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  • Michelle Bernard

The Story Behind the Name- Olive Branch

I never expected to actually start my own business.


Sure, I had thought about the idea in college and considered it a bit more seriously my senior year.

I would attend informational meetings about how to start a business and I talked with friends that were business majors to understand some of the things required. But I still didn’t think I could actually make it happen for myself.


Years later, I found myself starting a coaching business that I was (and still am) thrilled about!

I wanted the name to be meaningful and significant to me and a story that I could share with my clients…well, anyone for that matter too!


So…


How did I choose Olive Branch Coaching & Consulting??


I LOVE this question because the answer speaks to the heart of what I do and who I focus on helping!


Let me give you a bit of the story “behind the scenes.”


I was brainstorming business name ideas at my kitchen table with my sister on a beautiful summer day sipping some lemonade. She asked me some great questions to help give me some direction to choose a name.


I knew I wanted these qualities to be in the name of my coaching business...


🌿 symbolic with depth and meaning

🌿 culturally significant that would translate smoothly across the globe

🌿 represent the growth and goals of my my clients through our coaching

🌿 fun but also represented me as the coach in an authentic way


My sister and I went back and forth with some ideas and then she said one that made me pause.


"What about Olive Branch?"


I did some research and was absolutely hooked by what I found as it checked off all of the qualities I had wanted in choosing a name!!


An olive branch is symbolic in many ways…


1. It is given to someone as a way of expressing peace like a peace offering or a “truce” with someone


I found this relatable to my clients as they transition from serving abroad, find themselves navigating the “in between” and waiting stage of transition, and finally establish their new normal.


I want my clients to “give an olive branch” symbolically from their old familiar area to their new normal and what they are currently creating. My desire is to see my clients experiencing peace and hope through transition- just like an olive branch symbolically represents peace and reconciliation between the clashing of differences- in this case my clients differences are the old familiar to the new normal and all the transition pieces in between.



2. Often times, the roots at the base of an olive tree will intertwine together which looks like multiple small tree trunks forming to create one large and unified tree that produces olives together.


I LOVE that globally there are many different countries, cultures, and people groups but yet it’s only together that we form the world as a whole.


That sounded like a cheesy movie line or a card for Earth day…but stay with me here!


Each culture is unique and brings value, but the world altogether brings forth beauty in diversity and unified strength just like many roots coming together form the tree that is strong and as a whole produces olives.



3. Olive trees, branches, and olives themselves are symbolic across many different cultures for a variety of reasons.


I find it inspiring that different cultures point out unique and positive aspects of the olive tree. Just like in coaching together with my clients, we can be looking at the same topic but discover different aspects that together lead to greater progress and realization for my clients.


I think you’re getting the bigger picture here that for me, olive branch is more than just a cool name or a plant that I like. It’s symbolic depth, cultural insight, and application to my work with clients all combined together to be a "no-brainer" decision for my business name.

And a side note: I LOVE that my sister was part of helping me choose the name! She’s been with me since day one and is always one of my biggest supporters.

The story I have to share about choosing my business name is fun and one that I’ll always cherish!