Happy Valentine's week!
In keeping with that theme, I have an important tip for you:
Your message is the HEART of your marketing. Don't put the cart before the horse and design your logo before you know your message and audience inside-out.
To learn more, click below to watch my FREE 5-minute training about "Message Before Brand." (I filmed it outdoors in the fall. Birds are chirping. This alone will give you a lift!)
Need a tip to help you connect to your message?
Start by fleshing out a challenge you've faced in your own life. Ask yourself how overcoming this challenge has shaped who you are today. Chances are, this is closely tied to the work you're doing in the world. And this, my friend, is the message you have to offer others.
Diving deep isn't easy. Introspection can be uncomfortable! But it's so worth the effort. Why? Because your message is MAGNETIC. And as women, we're often taught otherwise, so that's the pattern we need to break.
Is there a story inside of you waiting to be shared?
Can your life story inspire others?
My hunch is YES.
My work is helping others journey into their darkness and extract the light. Whether you're a speaker, teacher, coach whatever your business is...if your story can serve a higher purpose, I can assist you in constructing it in a way that is authentic and that delivers your powerful message.
If you need help, reach out to me. Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's connect. I'd love to be your guide!
Last weekend I spent time with a group of women in the woods studying wholeheartedness and the healer archetype (from The Four-Fold Way, by Angeles Arrien).
We examined the following quote by poet David Whyte:
“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest? The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”
Now that's a quote you can chew on, right?
It invites us to take a closer look when we're feeling exhausted and burnt out. It's an opportunity to ask ourselves, "am I really tired, or have I become disconnected from my creative passion?"
Of course, there are times when we're experiencing that bone-deep exhaustion so many women feel at the end of a long day – taking care of others, parenting our children, keeping our home, preparing meals, and maintaining a career – all in a culture where we’re paid less and expected to do more than our male counterparts.
Try telling a bone-deep exhausted woman she doesn’t need to rest; she just needs open her heart a little more. Um…no. Sometimes we just need to rest.
And then there are times when opening our hearts can tap us into a deeper wellspring of energy.
For entrepreneurs, here's a way to open your heart that's quite effective:
Remember your WHY.
Please join me in congratulating my client, Kathy Mickel, on her new website!
Kathy's WHY is to help others rediscover their direction and meaning in life. Her story describes how she found her own direction and the courage to leave the corporate bubble to start her own yoga coaching and retreat practice.
LIFE (AND BIZ) IS A JOURNEY. SHARE YOURS!
By the time you read this blog, I’ll be on the road. I’m in the final stages of packing now, hiking boots and all.
My destination? The Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, NC – one of my favorite places! I’m heading down to host my first Big Magic retreat at my friend Suzanne Armstrong’s studio. I’m so grateful and excited that this day is almost here.
Of course my fears have popped up, telling me, "you'll be boring," "who do you think you are?" "this is too much for you to handle."
And I know how to address those fears. That's what I teach my clients to do, and yes, I need to apply those lessons to myself too, because I'm human. We all get to give ourselves permission to be human.
So, I’m looking forward to a day of fun, play, and going deep to uncover the truths of our lives – and working through those things that block us from fully living these truths. My favorite material!
We’ll be exploring Elizabeth Gilbert’s themes from her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity. These are key ingredients for living a creative life.
What does that mean, to live a creative life?
To me, it means, feeling free to fully express myself.
It means embracing imperfection and sharing who I am, flaws and all.
It involves an understanding and acceptance of PROCESS, not just product.
In my work, I help my clients apply these principles to their marketing. Women shouldn’t feel pressured to lock their truth in a closet in order to market their business.
In fact, here’s a little-known secret:
truth-telling is a smart marketing strategy.
We get to be ourselves! What a relief! We don’t have to construct a false persona to hide behind. We get to share our stories, the stories that demonstrate our passion and life journeys that brought us to the work we do.
And THIS is the stuff that draws clients and customers to us.
Because our life journeys aren’t easy. They contain detours, U-turns, and road blocks. And we find ways to get through them. And these details demonstrate our resolve, our resilience, and our creative fire.
For example, here’s my truth right now: running my business was stressing me out more than was acceptable to me. The lack of consistent income was eroding my confidence. So I got a part-time job doing marketing communications for a local non-profit. And I’m feeling a weight lifted off my shoulders.
It’s okay to do what you need to do to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
You may hear business coaches out there telling you that getting a job to support yourself as you grow your business is a cop-out. You’re either all-in, or you’re out. But I’d like to present a counterpoint to that argument. Sometimes getting a side job helps you be all-in. It gives you a chance to come up for air. It gives you a foothold as you climb the mountain.
As women, we carry so much on our shoulders. We don’t need to be shaming each other for doing what we need to take care of ourselves.
Creating a business, like creating a work of art, is a PROCESS.
In Big Magic, Gilbert makes the point that we shouldn’t demand that our art support us financially. And I would argue that applies to entrepreneurship too. When we’re growing our businesses, we shouldn’t demand that they support us financially right off the bat. We often need to give ourselves time to figure it out. We need to give ourselves breathing room so we can –dare I say – ENJOY the journey.
It’s a bold step to start – and run – your own business. Whether you’ve been in corporate for awhile and you can’t stand it anymore, or you’re ready to take your venture to the next level, please, please take good care of yourself. Get the support you deserve.
And don’t worry – my part-time job still leaves me PLENTY of room to continue serving my clients. So if you’re thinking about taking your next step and your want your marketing to reflect who you truly are, let’s talk.
If you'd like, you can follow my hiking (and biz) adventures on my Instagram page! Just click below to check it out.
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Do you know a creative woman entrepreneur who would enjoy this blog? You have my full permission to share it with her!
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.