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September 3, 2010
How to Make a Name for Yourself From Day One

Madison is more than an avenue where the advertising world lives. It also was a name that grew in popularity from the 1984 fantasy movie, “Splash." Chosen from a New York street sign, this unusual moniker not only became the namesake to a human mermaid, but surprisingly it started a trend.

A name once ridiculous for even a mermaid today rolls off the tongue with as much ease as any Brook, Megan, or Lindsay.

Madison, currently making many top 10 lists, is one we have heard for close to three decades, so the initial ear shock is over. In fact, it resonates mildly compared to the latest eccentricities topping the newborn chart: Harper Renn, Cosima Violet, Sundance, and Aviana Olea. Let’s not forget yesteryear’s Zowie, Hopper, Bronx, Phinnaeus, Kingston, Fifi-Trixibelle, and Apple.

If any Shakespearean thoughts ever danced in your head whether you would be socially or professionally sweeter by any other Maxwell, Isabella, Chelsea, or Chase, you are not alone.

Fantasizing about that perfect name is how the marketing world thinks in their never-ending branding quest. Screenwriters and authors surely must do the same to support their story lines.

Unfortunately, we associate the bad and the ugly with our own names. In the long run, it is not the name that makes the person, but rather the person who makes the name. Make your name stand out. Let us let note some of the many ways:

Do: Make business cards that include your name, number, and website.
Don't: Scribble on back of whatever is available.

Do: Personalize your John/Jane Hock e-mail signature.
Don't: Settle for a basic font. Do: introduce yourself on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Don't: Be anti-social.

Do: Connect and network in person through family and friends.
Don't: Be bashful.

Do: Star in your video résumé.
Don't: Settle for paper.

Do: Leave your mark by including your name/company logo on pens, shopping bags, and anything that relates to you or your business and distribute.
Don't: Remain anonymous.

Remember your name is a gift. Appreciate what you were given. It was bestowed upon you for a unique reason by special people in your life. We all start small and grow into our names. Hopefully, you'll make a splash like Madison (if you already haven’t).

Find out your name’s origin and meaning here, and feel free to share what makes your name stand out in the crowd.

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Phyllis Briskman is a verse contributor and does PR/marketing. She sharpened her first pencil as retail fashion copywriter, writing to count before Twitter tweeted its first hello. Later, she flew the cubicle to do freelance creative becoming a writer of all trades, from beauty to fitness for catalogs, magazines, and websites. Born to brainstorm, she's named retail businesses and website domains. She loves quick wit, survives on laughter, is a little hokey, but aims to please because that’s what life’s all about.

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