through some specific names. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see them?
- Kanye West
- Billy Graham
- Mother Teresa
- Jeffrey Epstein
- Steve Jobs
- Sara Blakely
- Beth Moore
- John MacArthur
When we read these names, our mind immediately gives us a word, a phrase that we would use to describe them. Our names are powerful. And our names can be used for good or evil. And the good news is that we can choose to have a good name. In every conversation, project, assignment, obstacle, and challenge, we have the opportunity to choose what our name will represent.
Steve Robinson, author of Covert Cows and Chick-fil-A says, “We have to be on guard about every choice we make. How do we do that? It is as fundamental as learning to ask ourselves… is this decision going to strengthen my reputation or hurt it? And related, given that this is a biblical challenge from our Heavenly Father, who does our reputation ultimately honor? Me, or Him?”
Personal branding is built around you and your name. Everything you do and everything you say will either build up or diminish your personal brand, your name. Your personal brand is built around your integrity, character, and reputation and each of these areas is associated with your name.
Here’s a little activity for you. When you have some free time, time to just think, I want you to consider the following questions and answer them truthfully:
- What does your name mean?
- Does that name definition resonate with you? Why or why not?
- Google your name: What comes up? What keywords are showing up time and time again? Do those words resonate with you?
- When people hear, see, and/or read your name, what words do you want them to use to describe you? Think in terms of profession, expertise, specialty, belief, character traits.
- Conduct a social media audit: Are your posts and comments in-line with the words you want others to use to describe you? Why or why not? What needs to change?
- What is one thing you can start doing today to create a name that will strengthen your reputation?
Your name matters. Your name has impact. Your name has influence. Use it for good.