This post is for all you name-it-yourselfers out there: you sole proprietors, partnerships, small businesses, and zero-budget nonprofits.
Let’s assume that, on your own or with the help of a pal or two, you’ve come up with a few business names that you think are pretty good. But you’re not absolutely certain—and you’re so exhausted by the creative effort you can’t tell which name to choose.
So you do what comes naturally. You start asking around.
“Take a look at these names,” you say to your sister-in-law as she’s dropping off the kids at your house. “Are any of them any good?”
“Which name do you like best?” you ask your golf buddies over beers at the clubhouse. “Don’t hold back!”
“I’m starting a business but I can’t reveal anything about it yet,” you tell your dog-walker. “Just let me know what you think of these five names.”
Finally, you ring my doorbell and ask my opinion. And I give it to you straight: Stop. Right. Now. Stop asking your friends whether they like your names.
Why? Because the answers you’ll hear will be irrelevant at best and depressing at worst.