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How to choose your 'Nom de Plow'

Agriculture.com Staff 03/02/2006 @ 9:17am

You know me.

Remember "Farmers on Mars"? How about "Fly Voodoo," "Alligator Farming in Iowa," or "Have Corn Gun, Will Travel"?

Yeah, I'm back: Katie Thompson. But now I've got, as we say in the business, a "Nom de Prune": Kate Iola.

Blame it on my book (see below). My original name was already in use by not one, but two authors. So, working with a team of psychologists and hypnotists, I came up with a new one: Kate Iola. Say it out loud three times: Kate Iola. And again.

You find yourself reaching for a credit card and the phone, right?

Enough about me, me, me. Let's talk about you.

Everyone around you already uses a nom de plume, I bet. Let's look at one: Your banker Bob. He's not just Bob; he's Bob-the-Vice-President-of-Ag-Finance. And he's got it engraved on a metal sign on his desk. That artificial title gives power to his name, and to him. When he's not at work, he's just Bob. (Except when he's in trouble: "Well, Mr. Vice-President-of-Ag-Finance, you forgot to take out the trash again!") It's a nom de plume, also called a pen name or a stage name.

Now imagine if that sign on his desk said Bob-the-Oversized-Guy-Who-Toys-With-Other-People's-Money.

Wouldn't you see him differently? Even though you, and I, and Bob, all know what he really does, it's the nom de plume that makes the difference. The name you choose to describe yourself is very powerful.

Now let's look at my brother-in-law, Benny Summersow. He creates products out of nothing. He manufactures corn and soybeans out of dust, rain, manure, sunshine, time, and over-priced seed. His products get sold around the world, and he watches his competitors in South America and Asia. And he's the boss.

We could call him Benny-the-Farmer. Works for me. But that doesn't impress cityboys, who are sometimes useful, and, fortunately, easily fooled by noms de plume.

Let's play their game. Hmm ... let's make Benny be ... CEO, Summersow Global Manufacturing, Inc.

Let's go one step further. Why stick with "Benny Summersow"? Actors, singers and authors don't get titles ("...starring John Wayne, President, Wayne Acting, Inc."...can you imagine?) so they just choose their whole name from scratch. You can too. Call it your "nom de plow" and use it on your banker, just like he uses his name on you.

What names of famous people make you think of money, productivity, profit, power, brilliance? Getty. Buffett. Trump. Kennedy. Einstein. Bond.

Use them. Doesn't Benjamin Kennedy sound impressive? Keep going: Benjamin Einstein Kennedy IV.

Find other powerful words for your nom de plow. Let me just pull out my little "Latin for Lazy Writers" dictionary here...

Magnus (big)

Megalos (really big)

Primus (first)

Myriabus (lots of cattle)

Plurigranum (the most grain)

Megagranum (big grain)

Bolitus (cow manure, yes, but let's have some fun with Big Bob)

And just for you, add your favorite color:

Russex (red)

Viridian (green)

Cerulean (blue)

I can hear it now: "Benjamin Einstein Magnus Russex Kennedy the Fourth, you take that trash to the burn barrel! And who tracked Bolitus in here?"

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