You may know me professionally as Mike Wozniak, the founder of SoftwareKey.com. For years, I have purposely made the decision to hide behind my company’s website, thinking the company would appear bigger and more professional if my name wasn’t visible. More recently, however, it has become obvious that by pulling back the curtain and sharing more of myself, I could create deeper and more meaningful connections both on a personal and professional level.
You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with anything? I just want to know what to call him!” Well, this realization about sharing more of myself has also manifested in a dramatic shift in my priorities.
I was born Michael Joseph Wozniak. I was a “surprise baby,” and my parents both passed in the mid-90s. My mother pretty much always called me Michael, not just when I was in trouble! (I don’t even have any memories of her using that “you know you did something wrong” tone of voice when using my first and middle names together.)
Michael or Mike?
People generally fall into one of two camps - calling me Michael or calling me Mike. I always introduce myself as Mike, unless I’m in the situation of being matched up with a roster or legal document. When I was growing up, a handful of friends and family members always called me Michael.
If someone from camp Michael were to temporarily cross over into camp Mike, I would immediately notice it. It wouldn’t bother me in the least, but I would definitely have an internal reaction to being called by a name I’m not expecting from a certain person.
You know that little voice in your head that you hear from time to time? Well, mine recently started SCREAMING at me in the most delightful way! I started noticing a very helpful version of this voice (because we know there is also an unhelpful side to it, as well) in January 2020 after I set an intention for a “year of personal and professional growth.” This intention nearly immediately became reality.
The switch to what I’m calling a “fountain of inspiration” inside of me has flipped to the ON position, and now I am ALL IN to following gut feelings and inspirational ideas that are flowing through me at what seems to be a faster pace every day. I am finding that the more open I am to inspiration and abundance, the more I see. Has it been there this whole time and I’m just now seeing it?
Before I realized the true magic of following inspiration before judging it, my favorite gym trainer jokingly started calling me Mikey Joey. I have no idea why I liked the sound of it, or why the hell I decided to see if the domain was available in early January, but I'm certainly glad I did. I now have a platform for sharing that I never even knew I wanted. I feel in my bones that this project will launch a completely new phase of my career.
Call me what you like, but...
I cannot ignore the coincidence of this switch being flipped inside of me at the same time a new term of endearment from my gym coach was laid upon me. Hearing my close friends calling me Mikey Joey warms my heart because it acknowledges a change in me that they like.
So, you can call me whatever you like - Mike, Michael, Mikey, Mikey Joey. I will answer to any of those names. I will likely start introducing myself to people as Mikey (well actually, I already have). Who knows? Maybe I will even change my legal name. 🙂