Blackmail!

I’ve been reading The Wizard of Menlo Park, a really interesting biography of Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison was very famous during his lifetime. He had international-level name recognition. In other words, he was a businessperson-celebrity the same way people like Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian are now. (I bet you never thought you’d see those two names in the same sentence!!)

Edison’s oldest son was a less successful inventor than his father, and to earn supplemental income the son licensed his last name to several products. This infuriated his father because the father wanted to tightly control how the famous Edison name was used.

Eventually the son and father came to an agreement that the father would pay the son to not license the Edison name to anybody. This is about as close to blackmail as you can get!

It shows the power of a name, though.

My takeaways:

  1. Rich, famous people have problems too. They’re different kinds of problems, but still, they suck.
  2. If you’re on the fence about giving your business a clever business name or just using yours, go with yours unless you plan to build a team or sell the business at some point.
  3. Finally, try to become “a name” in your industry. The leadership position that comes with “name” status is worth it!

If you’d like a step by step roadmap to take you from where you are now to that leadership position, then you need: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon,
-P

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