It's the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere - the longest day of the year.
But for solo-preneurs like you and me, even the longest day can feel too short.
I don't mean to start this month's message on a negative note, but let’s face it. Business can be a grind.
We wear so many hats. Often, our to-do list becomes really LONG.
When this happens, it’s tempting to become task-masters with ourselves, disconnecting from our hearts so we can move full steam ahead.
When our business is reduced to grinding out the mechanics, we start losing hope it can be what we dreamed it could be.
And that can lead to stress and burnout.
But what if being productive didn’t have to involve disconnecting from our hearts?
Here's where a trusted guide can help.
A skilled guide, coach, or consultant will hold space so you can let go of the taskmaster and soften into possibility.
It’s like a caterpillar inside a cocoon. Part of its transformation involves turning into goo before becoming a butterfly.
Do you know this gooey feeling? You may mistake it for failure. But it's not failure at all - it's a necessary process of growth and change.
So I want you to know – it takes courage to surrender and let ourselves become goo.
As women, we're built to hold space for others. But It’s hard for us to allow someone to hold space for us. We often resist letting go of outcomes and surrendering to process. Our cultural role dictates that we become problem solvers, fixers, and pain-alleviators.
But when you allow someone to space for you, amazing things happen in your business - and life.
A truly transformative guide will help you construct a reliable cocoon, bear witness while you melt, and help you find your wings.
~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Looking for some structure you can soften into?
MY SPECIAL SUMMERTIME OFFER CONTINUES…
Good for one more month – If you'd like a professional opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of your website, I offer a website audit service where I dive in a take a close look at the content and structure of your site. Then we hop on a call and I give you 5 actionable steps you can take that will improve your traffic and conversions. Now through the end of July, I'm offering a special summer price - only $100 for the audit + call. Ready to get started and turn this around? Send me an email to email@example.com. I'd love to help!
Not sure what you need? CLICK HERE to visit my website and learn more about how I work.
This article was originally published on May 24, 2019.
If you've ever wondered what goes into conceptualizing, writing, and designing a new website that communicates your Big WHY in a compelling way, this post is for you.
While I guide my clients through a pre-determined sequence of assignments and writing prompts, I’ve discovered that no two website projects are alike. Yes, we cover the essentials:
This month, I wanted to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of the creative process of creating a new website with my client, Darci Hawxhurst.
Darci has an amazing story. She literally helped her daughter heal from the brain injury she sustained as an infant battling meningitis.
Darci – a young single mother at the time – took it upon herself to learn everything possible about her daughter’s condition and how to heal it holistically. And she succeeded. Her daughter Haylie is now in business school at Indiana University. If you want to read how she did this, it’s all here.
I had the pleasure of midwifing Darci through the creative process as she transformed her Word Press blog into a full-on website that highlights her story, expertise, and services.
Darci had been blogging her inspiring story for a few years, building a solid audience of followers.
She came to me with a desire to expand her blog into a business (which is what I LOVE to help women do!)
I coached her through the transition of telling her daughter’s story into telling her own story – and step front and center into her business and brand. It was all inside her – waiting to be shaped and shared.
It was a joy to witness Darci’s confidence grow as she named and worked through the resistance that often lurks at the gateway to each new phase of growth.
Here’s what Darci had to say about our work together, in her own words:
Thank you for your skilled midwifery of my website (and the new me and new life I am creating through it!) Your vision, listening, pushing when needed, as well as keeping it friendly, fun, and non-judgmental within a boundaried space made for a rich and rewarding transformative experience. I knew you were the right woman and partner for this work…you’ve proven my instincts so right. I’m delighted and excited and SO appreciative of all the visible and invisible ways you’ve worked on this. My heart is full of gratitude!
Check out Darci's new website here: www.darcihawxhurst.com.
And click here for more examples of websites I've midwived and created for my clients: www.kimevansstudio.com/website-storytelling.
A SPECIAL SUMMERTIME OFFER
If you'd like a professional opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of your website, I offer a website audit service where I dive in a take a close look at the content and structure of your site. Then we hop on a call and I give you 5 actionable steps you can take that will improve your traffic and conversions. Now through the end of July, I'm offering a special summer price - only $100 for the audit + call. Ready to get started and turn this around? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help!
Last month, I led a workshop for a group of fifteen entrepreneurial women called Marketing with Heart. We focused on drafting our business origin stories - the foundational root material that fuels our work and our message for the world. It was amazing!
We shared stories of the challenges our lives have handed us:
Losing a loved one…a car accident…the experience of being silenced as a woman – in our families and culture at large…feeling disconnected in a distracted world…losing touch with elders…witnessing the suffering of others… (to name a few)
We explored how these challenging circumstances became seeds for our mission in business. Every woman described a calling she felt to offer her experience as healing medicine to others.
To be in a room with fifteen women claiming their stories left me with one word: Powerful.
At the end of the workshop, several asked, What’s next? I've got my story, now what?
That’s what I’m writing about today. Because storytelling is great, but ultimately, you have a business to promote.
In my work, I see how the majority of women feel nervous about sharing their story publicly. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s scary to share personal details in a public forum. And in a culture that exploits women, this isn't entirely on us. And second, it’s daunting to figure out which details to share and how to “package” them for public consumption.
So what is the balance between holding back and oversharing – in a world that's becoming more and more voyeuristic and exploitative? And how do we choose which details are pertinent to our audience?
Enter the delicate intertwining of our story and message. Here is where we're called to courage and discernment.
How your story translates to brand messaging:
Our stories are personal. We get to decide what parts, if any, we want to put in the public sphere.
Our stories are tender. They belong close to our hearts. They tell of challenging, often painful events that occurred outside of our control. These are the stories we continue integrating and healing from.
Our stories are inspiring. For every challenging circumstance, there is a response. The story of how we responded is the piece that works well for public consumption.
Here are some questions to help you figure this out…
Remember this: Your business comes from you but it is also separate from you. It has an energy of its own. It’s worthwhile and important work to untangle your personal material while still letting your business be an expression of you.
This is where we RISE from the roots of our story.
Think about where your transformative life lesson overlaps with the learning your audience is seeking. This is the connection point. Here is where you can speak to them from the heart of your life’s experience – without bridging too far into your personal material - and YOU get to decide where this boundary is.
Here's an exercise to try.
Draw a Venn Diagram with two overlapping circles. Place your story in one circle. Place your client's aspirational story (what they’re seeking) in the other. In the overlapping portion, write your life lessons, and the outcomes your client is seeking that align with your offering. Not all of your client’s aspirations will align with the life lessons you have to share. But some will. And this is where your message lives - in the intersection.
To make this easier, I created a 2-page worksheet for you. On page 2, you'll see where I use my own story as an example. Click below to instantly download your free copy.
If you’d like to go deeper with this material to extract your life lessons and find the clear message in your story, I’d love to help.
I'm currently offering a 4-session coaching package where we get to the root of your brand message. And I'm thrilled to share that my clients are receiving fast and meaningful results.
For those of you who know me, I'm not the type of person that likes to brag. But these results are REAL, and I want you to know what's possible.
I do have openings coming up in April. Do get in touch if you're interested. CLICK HERE to set up a time to chat.
As we enter the Spring season, I’ll leave you with some beautiful words from one of the participants in my workshop:
“We create both from who we are and also what we also need to see manifested in the world.”
Who are YOU? And what do you need to see manifested in the world?
Until next time,
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping women write their truth and share their message. I offer
personalized coaching programs designed to help soulful entrepreneurs tap their inner wisdom, write the stories they need to tell, and build a business they love.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.