Two weeks ago I made the decision to change my business name MNFL Design to my personal Name Emilia Ohrtmann. I had been toying with this idea for a long time but I could not decide and commit. I was kind of clinging onto the name MNFL Design because it has such meaning for me and also because I have gained some sort of recognition with it and I also think I was a bit scared of the reasons why I wanted to change it. So two weeks ago I met a business coach and during that meeting I made the final decision and continue what I had already started on my Instagram. This business is actually about me and it just makes more sense to just use my name.
I started my graphic and website design business in late 2015. I called it MNF Design. Somehow I always knew that if I started another business I would use the initials of my three kids. In 2016 my daughter was born and I added her initial to the name to make it MNFL Design. Back then it did not have any impact on my business as I was still starting up and learning. I knew it was a difficult name to remember and to pronounce but as I just like the idea of this name and so I kept it. And I have to say it has not been a problem, in fact it always provided a talking point as everyone would ask where this name was coming from.
When I started the business, I did not think it would be about me. I thought it would be about my designs and the service I provide. I thought I would get clients because they liked my designs. However I quickly realized that yes people booked me for my style but they basically booked me because they like me or could relate with me in some way. I was also booked because I am German which stands for being reliable :-)
I realized I could have used any name, people where contacting me as a person.
Also the business was or is just me. I did not (and still don’t have) any employees. Everything that is coming from my business is me and every interaction anybody might have with my business is also me. I am in every video and on every image on social media and my website. So me as a person and my business became sort of one. There was no distinction anymore.
My vision for my business has changed
Last year I also started doing more things besides website and graphic design. More and more I started helping and supporting you and other women starting and running their business not just with website design but with many other things.
I started speaking at events about starting a business and setting goals and other things not related to design. I also started a Facebook group called Mums in Biz together with a friend. This group is about helping other mums start their business. Of course I am giving design advice in there but I am also giving general business advice in there and just try to motivate my fellow mumpreneurs. And we are launching a podcast this month!! Both is more me and my name.
I started doing workshops in Dubai and I am selling an online course, both on how to design your own website with Squarespace. And I am in the process of starting a membership site/group.
All of this is me. It is also not constrained to design anymore.
In addition I started my personal blog. It does not have a direct connection to my business but somehow it does. I have so many ideas for this blog. I want to motivate and inspire other mums and women and expats. But that is all still in the making… Anyway, as I could not maintain two instagram accounts or other social media accounts, I renamed my instagram to just my name emiliaohrtmann about six months ago and everybody loved it. It was more personal. I also used my name for Pinterest and YouTube which was both under my name from the beginning.
Whenever I spoke to clients about their name choices I always recommended using their own name whenever the business was about them, for example for any types of coaches. I wrote a blog post about choosing the right name for your business a while ago. And basically while I was writing it I also thought it would make more sense to use my own name for my business.
Overall my vision for my business has changed over the past year.
What was holding me back
Even though I changed my instagram name which only had a positive outcome and only got me positive feedback I did not dare to change my business name. Part of me just did not let go of MNFL Design because of the personal connection. However mostly there was the fear speaking.
Fear of of what another change might seem to the outside. How it might confuse my customers, clients and followers. Of what would happen to my website traffic and that I would have so many broken links out there. And yes, I am still remembering a new place every day where I have to change my website URL… Plus did I really want to have my name out there so much? Was it not a bit easier to ‘hide’ behind a ‘business’ name? Many thoughts crossed my mind. And in the end I always decided that it was actually not so important.
However I also believe that whenever a thought does not leave you, you should take action.
Why I finally made the decision
Two weeks ago I met a business coach because I needed some outside perspective on my business, my plans and ideas. (It was not about the name, it was a general meeting about my vision and getting someone else’s opinion) And all I can say, it was great and an investment that was well worth it!
We sat down a whole morning and discussed all the things I am doing and the things I am planning on doing and then we put a strategy behind everything. We wrote down how it all comes together, how it all makes sense. We decided what to do more of and what to do less of. And in the end I again realized that it would all make more sense under my own name. My coach was all for it and basically told me to change it within the next few days otherwise the fear would kick in again. Well and that’s what I did. I changed my logo on my website just to have a look and it just felt right. So I took the plunge.
I only changed my name a few days ago (at the time I am writing this) and yes the fear is still there. But so far it has not changed anything AND I am feeling very happy and content with this change! It feels right.
Time will show how it affects my business in the long run. I am sure I will write a blog post about it ;-)
What do you think? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
Have of course: a look at my new and old website www.emiliaohrtmann.com
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