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Are You Your Last Name?

Branding

There is a man selling his last name. He’s ready and willing to take whatever last name YOU assign to him, for the right price. The bidding starts at buymylastname.com.

This isn’t so strange if you know the man, James Sadler (or whatever you or any other winning bidder chooses for him to use through 2013). He’s already had three last names, as his mother apparently married, remarried, and remarried again until this year’s divorce. There might be some other circumstances, but at least a couple of marriages and divorces seem evident.

It’s not as though Jason Sadler’s name is worth nothing. He has a byline in the media outlets that carry his work, including the Wall St. Journal, Entrepreneur.com and more. So, you get a whack at your company name – or any other name you choose to associate with him – being on everything he publishes, along with his verified Twitter account, Facebook and the litany that is his social media presence.

I love this guy.

Not because he’s selling his last name – which is currently WiggityBangGames per the current high bidder at $33,333.

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I love how Jason has made his fortune. He leverages life’s most basic elements – ones that you and I don’t notice but we all have. Before the current last name sell out, Jason invented: IWearYourShirt. A very successful business that garnered lots of press, IWearYourShirt is exactly what it says. Jason sold the marquee value of his attending all functions of his day to whomever bought the rights to his shirt. Whether he went to the dry cleaners or a wedding, if you bought that day – well, your name was advertised on his shirt.

I always imagined an army of people would coalesce to form squadrons of an IWearYourShirt field marketing force – but either the operations or the business model must not have worked. The company currently a riotous job of promoting clients on social media and more.

Beyond the entrepreneurial spirit that allows Jason to make money on the mundane: a T-shirt, his last name and a sense of humor among those, the question he raises is one part branding, one part existential.

Who are you? What makes you, you? What could you trade away, cast off, sell out, and otherwise change that does not manifestly change your essence?

And, perhaps even more interesting – what would you or what should you change so that you can make the most lucrative, enjoyable living being you?

What Jason has done with his last name is to cast off something that is more valuable to sell (at least for 2013) than to keep. During the same time period: what can you cast off, live without or otherwise parlay to increase your visibility and value?

Want some ideas to make money in 2013? Email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com with the subject line: 2013 Ideas.

Author:

Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen

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