Should I use my personal name for my business?

This is a question I answer all the time in phone consultations and creative sessions with clients. Should you use your personal name (like Sarah Smith International), or should you create a company name that you stand behind (like Tarot Inc)?

There are benefits to doing each, and ultimately, the answer depends on your intention behind this business and where you want to take it. It also depends on the industry you are in.

For the majority of my clients who are coaches, teachers or healers, I recommend that they choose the former route in using one’s personal name as her business. Here’s why:

If you are trying to build a reputation as a public figure, or if you’re selling a service in which you are your own subject or product, then using your personal name will help you go a long way. Your teaching material and content come from you and through you, so signing it with your own signature is like a writer putting her name on the cover of the novel.

But if you are building a movement, or creating products and services which are bigger than yourself or which goes beyond your personal intimate involvement, then you may opt to go with a company name.

The reason why I generally nudge clients to build their practice behind their name is due to flexibility and growth for the future.

For example, let’s imagine that Sarah Smith, who uses her own name, creates a fabulous online course and builds a pretty sizable customer base. She promotes this course on her website (for instance) and gets herself tons of traffic. Six months down the line, she becomes inspired to create another product — something slightly different — that new customers would love and her existing customers would probably love to buy as well. Sarah understands that she can drive her business in whatever path she wants. Even if she decides to teach something totally new by next month, she can. She can stay focused on creation, rather than building an entirely new audience every time she decides to do something new. Sarah’s marketing has continuity — she is always Sarah Smith, and her business is able to ebb and flow wherever her inspiration strikes.

Let’s say Sarah Smith didn’t use her personal name from the start, but opted to go with Tarot Inc. She builds tons of content and products dedicated to tarot and makes a great buzzing reputation online. As with all (or most) things, her interests expand and the work she’s currently doing doesn’t resonate with her life as much as it did before. In the course of doing tarot readings, Sarah decides what she really wants to do is use her intuition to help people find great romantic relationships. Tarot Inc. doesn’t fit anymore, so Sarah decides to create Soul Mate Inc. A year later, Sarah decides to expand her clientele base and wants to help married, young moms launch their dreams from home. Each and every time that Sarah’s clientele expands or changes, she must create a whole new website. What Sarah doesn’t realize is that the running thread through all of these business directions is herself and her soul gifts.

My personal opinion is that it is much easier for a customer to remember your name than to remember your movement or company name. The flexibility also saves a lot of change for the future should you want to. One of the reasons I see entrepreneurs holding back from making big focus shifts is the thought of having to revamp everything over.

For a lot of coaches, intuitives and healers, using one’s own name is also a very spiritual step. It signifies one coming out of the intuitive closet, stepping into one’s light, and finally taking ownership in following his or her soul purpose. If you feel vulnerable about using your own name for fear of criticism or exposure, then there’s an added bonus for you to doing so: your soul gets to grow a little and the results could be HUGE. I’ve taken that big step before, so I know intimately how that feels. It is only scary before you do it, and once you shine that beautiful light on yourself, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

So here are some introspective questions to ask yourself: are you a multi–passionate entrepreneur that loves to create lots of different things? Do you envision yourself doing just one thing or a multitude of things? Are you comfortable with change? Can you envision yourself as your own product and brand?

There is no wrong answer here. The only right answer is what you intuitively feel works best for you at this time. Even if you feel you’ve made a wrong choice, you can always choose again. That’s the beauty of creating businesses. The story keeps on writing until you decide to let it stop.

Hi, I’m Ana Coeur

I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at

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