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PP 028: You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

You Can Make Whatever Name You Choose Mean Something Over Time

Have you heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee before? Chances are you probably have if you’ve been paying attention to the social media / entrepreneur scene.

I feel like he is a dude you either love or hate due to his bravado or profanity. One thing is for certain, people know of him because he made his name mean something.

As an immigrant from the Soviet Union, Gary helped his dad transform his notable Wine Library business to a powerhouse though YouTube vlogging.

From there, he’s gone on to build the multi-million dollar social media business, Vayner Media.

Vaynerchuk or Gary Vee wouldn’t mean anything to anyone if he didn’t bust his ass and pour his soul into what he was passionate about.

Picking a name for your brand or business can be hard and really frustrating, I can totally relate.

I’m here to convince you that you can make whatever name you choose to operate under mean something over time.

You have what it takes.

The Need for a Name

It was early March 2014 when I thought my co-partner DMac (DSTN) and I were going to take our clothing brand, Daydreamin’ Clothing to the next level.

We were steadily building for 4 years and had:

  • a warehouse lined up to make our prototypes
  • an investor willing to give us a shot
  • a shit ton of ideas and passion to “make it”

However, I was creating so much work on the side and not all of it fit the style of the brand. I needed a way to share this work separately.

During this time, I was getting heavy into hand lettering. I thought maybe I could become a big time freelancer and I needed a business name to house all my work.

The first thing I went to was the typical Scotty Russell Design, Russell Studio, Russell Graphics, Russell Design Co. but they all sounded super douchey.

I despised having my name a part of it as it didn’t have a nice ring to it. All my colleagues I knew at the time had their names a part of their brand but to me, it never clicked.

I decided to explore a more abstract route instead.

You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

Daydreamin Clothing Figment of Imagination Launch 2013. Photo by Taylor Creery Photography

Massive Brain Dumps

I had a massive brain dump session (I love using that phrase) and began throwing words I liked on paper. Anything that came to mind I put it down and started to make connections.

The words Collective, Collection and Perspective kept coming up.

First, I was sold on the word Perspective first for 2 reasons:

  1. Drawing and seeing perspective always came naturally to me.
  2. After attending my first festival in the past year, Electric Forest, my perspective on life had dramatically changed.

Next, the word Collective and Collection sounded cool as it could mean all my drawings fell in this collection. Otherwise, down the road, it could mean I have a team under me.

After a month of throwing ideas around, Perspective-Collective was born in April 2014. However, it wasn’t until a month later in May when I gathered up the courage to announce it publicly with the branding I had created.

You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

Perspective-Collective Original Logo Draft 2014

You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

Perspective-Collective Original Drawn Logo 2014

You Have the Power to Make Your Name Mean Something

Perspective-Collective Original Logo Set 2014

There Will Always Be Doubt

When you’re just starting off, it’s easy to feel stupid and doubt yourself.

If you’re like me, more specifically the old me, you want everyone to love your work and you’d be crushed if someone thought it was stupid.

I feel that’s what holds so many of us creatives back is we are afraid to have someone not approve of what we are doing. We see it as failure and that we don’t deserve a slot within the creative community.

I hesitantly began sharing through this moniker on Facebook and Instagram. This was the same time that my partner and I had some issues coming to agreements with shares and the future of Daydreamin’ Clothing.

Reluctantly, I stepped away from the brand and began putting all my spare time into Perspective-Collective. In the early days, I heard crickets when I posted my work. It sucked but I was having a lot of fun pursuing my work with no limits.

Over time, things began to pick up.

Make Your Name Mean Something

After posting consistently and studying how to utilize the former platform of Instagram (pre-algorithm days), I started catching some features on Goodtype, Calligritype and The Daily Type.

The obsession took over from there.

I started noticing that my increased quality of work and consistent dedication to the creative process are what were making my name actually mean something.

My point in sharing my story is that you can make whatever name you choose to operate under mean something through the enthusiasm and dedication of your craft.

You never know what it could evolve into.

When Your Name Becomes More Than You Think

Looking back on it now, it blows my mind what’s happened in the course of 3 years. Hell, a lot can happen in one year when you decide that you’re going to commit to something no matter what others may think.

I vividly remember my girlfriend (now my wife @theoilshelf) and my parents questioning my pursuits of self-employment as an artist.

Why couldn’t I work a safe job like everyone else and relax in the evenings?

In my head, I knew that I’m not like everyone else.

One night, I remember balling to my wife the day I decided to step away from Daydreamin’. I felt like a quitter but I remember telling her that, “I have this feeling that I’m meant to do something special with my life and my art. I don’t know what it is but I feel it.”

3 years later and both her and my parents see what I saw in myself in that moment. I feel it, even more today as Perspective-Collective has turned into something more than just a name to house drawings.

Perspective-Collective is the main side project that houses my other side project geared towards encouraging creatives like you.

These channels of the brand are:

  1. My personal artwork of course
  2. Freelance
  3. Public speaking
  4. Teaching
  5. The Perspective Podcast

Once I thought the Collective portion could mean future employees and I could scale it to be something huge. Now I realize the collective is really my best friend and me together.

Recently, it dawned on me that I would be nowhere without my wife’s support, ideas and constructive criticism. She is what makes this a Collective now as we slowly carve a role for her to do what she does best…which is pretty much everything I suck at!

Having her officially on the team fuels my ambitions to push this project even further.

Make a Name For Yourself

If you’re like me, it’s going to feel super awkward putting yourself out there when you decide your name.

You’re going to overthink it and feel dumb, especially if you don’t get the response you want.

Shit, leading up to this past year my dad was still calling it Collective Perspectives. People are going butcher it or not understand where you’re coming from and that’s okay!

As long as it means something to you and it allows you to pour your soul into your work, that’s all that matters.

Gary Vee didn’t mean shit until he made it mean something.

Perspective-Collective didn’t mean shit until I made it mean something.

Now, it’s a part of me and I love it…aside from the fact that its length makes it non-username friendly across all social media. (Hence the name PRSPCTV_CLLCTV)

Regardless, you have the power to make a name for yourself no matter the name you choose.

Don’t let doubt and fear rob you of that opportunity.

Key Takeaways

  • You can make whatever name you choose to operate under mean something over time.
  • Let go of needing to seek everyone’s approval for what you do.
  • Your quality of work and consistent dedication to the creative process are what help you make your name mean something.
  • A lot can happen in one year when you decide that you’re going to commit to something no matter what others may think.
  • As long as it means something to you and it allows you to pour your soul into your work, that’s all that matters.

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