So, the day is finally here! I can introduce my company name - Nspir. As things often go in life, it is never as simple as one thinks, it isn't possible to get what one wants, and one has to be a bit creative.
So... Nspir. The word "inspire" was my first wish, as that is what first and foremost, I want to do with my company. I want to inspire myself to be the best that I can be. I want to inspire others, both people and companies, customers and suppliers, employees and leadership, to bring out their best for amazing results, to go beyond what we think is possible, and be a positive inspiration for a better society and world.
"Inspire" was of course taken. A lot of us want to inspire, at least 17 other companies in Sweden alone chose to use "inspire" in their title, and "inspire" isn't even Swedish. The Swedish "inspirera" was found in 5 pages of companies. The web domains were of course all taken in every reasonable domain I could find to register.
So, realizing I would have about a zero percent chance of registering any company with "inspire" in the name, at least in a language that I and my customers were likely to understand, I moved on to "enspire".
Not to be daunted so easily, I convinced myself that "ENspire" had a lot of advantages over "Inspire", among which the enspire.se domain was available for only 99kr! I promptly registered it, under the sage advice of a brilliant IT guy, before I tried to register the company name.
With "ENspire", there were only three companies in Sweden with the word in their name, and they were all on the other side of Sweden. I thought I would be safe. I even designed a logo and received fantastic help from my step-brother-in-law to make it look professional. (Please note that the logo is a Paint version of the real professional logo that I quickly made, so the poor image quality is not at all a reflection on his work!)
In the meantime, I read the irs.gov (US tax authority) website about American citizens owning foreign corporations. As with most experiences reading something from the IRS, I immediately became convinced that I was certainly engaging in some type of criminal activity and setting myself up for years of audits and onerous fines, if I didn't set up everything perfectly correctly.
So, I put the company registration on the backburner for a while, so that I could make sure that I would neither become a felon nor immediately bankrupt my company or myself before I even started. Because of course I was trying to engage tax support and consultation in the worst time of year for expatriates in Sweden, some waiting was required.
Then I finally realized that all the horrible threats and consequences from irs.gov would not apply to someone having a Swedish corporation. Sweden of course controls and taxes even more aggressively than the United States and has already taken most of my money. Uncle Sam only requires the filing of many incomprehensible documents. With that assurance, I could then finally register the company name.
After a week of being on pins and needles, the response came back that "enspire" in any combination of words was not possible to use, someone has apparently trademarked it. I received this news after dropping my Kalles and egg sandwich in the driveway and arriving to work to find the coffee machine out of service.
At this point, both hungry and deprived of my morning caffeine fix, I wasn't sure whether to cry, scream, or throw in the towel. I have been working since mid August with "enspire" in my mind. I had my logo, darn it, I already had the domain name. I wanted to "ENSPIRE"!
However, I had a lot to do with my consulting job, and went on to focus on other things. After I finally was able to get my "small and strong" coffee from the machine, I also began to think.
I knew that I didn't want to give up on a name that somehow would "inspire". That had become too core to my company values, to my own goals, and what I was trying to build.
I also didn't like abbreviations or "cute" adaptations that frankly look like someone has trouble spelling, or was in too big a hurry and had a typo he didn't correct.
However, I knew there was no way I could use "inspire", "enspire", "inspirera", or any such name. I either had to give up on "inspire" or find a compromise on my decidedly rigid abhorrence of abbreviations or adaptations.
Finally, I decided that, like so many other things in life and as the Rolling Stones put so well: "You can't always get what you want".
But with a little imagination, and a little creativity, and a lot of compromise, I found that I could get what I needed: to keep the essense of "inspire". I also could re-use my logos with a little erasing.
In that way, my company name is a lot like life. It isn't always what we want, but with a little imagination, a little creativity, and a lot of compromise, it is what we need.
So, with that, I introduce you to Nspir.