Today is not such as laid back Friday. Since I was born and possibly before I was born, my last name has been tortured. When it comes to personal branding, your last name tends to be the most significant because of the uniqueness in identifying who you are and your family connection.

From elementary school, when my last name was misspelled, to Hebrew school, where the same mistake was made and even today, as a personal branding expert, my biggest challenge is beating the name “Schawbel” into people’s heads. I’ve thought of the root cause of this mistake throughout my 24 years on this earth and my conclusion is that the strength and recognition of the “Charles Schwab” has masked my own last name.


The Google Experiment

Google “Dan Schawbel”: 28,100

Google “Dan Schwabel”: 57,900

As you can see, the superior and world recognized “Charles Schwab” brand name has caused thousands of people to misspell my last name. On the receiving end, I’m frustrated, but when the sender finds out they have misrepresented my name, they show signs of sympathy and remorse.

The solution takes time, but there is a short-term remedy….

I actually have had this conversation before with one of my magazine editors, Connie Bensen, whose last name is commonly misspelled “Benson.” I fell victim to this as well and am happy she corrected me.

The solution is to purchase your misspelled name, such that Connie bought and I purchased and we both redirected them to our real names.

If you type in the wrong spelling of my full name in Google, you will still get my blog first and then get my main “brand” homepage afterward. I think it will take me years to separate my last name from the larger brand name of “Charles Schwab,” but I won’t quit anytime soon.

Question of the week

Don Truss pointed me to a very interesting question, via Yahoo! answers.

“How would you keep your employees motivated”?

Don, with his years of recruiting wisdom, took the best stab at it. He responded with:

“Funny, but when managers are asked “what motivates your employee?” they always answer – money. But when employees are asked “what is most important to you?” They always say “respect and appreciation.” Money is farther down on their list. To keep everyone motivated, they need to share a common vision of their future. Each employee must think “My contribution is very important – we won’t reach our goal without it.”

What are your thoughts readers?