What Is Your Name Worth?

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I‘ve been saying my name a lot lately. It’s in my domains. It’s on my sites. I’m trying to sell myself and in order to do that, I need to use my name. Believe it or not, this is not something that makes me comfortable. I actually enjoy anonymity, which is odd for someone that seems to craves attention as much as I do. (Ahh, we are complex human beings, aren’t we?)

When you think about it, a name is a weird thing, isn’t it? It’s completely intangible. It has zero weight. It is, essentially, nothing. Yet, it defines you somehow. But here is a question: do you have a “good, honest name?” In movies, people shout “You will not besmirch my good honest name!” Is your name a “good, honest name?” (Secondary question: have you ever “besmirched?”)

Names For Sale

One hot, sweaty day I was photographing a professional athlete on a golf course. Golfers would come by and if they paid toward the athlete’s chosen charity, he would take a photo with them (that was where I came in) and sign a promotional item. Easy enough.

For $20 these men would walk away with his name on a scrap of paper. I realized it was, essentially, him selling his name. Curious, I asked him how that felt. His face fell. He said no one had ever asked him that before and promptly left to hit some golf balls. The promotional vodka girls looked at me like I had broken their favorite toy.

Is your name for sale? What is your name worth to you?

Just Sign Here

I needed to find this guy. Why I needed to find him, and why I was having so much trouble finding him, are a story for another day. The thing you need to know is: I needed to find this guy.

I had gotten a little desperate and turned to Facebook as a general “hey, can anyone find this guy” kind of thing. And I actually got a few leads. But one of the leads…

She said she knew him and could help me find him, but wanted something in return. She was in the middle of getting a restraining order – there was a whole story that went along with this – and needed a witness. She would tell me where to find the guy if I lied and said I witnessed something I didn’t so she could get the restraining order.

There was a lot about this idea that hit me badly, but most of it I could push aside. In the end, the thing she was asking was for me to sign a legal document stating a lie; and, that, I couldn’t do. It was just like they say in all the movies: it threatened “my good honest name.”

I needed to find this guy, but not enough to sign away my name.

$5 Freelance

So, I was offered this job recently. I’m struggling to get started on these freelance sites. It turns out there are jobs that state things like “New to site ok. Easy task. Five minutes.” I figured, hey, I had five minutes.

Finally, I get a bite! The $5 job is to go to a business on Yelp and leave a five-star review.

Let me be clear about this – I need this job. If I can just get the first job out of the way, I’ll show up in more searches and the site will stop changing my profile to “private.” What does it matter if I lie about a business I hadn’t been to on a site I don’t really care about? We all knew it wasn’t about the money – it was about getting started on the site. It didn’t really matter.

But it did matter to me. When I broke it down in my head, I would be selling my name for $5.

My name is worth more than $5.

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I may not get the job, but I still have my good, honest name. That means a lot to me.

P.S. Available for opportunities! 😉