Last year, I started focusing my business on brand strategy and brand design. It was all part of my B-School experience and it felt like the right thing to do. And yet something was missing.
I quit my design job a couple of years back because I felt the urge to do good in the world. I wanted to help people live better, be as free as possible and escape the ridiculous "you get a job, do the 9 to 5 thing for 40 years or so, climb the ladder, retire and then do what you want".
And this was what was missing when I chose the direction of my business. At first, I couldn’t see how branding could do more than help you create pretty graphics for your blog (after all, this is what I've been doing for years as a "normal" graphic designer - pretty pictures). I wanted to do so much more for you than just teach you how to create a beautiful (but empty) package for your business.
So, I started actively looking for ways to make a difference. And soon enough I found them. Because...
No matter what you do, what industry you are in, your level of expertise, or how much money you make; you can always find a way to help your people.TWEET THIS
And most importantly, your business can always become a beacon of hope for your community. In a world where success is often connected with exploitation, integrity and compassion are two things that can set you apart and set you free. But that’s an excellent story for another time.
"How could my life get better from getting a new logo?" you might ask. Well, branding is so much more than just the design part you are probably so familiar with. It starts with your personal story and ends with the rules you live by. I call them the Seven Spells of Branding. They are your story, your community, your cause, your design, your offerings, your personality and your rules. By doing the work and intentionally setting up each of these aspects of your brand you, quite by accident, improve your life, too.
Today I'd like to share with you 3 ways branding your business can improve not just the state of your online empire but your life, too.
3 ways branding your business can improve your life
Have you ever felt stuck when trying to come up with original content for your blog? Have you ever struggled to deliver your best on a tight dead line? Have you ever felt lonely and forlorn as a one-girl-working-from-home-business-owner? How was your life quality then?
Have you stuffed your face with ice cream (or potato chips, if you’re a savory junkie like me) while watching Netflix (BBC Pride and Prejudice is my fix of choice, but I’ve heard Sex and the City or Gilmore Girls being great for the job, too)?
How was your life quality after you came back to the real world (and the real mess)? Yeah, I know. Same here. So, this is how the branding process can help your business and life:
CLARITY IS A RARE GEM
By spending time actively working on improving your business situation you'll be able to see the bigger picture. While going through the process of brand discovery you'll simultaneously get to know yourself better, you'll discover who you want to work with and be around, and what you want to spend your time on.
Clarity is so rare these days you might feel dizzy from all the fresh ideas that flood your mind. It’s like blood rushing to your head after a good run or a sweaty yoga class.
SIMPLE IS DURABLE, COMPLEX BREAKS EASILY
The other day my boyfriend had an article on his screen with the word KISS sprinkled around. Knowing my man, I suspected he wasn't reading about something cute and fluffy (an assumption supported by the fact that no cute cat, hedgehog, owl or squirrel pictures were in sight), so I asked him about it and I was promptly introduced to the "Keep it simple, stupid" design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960 (source).
The idea is obvious: everything that is complex breaks easily, everything that is simple is durable. By going through the branding process you have the chance to simplify and optimize your business strategy, processes and systems. By doing so you can simplify your life and get more time and mental space for other things you might want to do (like writing that book, learning Spanish (or Dutch!), or travelling with your family.)
YOUR THOUGHTS ARE YOUR REALITY
This is my favourite side effect of the branding process. Through the branding process you learn hot create the story of your brand with care and intention. You can use the same method to tell your personal story and to reinvent yourself. Your thoughts, the stories you are telling yourself every second of each day, create your reality (source). So, why not make yours a fairy tale? You can use the exploration phase of the branding process to tell an inspiring and even magical story about your life and your business.
And this is how the humble branding process can improve not just your business, but your life too. It can help you see your goals and accomplishments more clearly, it can help you make more time (the most precious thing in the world) for what's important to you by reducing the clutter, and finally, it can help you change your mindset and your reality by changing the story you've been telling yourself for years.
If you'd like to try, I've got a couple of tools in the Library to get you started:
If you already have your password, enter the library here.
Which one of these benefits do you need the most? On which one do you feel you need to focus on first? What is the first step you will take? Let me know.