It’s been one year since we officially changed our name to FLDWRK. If you aren’t familiar with the reason for our name change you can read all about why we changed it and why we chose the name FLDWRK in previous posts. But I’ll sum it up for you here. We were facing an expensive legal battle which would’ve drained all of our finances if we didn’t change our name.
When we got the first letter in the mail from the large company that wanted us to change our name, our lawyers weren’t overly concerned by their claims and neither were we. However, we underestimated the length of time (and money) it would take to simply write letters back and forth. The problem is, the large company had very deep pockets and we did not. So even if there was no legal merit to their claims, simply engaging in a legal battle to prove that would have put us out of business.
I’m not one for drama, but I do remember pacing back and forth in my bedroom muttering to myself and being pretty distraught over the whole thing. However, what started out as something that seemed really bad, ended up being okay—even good. Now that it’s been a year and I’ve seen how it has all worked out, I’m taking a few moments to reflect on how we got through what seemed like (and was) a daunting challenge. Whether you are currently going through something challenging or you know someone who is, I hope these four things will help.
Consider all the Options
Even if we didn’t want to we had to respond to these claims. Our team sat down in a room and wrote down all options we could consider. We filled a rather large whiteboard with all of the options and their likely outcomes. Once we realized that fighting to hold onto our name would drain our financial resources and leave us with nothing but the name itself, it became a pretty clear decision. Notice, I said clear decision—not *easy *decision.
In this kind of situation, one where something you have worked so hard to create is threatened, it’s very tempting to react and fight back without truly considering the consequences or alternatives. If we reacted in this way it could have meant the end of our company. Instead, taking a step back and considering all options allowed us to take a different path.
Seek Input from Others
Seeking input from others doesn’t mean asking everyone you know what their thoughts are or what you should do. What it does mean is seeking guidance from trusted people who have a certain level of understanding or expertise, but can offer an outside perspective. Because they aren’t experiencing this specific challenge they can tend to be more objective.
My FLDWRK cofounder, Jeff, and I are a part of an Impact Team at FLDWRK which is made up of several other leaders of purposeful organizations. This group was (and is) a great resource in helping us navigate the practical and emotional aspects of this challenge and what it meant for our company and for us personally. We also asked for input from our legal team, our accountants, and our staff as a whole.
Look for the Good
Once it became clear that our only option was to change our name, we decided to try to look for the good in it. This challenge could either bring us down or we could use it as an opportunity to rally our community, gain clarity around how we communicate our mission, strengthen our team, and celebrate all the amazing people who are with us on this journey. It also helped focus on the most important thing: the people and the important work they do.
A Supportive Community
One of our biggest realizations in this process was that our community is one of amazing and driven people who have a desire to bring more goodness to the world. They didn’t start their work because of a name and it certainly wouldn’t end their work because it changed. Ultimately the reason we started a coworking community and coaching was to create ways to provide support to purposeful entrepreneurs with tools, resources, and relationships as they engage in work that matters. Regardless of what our name would be, the most important thing—our why—would stay the same.
Our community rallied, we invited them into the renaming process, and we threw one simultaneous party at both FLDWRK locations. Jeff introduced the name at FLDWRK Costa Mesa, while I made the big reveal at FLDWRK Fullerton.
Even now, that day remains one of my favorite in this journey toward the world’s best future. So whatever challenge you’re facing, I’d like to encourage you to stay the course. And, if you’re looking for some guidance and community in the process or are seeking to create goodness in your field of work, we’d love to come alongside you.