Eat My Own Dog Food; Goodbye Students…Hello SCHOLARS!

You know when something just tugs at you, keeps you awake or just won’t let you relax. It’s something you know needs your attention, but you just can’t seem to get your arms around it. It’s one of those things that you know will make a big difference, but your creative side of your brain is just not up for the task. You think about it constantly and you are so anxious to cross it off your to do list.

When we created, we wanted to avoid called our customers, customers. We also didn’t want to call them clients or members. While we are called, we’re not really a school, not in the strictest sense. I mean we do provide education, but our content is designed to help accounting pros stay in touch with the latest and greatest technologies, techniques, software, apps, practice development and accounting practice marketing. So, we called you Students. It just seemed to fit, but I’VE NEVER LIKED IT!

So, this morning when I awoke after a 3 hour nap (long night of work), I was determined to solve this problem once in for all. I often talk about how you need to differentiate and how your brand must tell a story. It’s what I do in my other full time job at and in our IGNITE Sessions. I preach this to all of my clients there and when I know I need to “eat my own dog food,” it just gnaws at me and drives me mad. The word “student” was one of those times and for over a year I’ve been battling with changing it to something that was a better and more suitable fit for our paying customer.

Naturally, when one has this type of problem, help of others can make all the difference. So I posted it on ABBO, the most amazing discussion group in the world and certainly in the accounting industry! And the people spoke. Great ideas came from everywhere, fast. And then it happened. The word “SCHOLARS” appeared and my gut, my heart, my mind and my dog knew…this was it!


When you choose to enroll at, you are truly a scholar. You seek constant knowledge, community and growth. Sure, you’re a student, we all are, but that’s a hard pill to swallow after finally paying back your student loans and entering the real world as my father often warned me of. But “scholars” just fits, perfectly. It hit me instantly.

Gone are the days of someone asking “Is for college students? I don’t get it.” Gone to are the impression that our enrolled SCHOLARS are anything less than that, SCHOLARS! I mean seriously, our enrolled SCHOLARS rock. You know many of them. We hang out on ABBO and we do AMAZING things.

I want to personally thank all of you on ABBO that threw an idea into the hat. Thanks to Zechariah Kraines for the use of his favorite professor’s term. Thanks to her, Liliana Hickman Riggs, a true scholar. I’d also like to Mr. Herncane, my 10th grade government teacher who said to our class, “Class, you are my favorite class!” I’m sure he didn’t mean to say it to the other classes and I’m pretty sure I misheard him do so when I walked by his other class on my way to the bathroom from French 2. In any event, when I think of my education, he’s the first person that pops into mind.

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