The Times They Are A-Changing. And So Is My Name.

May 22, 2013

On the surface, it might not seem like I have much in common with Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali and Bill Clinton. But one day, we all reached the same crossroads. We came to the realization that our original names would only take us so far in life. That we would find more success if we switched to something new. It’s hard to imagine how the course of history might have changed had Robert Zimmerman, Cassius Clay and William Blythe decided not to switch things up.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m about to throw in the towel on Scott Eirinberg. Well, not exactly. But I have decided to change my company name. (Although, with the frequency that people misspell Eirinberg, I really ought to kill two birds with one stone.)

It became pretty obvious after launching the company that just selling pepper might be a little too, well, specialized. I’ve since become interested in a lot of new things. Soon I’ll be adding Icelandic sea salt. It won’t be long before I’ll be offering small-batch gourmet foods. Plus, I’ll be adding interesting textiles and furniture for kids’ rooms. (Kidding!) I realized that I don’t want to be limited by a name. The Reluctant Pepper Company was too confining for what I wanted to do.

Hello. My name is The Reluctant Trading Experiment.

Today, I officially changed the name of the business to The Reluctant Trading Experiment.

Okay, so right now you might be thinking to yourself, “Whatch you talkin’ about Willis?” Well, let Willis explain. (Apparently, on a whim, I have also switched my name from Scott to Willis.)

First, I was reluctant to drop Reluctant. After all, I was reluctant when my friend Divakar started telling me about the incredible Tellicherry peppercorns that he found growing near his home in India last year. I was reluctant about starting another business from scratch after growing The Land of Nod for almost 15 years. The only thing I haven’t been reluctant about is the word reluctant. Damn, this is confusing.

I chose the word Trading because it is an old word that has been used in commerce for centuries that hints at the spice trade. I am following in the wake of thousands of spice merchants who have literally sailed before me. Plus, the word trading implies travel. Traveling around the planet meeting interesting people and telling their stories is a big part of The Reluctant Trading Experiment.

And finally, I added the word Experiment because this thing has been an experiment from the beginning. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to start something in the first place. I had no idea if I’d be in business for two weeks or 20 years. I don’t have a business plan. I don’t have investment bankers. I don’t have a board of directors.

I have a friend in India named Divakar. I met a cool guy in Iceland named Bjorn. I have an awesome family that actually enjoys helping me pack pepper. I am getting to explore parts of the world that I hope I will never be forced to spell in public. I am having a blast with this new experiment.

As the man formerly known as Robert Zimmerman once sang, “The times, they are a-changing.” And today, so is my name. It’s time to begin The Reluctant Trading Experiment.

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