What’s in a name? Every name tells a story, and every word has a message beyond its meaning so what might the words Coronavirus and Covid-19 be telling us about our lives, our businesses and opportunities right now to heal and prosper.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who is a naming expert and the founder of Neimology Science.
Sharon Lynn Wyeth studies the placement of the letters in a name. She’s built a prospering business around Neimology – and shares with us today what we can learn from Coronavirus .
Sharon Lynn Wyeth is a former schoolteacher who made a big discovery one day as she did the kids’ seating plans. She could divine by the children’s names … how they would interact with each other. Her insight proved right and after 15 years of research followed by 3 years of testing in over 70 countries, her skills are used by lawyers in jury trials, human resource departments in hiring, entrepreneurs seeking effective names for new businesses and products – and individuals who wish to know themselves better and maximize their ability to connect with others.
I first understood the power of what Sharon does the day she pitched me in front of a room of 200 people and told me things she knew about the name Melinda Wittstock she could not possibly have known.
Melinda Wittstock: Sharón, welcome to Wings.
Sharón Wyeth: Always a pleasure to be with you, Melinda.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, it’s great to have you back. And for those who remember the last time you were on and we were talking about the science of Neimology, and I want to start the interview by really looking deep into coronavirus and COVID-19 and what they actually mean from a neimology standpoint.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, coronavirus is a long word, so it’s got a ton of meanings. It starts with the most controlling combination out there and people who have that combination in their name literally control out of fear that if they’re not the ones that take over, then it’s not done correctly or it’s not going to get done all the way through. And so this virus starts with control. And of course people who need control, it’s always based on fear, okay, underneath. So same with this one, it induces fear and it wants to be in charge and it wants to control.
Sharón Wyeth: From there, it goes to the stressing, the health issues. It takes what we don’t want to give. That’s what the combination [inaudible 00:01:16] that it’s going to take from us things that we don’t want to give, all right? And you look at what’s happening and that is exactly what’s happening, but it’s right there in the name. And then it says that anyone who has any kind of survivor mode that they’ve survived a tragedy, they’ve got PTSD, they’ve gone through trauma, it says that these survivors are all going to get triggered, okay? Then it goes to the next combination which says it’s going to release from us our should’s and should nots. What should we be doing? What should we not be doing? So that we really define what is the value of freedom for us. And if we’re going to have should’s, are we going to put it on ourselves or we’re going to let somebody else do that to us?
Melinda Wittstock: It’s so interesting because it’s certainly very controlling. I mean, it’s locked us all down, it’s completely turned the economy upside down, it’s forcing us to create new habits in our lives, in our businesses, in every which way. The virus seems to have a message for us though too. It seems to be shining a light on everything in society and even in our own lives that is not working.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, there’s so much still in here and some of it’s positive. And I always think we forget the positives because we’re so conditioned by the negatives and the restrictions.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh yes, please lay some positives on me. We all need that.
Sharón Wyeth: In this virus, it says that there’s going to be great opportunities for growth. You’re going to have an ability to connect and shift from fear to love and a new ability to connect with people so that you’re going to have a chance to see has life been living you or are you now going to be living life? In other words, have you gotten so caught up in the busyness of life or this is a time to say, “What is really important that I’m doing in my life and what can go away?” Okay?
Sharón Wyeth: Then it also has in here the clear vision, the truth is going to be revealed. Now where that sits in the name is toward the end. So I think as this thing lifts or minimizes that a lot of more truths are going to be coming out so that it’s easier for us to see where did this really start? Where did it really come from? How did it really affect us? What’s the real thing that’s happening in the back? And then notice at the end where it ends in the U-S for virus, and that really means that it’s going to affect all of us permanently. There’s going to be permanent changes.
Sharón Wyeth: We’re never going to go back to what is considered normal, okay? We’re going to get a new normal. Then the other thing that’s in here, it says that this is nurturing and so that we’re all being shown how to take care of others and how important that is. It also has in here that there’s fairness issues. So this is a way for us to stand up for ourselves and stand up for others. It’s literally, to me, I interpret that in the name as we’re going to be reclaiming our freedoms. Because you’re not going to keep us all locked down for long. We’re saying, “Okay, we’re cooperative, but not forever.” And then there’s another combination that says that it’s very logical the way it goes about things. And it hits on organizations and work and jobs.
Sharón Wyeth: And so, the very next letter says there could be a lack of work and if you have work, you may not be motivated to do it even if you have it. And then there’s another one that says it’s very contagious, it’s very appealing so that people who have any fears, it’s going to attract this to them, okay? Another combination says that the relationships are affected. And the most interesting one to me was that there’s literally the combination that says that there’s going to be confusion with many people’s belief systems and that your belief systems are going to be challenged, but you’re going to be constantly learning because of this, and you’re going to be reassessing and reviewing.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s so interesting, Sharón, because it’s suggesting that there’s an opportunity to obviously clear out what’s not working in your life, what’s not working in society as a whole and start to embrace the new. But not everybody is wired that way. I mean, some people will fight it and other people will sort of surrender and look for the opportunity in it. And I think as an entrepreneur, I’m always the person looking for the opportunity. So this is a time really to get into alignment, to really make sure that we’re working on a business that’s truly aligned with who we are and our purpose and much more besides…
Melinda Wittstock: So, as an entrepreneur, Sharón, I always look for opportunities in challenge. I mean, I think that’s where entrepreneurs are hardwired to go in search of a problem, find the solution, fix it, create value in that way. So I see entrepreneurs generally reacting very differently to this than other folks. Every entrepreneur I know has never been busier, all of that kind of thing. How do you see it playing out in the business world? When you say definitely permanent change, are you seeing that certain, sorry. How do you see it playing out in the business world when you’re saying really there’s going to be permanent change?
Sharón Wyeth: Well, it’s interesting that you asked that, Melinda, because I think that some businesses we’re going to look at and say, “These really aren’t so important.” And we’re going to really have a new appreciation for the businesses that help us grow, that supply us our basic needs. I think businesses that really provide something that is needed or something that people now appreciate are going to grow. Also, I think the entertainment business is going to be so much more appreciated because now people have more time to engage in entertainment, like your business, Podopolo, that it’s both entertainment and educational and I think people are going to really start appreciating that. And I think it’s kind of ironic that even Hollywood’s been affected and a lot of the shows have stopped taping and everything even though people now have more time to watch the shows. I mean it’s kind of how much do you need of this? And I really believe too, that there’s so much time for the kids to be playing games right now, that they may decide that they don’t need to do that as long of every day as they’ve been doing, but really get into it when they are, but then to limit their time with that because other things are also more important.
Sharón Wyeth: I look to it at some of the jokes that have been coming across on the internet and I guess as a person who has been in education for 40 years, I really appreciate some of the teacher jokes like one of them said, “Homeschooling is going well, two students were suspended today for fighting and one teacher fired for drinking.” I think there’s different appreciations now for what everybody contributes.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, well, we’re seeing people who are really essential to our economy that perhaps were invisible like the grocery checkout people or a lot of the first responders or the nurses and teachers, people who are absolutely vital in our society being hit disproportionately by this. And there’s a new recognition I think, or I hope of the value of people. It’s also drawing attention, I think to the inequities in our society as well.
Melinda Wittstock: And I’m a big believer that business can be used very powerfully for social good. And there’s lots of different things that business owners can do to really create more equitable situations and support for their team members and employees, ways to create a lot of flexible work. And I mean, so much of this is being imposed on us because all our habits are changing, we’re having to change the way we work, we’re having to work virtually. We can’t business travel all these different things and you think, well gosh, maybe we didn’t need those things.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, I would be very surprised if a lot of businesses don’t change in such a way so that some of their employees now can work from home that used to come in to the office like two days a week and then only come in to the office three days a week. And the other business that I just think is fabulous is the post people, your mail still comes, you can still [inaudible 00:11:31].
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. And people working in supply chain. I mean all these things that we’ve taken for granted in our society now we see the value of and that’s vital. But I think just thinking of new ways to really work and reward people, I’m curious your thoughts though as a teacher and in the education, I’ll call it business for all those years, Sharon, how do you see education changing? There’s all these parents who suddenly have to turn into homeschoolers and they’re not necessarily very good at it. Are there a lot of opportunities for businesses to really remake the education system?
Sharón Wyeth: I look at my friends when I was talking with them and they said, “All of a sudden we have to have materials to present our topics online.” And all I could think of was, oh my gosh, as a math teacher, I do not want to do this all online. I need to be able to see everybody’s reaction to see how it’s coming across and if they’re understanding the procedures or not. And I thought the businesses that can present concepts online in an entertaining way are really going to flourish because I think more and more education is going to go online. There’s already courses that kids can take online and I think more and more of those are going to be offered so that when you use… you’re in a classroom with a teacher and you’re utilizing that teacher skills, it’s not going to be so much to present information, but to help explain and have dialect with students and get the interchanges going so that so much of the time isn’t spent presenting, you can do that online at home. But now you come in to get your questions answered and have interactions with other people [crosstalk 00:13:25].
Melinda Wittstock: Right, so there’s so much potential for interactive software, socially network software, collaborative software like being able to doodle on a screen and being seen on multiple other screens. I mean, there is actually a company that does that called Touchjet, which is amazing. And I mean it’s perfect opportunity for a company like that now to come and really be put into use. And I mean, what’s so interesting, I never saw coronavirus coming, but in the context of Podopolo, I’ve just always believed that the best content is collaborative, hence the first ever socially network, socially interactive podcasting network where people can really collaborate around the content. So I think wow, that was kind of divine timing for me to have this kind of pandemic proof business that is actually launching right in the middle of this.
Melinda Wittstock: And I’m seeing a lot of really interesting new startups launching that have social missions too like Podopolo where we give like 10% of our earnings to charities and other mission driven businesses and we engage people in all these world changing initiatives to really change. Like for instance, helping delivering food to people, elderly people during coronavirus for example, all in a podcasting network. So there’s all kinds of different creative ways that we can do this applied to so many different industries. So nobody really wants to launch in the middle of a pandemic, I mean, that’s kind of hard, but on the other hand it’s possible.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, it depends on what you’re offering. There’s a greater need for certain services. And I am so excited about your Podopolo. I mean, I was on Coast to Coast just last week and I even mentioned Podopolo in one of my answers for Coast to Coast because I just think it’s such a fabulous concept.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my goodness. Thank you for that shout out. George Noory there with Coast to Coast has gotten as a gazillion people listening. We’ve got to get him on the Podcast Network. Yeah, congratulations on that appearance. I mean that’s a big deal. So, when we go back to these names and coronavirus, I’m fascinated in the neimology, like who named it coronavirus? Why was it even named coronavirus? Right? The origin of these things because it has so much meaning that seems absolutely spot on accurate, right? But where did that name even come from?
Sharón Wyeth: Well, a lot of the coronaviruses have been around for a long time and then they also get additional names. But the underlying core to my understanding is coronavirus. So like SARS is a coronavirus and like this coronavirus ends up giving us COVID-19. And so the name coronavirus is really old compared to we’re thinking it’s just brand new because we’re all now becoming aware of it. And I’ve attempted to look for its origins and it just keeps going back further and further. I think subconsciously when names are coming out, many people give absolutely the appropriate name to what’s going on. It’s just like the belief is from the seven basic religions that have been here the longest is that the incoming soul impresses upon the one naming on what they want to be called so we name ourselves. On the other hand, I look at names and I think, wow, that person really is their name or this product really is their name. And the products that are not their names, I don’t think they stick around very long because nothing resonates.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s so interesting. And I want you to explain for people who didn’t hear the previous two times you’ve been on Wings, just briefly explain for us what neimology is and how it works.
Sharón Wyeth: Well neimology is the study of the placement of the letters in a name and what it can tell us about that person or that virus or whatever is that object is that’s being named. And it literally me 15 years to figure out all of the patterns and then I went and tested it in over 70 countries including India and Russia and Peru I did a real variety of countries to see if it would work even in different languages. And it does work as long as you’re using our lettering system.
Sharón Wyeth: And so, it’s literally taking the vibration or the vibration I want to say of the letters, not the sound, but the letters themselves that hold an energy and it’s identifying how that energy manifests. And then not only does every single letter by where it sits in the name resonate an attribute then how does it play with the letters next to it? Because we all know, Melinda, if you’re sitting with friends, you’re acting one way and if you’re sitting in the midst of people you don’t care for, you’re not acting the same way. And so same thing with the letters in the name. It’s like what does that individual letter mean and then what is it sitting next to and how’s that being influenced?
Melinda Wittstock: When I first met you, it was the New Media Summit and you were along with many other people pitching to be on podcast and I was one of the people that you were pitching. I was so grateful that you called me out, but you told me all kinds of things about myself that nobody could have known. So not published anywhere from my name, including a lifetime issue with my knees. And I was blown away. I was like, how could she possibly have known that? And I was so interested in it that when I was trying to find the name for my podcasting network, I thought, I’m just going to connect with Sharon and see what she says. And so describe for everybody the process that you took me through that got me to Podopolo.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, I always ask for three pieces of information first, and one of them is what do you want your clients to know, your purchasers to know immediately about your company based on your name. What do you want them to feel? What do you want them to know? Then the second piece of information I want is what kind of people do you want to attract to your business? Because everybody doesn’t work well with everybody else. So what kind of people, what qualities do those people have that you choose to work with? So that’s the second one. And then the third one is exactly what is your business going to provide? Excuse me. Exactly what does it do? What does it offer? What does it provide? And so then I take those three pieces of information and I look at the letters that’ll match those, and then I start playing with it.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s awesome. Okay, so what does Podopolo mean? I mean, I will say it, but I want to hear you say it.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, Podopolo has a great deal of influence. It’s very nurturing to others. It’s moral and ethically sound, and it’s very good to people in that way. It’s going to make sure that other people progress and are taken care of. It is one that’s going to stay with you, it’s going to be one that lasts with you forever and that you’re going to remember because it’s going to be fun and it has where it can be in charge at the same time, but if it’s in charge, it’s nurturing you at the same time and you’re going to be bringing people in where they grow and get nurtured and they develop at the same time that they’re playing your game or your interaction that they’re learning. It’s constantly helping people grow at the same time that they’re playing and having fun and it’s got a lot of fun all the way through it, it’s like, oh man, this is fun. So it’s actually going to be very addictive to people.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s funny when you told me that, I was like, that was intentional, I wanted it to be all those things, it’s kind of who I am as well, so as a founder, but what’s interesting is seeing people react to the name because at first they’re a little bit Podopolo or is it Podopolo or is it like… and they’re a little bit quizzical. And then minutes later they’re like, oh, I love that, that’s so much fun. And I’m finding it, it is gamified, right? People when all these rewards and recognition and things as they put the learnings from their podcast into action in their daily lives to enhance their lives. But also in these world changing mission-driven initiatives, right? To address the UN global goals or specifically COVID-19 or just up-level generally be of service. And so it’s very exciting that the name is actually conveying all of that even though it’s not really a name in the English language it’s completely contrived. And yet it is saying all those things, which is fascinating.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, what’s fun about it is when we’re creating names, we’re really saying your business is going to be successful in the way you intended it to be successful because the name supports everything that the creator wanted it to say. And so it doesn’t matter if it’s a made up word or something that we’re used to, it literally supports the original idea. And I look at some people that call me and say, “Well, I’ve been thinking about this name and I just think you’re going to put in all this money to put out the media with it to make the business cards to get the website name and I don’t see it successful, it’s not long-term. And I’m thinking why would you want to create something that’s temporary instead of permanent?
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. Right. So this is very interesting what names tell us, so through coronavirus, are there any types of names of businesses that will prosper during a time of coronavirus or in the new normal as we said, and other kinds of names that won’t? Is there any kind of thought on that?
Sharón Wyeth: Well names that a lot of authority in the name just like coronavirus that C-O at the beginning has a lot of authority. Those businesses are going to find it harder to manage their way through this than others. Not that they’re going to fall apart, you’re just going to find a harder way to manage through. And I read something just recently that Corona beer the sales had gone down and it has nothing to do with coronavirus.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh yeah, they’ve taken a big hit marketing wise, right? In fact, I think they shut down their plant for a while. I mean they are owned by a larger beer company, but you wonder whether that brand will ever come back.
Sharón Wyeth: Well, but anything that subconsciously says they want to be in charge of me, they want to control me is going to have a harder time shifting and making it through this time period because people are going to start really valuing their freedoms.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It’s an interesting thing because it’s really showing us in many ways that it’s time to sort of surrender and let things go that weren’t working, be a lot more flexible, be a lot more open minded. I mean there’s a whole new energy around this. What are the sort of characteristics, Sharón, do you think that the leaders who are going to prosper business leaders and otherwise are really going to exhibit, is that kind of that sort of flexibility, collaboration, that kind of energy?
Sharón Wyeth: Well I look at it that it’s really time for people with the first vowel of an E to step up and shine.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh well that would be Melinda.
Sharón Wyeth: Yes. And the reason for that is people that have the first vowel of an E come from the heart and it’s time that we get to see how beautiful that is because these are the people that naturally connect and they naturally come from the heart and they naturally want to make sure that everybody wins. Now, you can have other letters in the name that minimize that sum, but as a whole, people with the first vowel of an E are leading the way of where we’re headed next. The other people that can thrive and if they do a good job of it can keep thriving after this, but they will definitely find during this is people that have the first vowel of U. And the reason for that is they have some of the best sense of humors. Now Es and Us both have a sense of humor, okay?
Sharón Wyeth: It’s where that humor lands, but the Us are so unique in their approach to things and make us stop and go what? And listen again and then it just kind of tickles us and we remember what they’ve said and we get many laughs out of it. And so humor right now or during any crisis is so extra appreciated than normal because all of us need that relief valve. But the difference is the Es have humor they can sustain because they’re so coming from heart all the way through while the Us humor would be really good short-term, but long-term they’re going to have to have something else in their name to keep it going to make it longer-term. So I really look at this as a time for people who lead with their hearts are going to really flourish because that’s going to become more and more appreciative.
Melinda Wittstock: So advice for women in business right now because so many of us, because we’re at home and we’ve got many of us have kids, so there’s this whole homeschooling thing and then there’s a lot more domestic chores all of a sudden now because if you had a maid, you don’t have a maid anymore, if you were going out to get your nails done, your hair done well, yeah, I mean all these sorts of things. So potentially that could put a lot of extra burden on women who already tend to try and do it all. What’s your advice around that? Around the boundaries and around managing all of it now when women over time have always tended to fall into that trap of, oh God, I’m going to do it all and then after a while there’s nothing left for you? What’s some good advice?
Sharón Wyeth: Well, first of all, I rarely give advice because I look at the word and I don’t want to “add vice” [inaudible 00:28:01].
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my goodness. That’s so funny. So yes, when you break it down. Okay. Suggestions then. And then suggestions that you could maybe be humorous, but so, suggestions.
Sharón Wyeth: Okay. So first of all, we’re going to learn as women what’s important that we get done or whatnot and hadn’t share. A lot of women say, “We’ve got to do it all.” So if you have kids at home, how about if you do a trade, I’ll do your nails and you can do my nails. Or you realize that nails aren’t important.
Melinda Wittstock: My nails, they’re not important of all things.
Sharón Wyeth: It’s a sharing. It’s like, okay, we’re all going to pitch in and clean the dishes so then we can go play a game. And so we’re all going to share this workload so that we can therefore enjoy each other’s company without having to work. And I think the thing that’s really going to come out is how group labor gets things done so much faster. If you know the math, and again this comes from being a math teacher, if you know the math, if it takes one person an hour and another person an hour to get the job done individually, if they do it together, you would think it would take a half an hour, a half an hour of each still makes an hour, but it doesn’t, it would take like 15 minutes or 20 minutes. There’s something about combined efforts on a task that reduces the amount of time it takes for that task.
Sharón Wyeth: And I really feel that women who are trying to do everything will start sharing during this time period and getting other family members more involved to realize how much quicker everything goes. And so you’re building new habits and new routines. I mean, I laugh with all the kids at home and I think when you guys go back to school, when the kids do, at first it’s going to be really hard on the parents because their kids don’t have to get dressed on time right now, but you’re going to have to get dressed. The kids can sleep in right now, but they’re going to have to get up on time. I mean, there’s all kinds of routines that have been broken during this time period that are going to be hard to reestablish if they’re not kept current during the time period.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. And some of those routines maybe aren’t the right routines. I’ve always wondered why my daughter, who’s a teenager, who all the studies say she is supposed to be kind of sleeping in, not getting up really early in the morning, but has to be at school at like 7:30. She’s actually really prospering now in this time, her grades have actually gone up, she’s really self-directed, she’s much better on her own timeline and her own routine. And I’ve seen a lot of kids without that structure start to become a little bit more entrepreneurial in the sense that they’re managing their own schedules much better and all of that. So you’re right, having grabbed that freedom, it’s hard to take the freedom away from somebody. So it’d be interesting to see how the school system has to change and adapt to that new reality just like workplaces do.
Sharón Wyeth: Right. And I think too, it’s going to be interesting to see how comfortable the kids are with going back to school. And one of the things that I’ve really thought about simply because I’ve been in that administrative position was if it was my school, how would I want to restart it? Because there wasn’t any closure from the year before. I don’t care that the year is going to end, there’s not closure. You didn’t get to say goodbye to people, you didn’t get to graduate, you didn’t get closure with that teacher that you’ve become fond of. It’s going to create a different set of problems. I mean, I really thought about, I thought if I was an administrator, how would I structure the following year?
Sharón Wyeth: I would have all of my students go back to their previous year teacher for the first six weeks of school because the first six weeks of school is pretty much review anyway after the summertime. You review everything you’ve learned, getting you ready to start now the new things. And I would have that review period with the last year’s teacher so that you can have closure and they can see exactly where you are and what really needs to be taught before you go on. And then I would start with the new teacher at the six weeks or the beginning of the seventh week mark going forward so that you would get closure and you would be easier to move into then the new school year. And I mean I really thought about that and thinking that’s how I would do it if I was in charge and I’m not anymore. But it’s interesting to see how they’re going to do it so that kids are comfortable and they don’t have this open gap of I didn’t get closure and I don’t feel complete and how can I move forward?
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Well that’s going to be true of businesses as well, right? That ran a certain way and now are going to have to run in a much more flexible virtual way. For sure. So Sharón, you do a lot of work with a lot of different folks whether it’s helping judges pick juries or helping business owners pick the right hires or with business owners like me picking the name of the business. How’s business for you right now?
Sharón Wyeth: I am incredibly busy and I’m very grateful for that. It’s like people now have time to say, “Oh I’m going to do this for me.” And I love working with individuals just as much as I love working with businesses, but it’s like we have extra time, what’s important or I want to create something new and now’s the timing. And so right now I’m been incredibly busy and I’m very grateful for that.
Melinda Wittstock: Fantastic. Well, how can people find you and work with you?
Sharón Wyeth: The easiest way is to go to the website, knowthename.com and so if you’re at a place right now where you’re listening and you’re washing dishes and you can’t dry your hands right away, you need to get through those dishes, or you’re driving in the car, whatever, and you think later on, oh, I really wanted to remember the name of that website. You go, yeah, I needed to know the name. Oh, that was it, knowthename.com.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s a good name, right? Absolutely. What was name? Oh yeah. Right, knowthename. That’s wonderful. Sharon, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Sharón Wyeth: Always my pleasure, Melinda, and I just so wish you well and your business as well.