FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Trademarks: Certainty vs. Commitment

Trademark registration is all about certainty and commitment. Do you have these qualities?

Learn more about it in this short video:


The Process of Becoming Certain and Committing, and How it Relates to Trademarks

How many times has somebody given you a perfectly logical explanation of why you needed to do something for your business? You agreed it made perfect sense. You said it yourself, “Yes, this is something I should do, and it's something I will do at some point. I'm just not going to do it right now, but I know I should do this at some point.” 

Being uncertain about proposals or trademarks is not a unique situation. It happens a lot to a lot of business owners.

Interestingly, the reasons we come up with why we don't do the things we should do are usually reasons why we should do those things in the first place. But this boils down to two things. This boils down to commitment and certainty.

How Should I Know When To Commit to a Trademark Name?

The problem is that a lot of business owners are waiting for that sign from above. They want to know that they've accomplished a certain milestone. They've reached a certain level of revenue, a certain number of clients, and a certain number of likes on Facebook. 

And they're like, “You know what, when I hit that milestone, that's when I'm going to take care of this, this, or this, or this”—because they KNOW they have to take care of this, this, this, and this.

But they're waiting for something external to happen, and what they're really waiting for is a certainty.

They're waiting for absolute certainty that whatever they're doing is the right decision - that whatever investment they're about to make in their business is the right investment. Whatever they're planning to do, they're going to do it the exact right time, the exact right space, with the exact right people, for the exact right amount of money. Then, they can start thinking about the exact right trademark name.

And the interesting thing about certainty is that those business owners believe that once they have certainty that's when they're going to be able to make a full commitment to their business.

But guess what? Commitment never comes as a result of certainty.

The Commitment Comes First, then the Certainty Settles In. Then, do a Trademark Check.

It's the other way around.

First, you make a commitment. Commitment is a conscious decision about something. Then, certainty comes.

Think about any decision you made in your life, any significant decision. There was no certainty. That's why it's called a hard decision. 

But once you've made that decision, once you've committed to it, guess what happens? You become more and more certain that the decision was right. And more often than not, it was right. It was the right decision.

And when you started your business, when you came up with this idea, when you thought, “You know what? I'm going to do this thing,” were you absolutely certain? No. No. 

But you made that decision and you started moving in that direction. A trademark check after certainty settles in is also recommended. 

Business Owners are Key Decision Makers

Your role as a leader, as a business owner, and as an entrepreneur, is to make a series of decisions. A series of commitments to take your business from an idea that you came up with towards the dream, towards the vision that you see for your business. 

And if you're going to let those decisions, those commitments, become hostage to this idea that at some point you're going to have absolute certainty, let me tell you–you're never going to get your dream. 

You're never going to get that vision because you're never going to get that certainty.

Think about this–all the milestones that we have for ourselves are made up. If you say to yourself, “Well if I hit a million dollars in revenue, that's when I'll know that this is a real business.”

Let me ask you–if your business makes $900,000, is that not a real business? What if it makes $850,000? See what I mean? It doesn't matter what the numbers are. 

Don’t Let Milestones Affect Your Decision-making Process

Business milestones track your business’ efficiency, but they should be irrelevant when making a big decision. We make this stuff up to give ourselves an excuse to not commit fully to our vision, to not commit fully to what we see for this business, and to give ourselves a way out if we don't hit those goals.

Look at the most successful companies in the world, the multi-billion dollar companies. Do you think they have absolute certainty about their every decision? No. 

They're facing huge decisions, hard decisions, and they're not certain. But what happens with the multi-billion dollar companies is the same thing that happens in the mind of business owners who are trying to get to their first five figures.

Commit Early and Experience Certainty Sooner

Commitment always comes first. Clarity and certainty come as a result of that commitment.

So with respect to branding, with respect to trademark, again I can give you perfectly logical reasons why you should trademark your brand earlier rather than later. And I know that logically and intellectually you understand this. And I understand that you probably want to do this.

But until you give yourself the permission to build a business that actually matters, until you commit to your business, until you commit to the goal, until you commit to the dream that you had for your business, it's just going to be one of those, “Yeah I should do it at some point,” kind of things.

The “Someday” Concept

My mentor Dan Lok teaches this concept of ‘someday’. All of us have, or at least used to have, the list of things that we would say, “I'm gonna do that someday. I'm gonna take my kids to Disneyland someday. I'm gonna fly first class someday. I'm gonna stay in fancy hotels someday. I'm gonna buy business insurance someday. I'm gonna hire the best people for my business someday. I'm gonna file my trademarks someday. I'm gonna do this someday. I'm gonna do that someday.”

Look here's the problem with all this. If you look at the calendar for this year or the next year, you won't find a day that says Someday. You just won't find it.

And the reason we say, “Someday, I'm gonna do that,” is that it makes us feel better. It makes us feel better to know that we kind of logically understand the importance of those things. But we put them away, for someday.

And someday never comes, that's the problem with this.

Don’t Wait for Commitment as a Result of Certainty

So, if you know you got to do those things, you got to do those things.

Don't wait for commitment to come as a result of certainty. That will never happen, and your business will not last long.

Certainty will come as a result of your commitment. Not the other way around.

So with trademarks, ask yourself a question–is your brand important? Would it be a problem if you lost your brand if you were forced into rebranding? Would it be a problem if somebody sued you for you using that brand? 

And if your answer is yes, it is important. Don't wait until someday to do what you know you need to do. Don't wait until someday to protect it. Because someday never comes. 

And by the time you decide someday has come, it may be too late.

And be honest, because your answer may be no, it's not important. And it's perfectly okay as long as you're honest. But if your answer is no, this brand is not important, then what you need to do is come up with a different brand. 

A brand that's actually going to means something to you. A brand that's going to helps you commit to giving yourself permission to make this business into something that actually matters.

And that's when certainty comes.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.