Or how I named my business!

I was once told by a fellow WIBN member that she often forgets my name and just remembers me as Wise Genius. This got me thinking that I haven’t shared the story of why I called my web design & development business Wise Genius.

Problem is, it isn’t a very exciting story! Back in 2009 when I was considering what to call myself, if I ever went into business, I put a few phrases into an anagram solver that had come up in a Google search. I was desperately trying to avoid calling the business “something Web Design” or “such & such Web Services”. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to use my name – being anonymous was far more appealing. The phrase “Susie Web Design” came up with two words that immediately caught my attention – wise & genius.

Wise Genius had a certain something about it – different, definitely anonymous and not giving away any hint of what I did, yet with an air of superiority and self-importance that didn’t sit well with me. Though two interesting words nonetheless.

As the need to name my potential business was not urgent, I left it alone. However those two words stayed with me. I decided to look up their meaning. Using The Chambers Dictionary online, I discovered the following:

wise adj 1 having or showing wisdom; prudent; sensible. 2 learned or knowledgeable. 3 astute, shrewd or sagacious. 4 in compounds knowing the ways of something • streetwiseworldly-wise.

genius noun (geniuses) 1 someone who has outstanding creative or intellectual ability. 2 such ability.

I couldn’t possibly be so pretentious as to call myself Wise Genius, could I? It meant being all the things I felt uncomfortable with – knowledgeable, astute, learned, showing outstanding abilities! Yet at the same time, these attributes would help bring me success.

My husband pointed out that I could flip it around – my clients were the wise ones for choosing to work with me. And so Wise Genius was born.

Wise Genius original logo

The original Wise Genius logo

The owl followed, reluctantly a few months later. Once I had decided on the company name, I was unsure about adding an owl to the mix, as it seemed too obvious. Western culture has associated owls with wisdom as far back as Ancient Greece, where they represented Athena, the goddess of wisdom, inspiration, the arts, crafts and skill. However, when working through the logo designs, it seemed to fit.

It appears being known as Wise Genius, not Susie, the web designer isn’t such a bad thing. It adds mystery, giving me the chance to explain to people what I do, not giving it away up front. And putting me in control of the message!

I would love to hear the story behind your business name; please feel free to share it in the comments below.