What's in a Name?
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Some names evoke deep feelings almost universally and instantly. You probably thought of a few (in)famous names just now. Other names evoke more personal but still deep feelings. The name of your child, your mom, your best friend.
Objektiv Solutions, the name of my new company, was almost 150 years in the making without me even knowing it. Despite its newness, the name holds deep meaning for me.
On 17 May 1876, Charley Olson was born in Telemark fylke, Norway. On 18 June 2018 a few hundred kilometers from there, I stood at the entrance to the stony silver mine turned museum in Kongsberg, Norway, where my great-grandfather Charley chiseled out a living.
A bit further north and a day earlier, I had wandered a cemetery hugging the quiet kirke, in the even quieter town of Bruflat, where Charley once lived. That place between the fjords along a glacial stream must have held deep meaning to him, as Charley replaced Olson with Bruflat as his family name after immigrating to the United States in the early 1900s. How often does one earn the privilege of choosing a name and a new start?
Deep underground in that now-silent silver mine where Charley once worked, I wondered if – in the midst of the noise of machinery and dynamite – he imagined that in a few years he'd be on another continent on a quiet farm in the big sky and rolling fields of Wallace, South Dakota? He couldn't have known then where his journey would take him, or the possibilities it would open up for so many people after him. But he decided to chase a goal that must have seemed surreal from the depths of that mine. He didn't let fear or the many obstacles ahead hold him back, and for that I'm grateful, humbled, and inspired.
Objektiv is a Norwegian word, and I chose it as the name of my company to honor Charley. It translates to the English adjective Objective meaning "not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts". The English word (unlike it's Norwegian counterpart, interestingly) is also a noun meaning "a thing aimed at or sought; a goal". Both are great concepts to grasp a hold of and live out, like Charley did.
Objektiv Solutions is here to help people achieve breakthrough results so together we can make the world a little better place for others. I look forward to hearing about your story and helping you on your journey. Until then, I hope you take some time to reflect on the names in your past that helped shape who you are!