I used to call myself a poet, and I don’t so much anymore.

When I was hired into a tenure-track position, I chose the title “professor of English” for my business card, since English was what I professed. My students called me Pearl.

These days I get a little confused about my title. Some days I’m a copy coach, other days a writing coach, still other days I’m a copywriting coach for solopreneurs. I’d kinda like to call myself a professional hand-holder, but I’m not sure that would communicate.

A client this week wanted insights about naming her business, so I put together a list of starting points:

  1. Your own name
  2. A play on words
  3. Metaphors
  4. Etymologies
  5. Random memorable word strings

Of course, part of the business of naming these days concerns what domain names are available. A few years ago, a friend looked at me quizzically when I said my first step towards hanging out my shingle was to buy a handful of urls. She suggested that perhaps I needed to know first what I was going to do in that business, but for me, writing into a title has always made sense.

I decided to let go of some varieties of Really Good Grief, the blog I started writing six months after my father died. I kept the .com, since that’s prime real estate, and I thought long and hard about whether to hold on to the adjacent addresses. At the time, in mid 2013, I envisioned Really Good Grief as “an empire of conversation, performance, podcasts, and relevant art.”

Grief, however, is a process, with its own cycles and waves and particles that can’t always be measured or tracked or tacked down. While I’m still much more interested in talking with others about their losses than I was before Dad died, I no longer meet regularly with my grief group, and the Death Cafe I attended once or twice lost its hold on me.

While I operate now under the name of Pearl Klein, Writing Coach, I still own www.filthyrichlanguage.com and its neighborhood. I love the triangularity of filthy rich, rich language, and filthy language — though a client pointed out to me yesterday that though I claim to have a filthy mouth, she sees little sign of that in my copy.

It’s a struggle, aligning my self-image with the image I project. I spend lots of time helping other people create their online persona in language that speaks to them while attracting the attention of the right clients, and it often starts with the name.

I myself started with a name; my father decided long before he had any children at all that he would one day have a daughter named Pearl, after his mother who died when he was 12. It is a beautiful name and one rich with associations. I like to think I’ve grown into it, though the notion that a pearl is associated with purity and virginity argues against my filthy rich mouth.

All over the online business world, I see invented titles popping out: Visibility & Self-Magic Catalyst Monicka Clio Sakki, Brand and Business Catalyst Helene Scott, Aliveness Advocate Signy Wilson, Inner Confidence Coach for Women Kristin Misik, Oracle Jennifer Posada, Master Website Baker Kimberly Gosney.

I myself am a Poetic Strategist, a Conversationalist and Imperfectionist, and a Live-Action Language Generator. Working under the name I share with my grandmother.

I’d love to know what exciting title you’d like to claim for yourself. Please share it below.