I’ve recently had the opportunity to name 1) a business and 2) a child. As abstract as names are, they matter. With a business, there is an expectation – actually, a necessity – that the name be unique. With a person, the trend is just the opposite. A quick browse through all of the names you know will prove that most people don’t open that door to newness. Is it out of tradition or fear of something untried?

Naming a business, one typically performs due diligence to find out what the business stands for, what it does and whom it’s trying to attract. Working with the deductive and creative sides of the brain, possibilities come up that have the ability to make sense.

Naming a person has no such guideposts. There is no interview. There is no mission statement. But there is culture, tradition, family and past associations. As plausible as it is to find the right name for a business, it seems equally implausible to find the right name for a child. In the end, people get used to a name, whether it’s Elvis, Elton, Newt, River or Heath.

The newer the name, the fresher the start. The person breathes life into the name.