OK…so was I reaching with that title?
It sounded a little artsy . . .
But based on my experiences both past and present, I feel like it’s quite accurate.
When you have to think through your brand, what it means to you, what it looks like, how you want others to perceive you versus what you are actually doing to shape the perceptions of others, where do you begin?
What I want to discuss is more behind the scenes…the mental preparedness you need to jump into this time and these resources if you so choose and truly embrace this planning with an “all in” attitude.
As a matter of fact, I have 5 suggestions will help motivate you into your brand strengthening transition and assist you in your process. But more of that later in the post.
Who Moved My Cheese?
So, if you are in the corporate world or have been at some point, you may have come across a little book called “Who Moved My Cheese.”
As a student at UT, I had to work and with little education (because I was in the process of getting it) my options were limited.
I found myself in some pretty interesting places and one place required us to read a book a month.
One month…it was “Who Moved My Cheese.” The point is…I remember it and it was all about transition.
Since discovering that brand identity and layout design were a passion of mine professionally, I have also discovered personal passions like my family. We will talk about those, but the point is that the transition of these passions affected my brand!
We will talk about those, but the point is that the transition of these passions affected my brand!
If you have ready other posts of mine then you will know that I say “brand” in the general sense, I’m not talking about brand identity specifically. I’m talking about everything that makes up your business.
I’m talking about everything that makes up your business.
Every single decision, every process you have set up, anytime you interact with your audience, or any social media you post is all your brand.
I never want to admit it, but you can tell when something stops working…stops propelling you forward…stops inspiring you and most of the time, you can look at the ebb and flow of your lifestyle and see a similar transition.
So What Does That Have to Do With Imitating Whatever?
I believe you can start to feel the change coming.
Maybe that work-life balance is off or your business feels halted.
Perhaps the needs at home seem to leave little space for your professional passions or vice versa. Believe it or not, these transitions can start affecting your brand without you even noticing.
If you are a blogger, maybe you start posting less often or your fact and grammar checks are more “flexible”.
If you are a creative, maybe you feel stunted or your portfolio is getting updated less and less frequently.
Or, at home, you may start counting more fast food wrappers than grocery bags or see a true rise in clutter terrorism.
That could be a bit dramatic, but you get the point.
For me, it has looked like this:
Very young, one young kid, just starting in business
Naive, in process, not really a brand, but more of just a look while learning as much as possible and figuring out where I fit in.
Little older, two young kids, understanding more about business, life and myself as a professional
Too trendy, much better looking than before but still learning that your brand is more than your logo, still lacking
Maturing, two preschoolers and a newborn, really stepping out on my own in a fresh way in business with a deeper understanding of the commitment
More corporate, more design driven, more attractive, more than I can actually maintain because the size of the brand outweighs where life is at for me personally. It was created beautifully but with little respect for the reality of my station in life.
Two school-age kids, two toddlers, one high-schooler, one college live-in, more skilled, more knowledgeable, more able to please the clients I serve
Tons of organizationa and automation, a greater sense of what my clients want and better preparedness, numberous automations to keep time freed up, personal, simple, clean, attractive
So What Do You Suggest?
Well, I have one or two (maybe five) hopefully helpful thoughts:
1) Accept the process!
I’m cool with knowing that something needs to change and not being 100% sure what it looks like yet.
When you are in a place where you can finally trust yourself to let go and give into the process, you will be surprised with what you come up with.
2) Seek out help.
If you could do it on your own, you would have.
Ask family and friends to experience what it is like to be your client, read your blog, receive your services and get their feedback. Or seek professional help. (I didn’t mean that in the way you may have taken it).
3) Be honest with yourself.
It’s not a race.
Being a good mom and wife are extremely important to me.
But let’s be honest . . .
if one needs to take a backseat, I know which one it would be!
The cool thing is that my brand can transition in such a way where it doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
I can become less corporate, less stiff, less big design firm and make time for this season while still creating a modern, professional look that screams “Work with me! I’m cool. I’m able. But I’m just me which allows me to serve you in the most awesome, flexible way possible that you can’t get with anyone else!”
4) Identify areas where you can splurge and where you should pull back.
Knowing your limitations is important. If you come to me with a vision, I will help you realize it in a really cool way, but that’s like step 4 for you in your business journey. If you come to me in step 1 where you are still figuring out your business or blog name and have no clue who you are as a professional, I don’t consult on those matters in an official capacity.
I’ll give you thoughts,
If you come to me with a vision, I will help you realize it in a really cool way, but that’s like step 4 for you in your business journey.
If you come to me in step 1 where you are still figuring out your business or blog name and have no clue who you are as a professional, I don’t consult on those matters in an official capacity. I’ll give you thoughts,
I’ll give you thoughts, opinions, and resources if you want them, but we won’t be developing a business plan together. It’s just not what I do!
It’s just not what I do!
This was an example of my own awareness or where I can splurge in my business and where I should pull back.
This same idea can apply to business finances as well.
5) Utilize some fun tools to automate the other stuff.
“Other stuff” is anything that is not at the top of your list, but you recognize the importance of it.
For me, that’s social media.
Man it’s important!
But I know that I can’t always be available, so I got a really good phone, started using a service like Buffer (which I also love), and got organized with the content I wanted to send out ahead of time.
You Have Permission.
If you feel like it’s time for a change, explore it.
Maybe it is!
Allow your brand to reflect your life so you can get the best of both worlds and experience satisfaction both personally and professionally.
Take advantage of wherever you are in life and what it means to you. Set realistic expectations of yourself. It’s fun and freeing…seriously.