introducing, the youth cartel

i’m stoked about this announcement, even though it’s really not that big of a deal in the scope of things.

when i started on my post-ys journey, people asked me often if i was going to start a new organization. but it seemed silly — i’m just me. and if i’m speaking at an event or writing an article or consulting with a church, it seemed pretentious to say i was the CEO of marko industries, or whatever i would have come up with at the time.

but as i started expanding the list of things i’m doing these days, particularly as i added literary agenting and planning some of my own events, i started to feel i needed some kind of organizational name. it just sounded weird to say “this event is brought to you by marko” (i can see some church treasurer saying, “who?”). and as i expand the youth ministry coaching program this year, including the addition of a few more carefully selected coaches, i realized that this stuff i’m doing is more than me.

so i decided to come up with a name.

i got some help from a buddy who’s good at this kind of stuff, and we brainstormed down several paths. at one point i was thinking about something with “omega” in the name, because omega in greek literally means “big O” (as opposed to omnicron, which means “little o”). but everything i was coming up with sounded lame. my friend suggested that even if i was going to use the word omega, i needed some kind of modifier, like “the omega group” or something like that. i worked up a list of substitute words, and was considering “the omega syndicate” and “the omega cartel”; but again, decided they sounded lame. really, everything i am doing these days is about youth and youth ministry. so i chucked omega. i was thinking about going with “the youth syndicate” until i realized that the initials would be YS (which would have been a very unfortunate oversight to realize later!).

but i really dug the vibe of the other option. so, i am now “the youth cartel”. i’m not calling myself the ‘founder and CEO’ or anything that pretentious. not sure a title is even necessary. but i’m in the process of rebuilding my website under the banner of ‘the youth cartel’, and including the additional stuff i’ve added to what i’m offering.

i hope to have the website done in a month or so. but for now, here’s my new logo. i’m sure you can read all you want into the name and the little icon. i have my own set of three interpretations. but at the end of the day, it just felt right.

22 thoughts on “introducing, the youth cartel”

  1. Given the negative connotations that the word “cartel” has, I myself am not too thrilled with the name.

  2. It appears the key word in the definition is “combination”, so hopefully that fits your vision. Meaning #3 was my favorite: “a written agreement between belligerents, esp. for the exchange of prisoners.” I suppose Belligerent Youth was a redundant name.

  3. Apple dictionary denotes cartel as, “an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.” So there’s a negative definition and connotation. But… I’m guilty too. I coordinated an event called “March Mission Madness” for ten years. Some were uncomfortable with Madness. But Madness and Cartel are certainly “sticky” when it comes to marketing. Maybe you can redeem “cartel.”

    Now, regarding you’re now “going pro,” I affirm the concept as discussed in “The Ware of Art,” a great read!

  4. For those with the negative definitions, here’s a positive one from Dictionary.com: “a coalition of political or special-interest groups having a common cause.” Synonyms include “trust” and “syndicate.”

    And if we’re getting picky, let’s abandon the word “youth,” Teen 2.0-style, for the much more accurate “emerging adult.” ;)

  5. thanks, joel! yeah, a thesaurus would just say “cartel” is synonymous with “group”. :)

    but, hey, a little mysterious vibe is great with me.

  6. I’m in favor of the name, but had the same first impression as others. Let’s just consider it you redeeming “cartel” from all of its negative connotations.

  7. You can call it whatever you want… your next steps will define the name! Meanwhile, this step is important and worth celebration. Congratulations!!! I’m so excitied for you and the future. Awesome, baby!

  8. I love the name….edgy works for me.

    Now, with your permission, Marko (kissing the ring), I will begin to make my rounds to the youth groups in my community every wednesday night to take my cut of their offering. This will help fund some of the youth cartel’s future endeavors.

  9. Adam…..yes, but maybe even more important would be protection from church elders, church janitor and homeschool parents.

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