Today I want to share the story of how I came up with the title of my blog "The Positude" and some stories related to that. It was in February of 2013 on a work trip to Guatemala where I had already decided to start this project but was struggling to find an adequate name for it. I knew it was all about having a positive attitude in life, so I wanted something related to that. A flash of inspiration then made me think of the word combination "Positude" composed of "positive" and "attitude" – the two words that I had previously chosen as the essence of what my blog should be about. I instantly emailed some of my closer friends and asked them to share their impressions. The first reactions were as follows:
"I'm thinking that could be a site about having a good attitude and making the most out of life" — Anna
"I think of someone standing with a mean look but doing something positive for the world... like bad ass gangsters holding flowers and painting over graffiti" — Thais
"I think about a positive attitude. Living your life always thinking and acting positive" — Pry
While these were all very encouraging responses that showed me that I had chosen a good title for my project, my friend Serena responded with the perfect description that described the true essence of the blog:
"The Positude is a positive attitude as much more than a day to day feeling but more of a lifestyle choice. Waking up and slapping a smile on your face regardless of life's pitfalls. Finding the good everywhere you can" — Serena
Once I had all that confirmation, I went ahead and bought the domain (needless to say that I had checked domain availability earlier). My intention at that point was less to start a blog, but more to write a proper book. Later, throughout 2013, I then soberingly realized that writing a book is actually not that easy and that I would be better off to start with a blog first as it allowed me to have a platform through which I could share my ideas and get some reactions and feedback. At that point, however, it was all about the book so it was important to me to also secure the rights for the title "The Positude".
Back in San Francisco I started doing research online on how to actually secure the rights. I was propelled by the fact that there were less than 10k search results for that term and hopeful that I would be the first. I soon realized though that the word was already being licensed by some "RC Taylor Group" in Pennsylvania. Since their website was not among the Top 50 search results on Google, I was certainly surprised that they owned the term and tried to dig deeper. I learned that the word had been licensed back in 2008, specifically for media products like CDs.... I definitely felt some disappointment, but I was confident I could make it happen somehow.
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" — Audrey Hepburn
After some advanced searching skills (read: searching endlessly for over 20 minutes), I found the name and telephone number of the person who had licensed the term - Stuart Brooks. I was thinking about emailing him, but I concluded that I had nothing to lose by just calling him up out of the blue (I mean – hey – I was a Sales Rep once...). Fortunately, I was able to get in touch with Stuart right away and we ended up having a very long and good conversation (must have been around 40 minutes). I learned that they were a firm specialized on Leadership Development and that they had licensed the word Positude for one of their frameworks that they use in their trainings. While I had little hope to receive permission to use the term, I started sharing with Stuart what I wanted to do and why this project was so important to me. To my surprise, Stuart was very open to the idea and sent me this very kind message after our call.
"...as I mentioned, I noticed a rare and infectious energy and passion in your voice. Funny, this has been that kind of day. I’m grateful we talked, and I hope you’ll send me your early thinking about our good-faith agreement regarding your “borrowing” the Positude word" — Stuart Brooks
And this is how we agreed on using the name since the RC Taylor Group is the righteous license owner of the Positude! What I loved about this experience was that Stuart and I were able to build a trustful connection through a simple phone call without even knowing each other. I particularly appreciate the trust and understanding he has shown for my project and intentions. The other day I emailed Stuart and showed him the blog and we both agreed that a post about our story and the clarification of the term's ownership would do the job! Et voilà!