Signs and signals, nudges and winks. If there are forces guiding our path, are we listening?
How much do you pay attention to the signs?
Setting up a business in The Netherlands means a trip to the “Kamer van Koophandel” (KvK) or The Chamber of Commerce. You fill out the forms, you project earnings, profit, describe the business, categorize and finally give it a name.
I discussed it together with my wife and some colleagues and we decided that, in order to make the process the most streamlined and simple, we’d use the business that I’ve run in the United States for the past 10 years. It has a history, profits, clients (past, present and future) and a solid foundation.
Do you listen to your brain or your gut? Your mind or your heart?
As I scrolled through the screens with the person at the KvK, she did a quick search of business names already in use in The Netherlands and, low and behold, “Likoma” was already in use. My first thought was that it was me. That I had set something up at some point in the past and forgotten about it. Because, really, who names their company after a small island in the small eastern African country of Malawi?
But a click further and it turns out it’s a holding company and they used uppercase in the name so that it looked like “LiKoMa” and she said this was common if there were three business partners or maybe a consulting business with three investors. Maybe:
- Koen &
- Koeln &
She said that I could add some desciptors to the name to make it different. She also said that I could technically use the name but that I would be responsible if that other LiKoMa came after me with some cease and desist papers.
“Could you check this name?” I asked in Dutch as I scribbled another name on my notepad.
“Oh, that one is clear,” she replied.
Thanks to three guys (or gals) who set up a holding company somewhere in Holland, the name of my business changed in a matter of minutes and, because I’m listening to the signs, because I’m watching for guidance and because I’m aware and conscious, my proper future unfolds before me. The future that is meant to be at this time. The one that I’ve been patiently waiting for and the one I know is what needs to exist.
It’s me. It’s who I need to be. It can’t be stopped. Even the clerk at the city hall today knew it. It’s just meant to be and I smiled and signed documents, paid fees and was on my way to the end of Likoma and the beginning of Repossible.