You are a creative pixie, there’s no doubt about it. You have an extremely curious mind and a heart that has room for a thousand blue wales and more. So when I say you are most likely interested in 371 things at this very moment and you’d love to explore at least half of them, I’m being conservative in my estimate.
Let’s say you’ve decided to focus your business on being a copywriter full time. You got your one-woman-shop opened and off the ground, got your first clients, and all seemed right with the world for a time. And then an ache appeared, right next to your heart. It felt as if you’ve pulled a muscle and it made you restless. You started having the nagging feeling of something being incomplete — you were practically just like that puzzle of a beautiful German castle with a piece missing right in the middle of it, by one of the towers.
What you’re experiencing is what I call the “I want to do it all right now” syndrome. Every multipassionate gal on the planet who aspired to run her own business gets it at some point. And that’s OK.
It’s not because you don’t love what you do, you are crazy in love with copywriting and marketing! It’s because copywriter is not all you are. You are also a master writer of criminal stories for young adults, your love for vegan baking is unmatched, and you’ve been ridiculously addicted to Vinyasa yoga since the age of 19.
Looking back you’re wondering how you could possibly think you should focus your business on just one thing and forget about everything else - you have so much to share with the world and teach your people! The good news is you don’t have to stop doing the things you love. The not-so-bad-but-tricky news is that you need a good plan, a bucketful of patience and a truckload of trust in you yourself to do it all.
How to create one brand when you have many passions
So, we’ve agreed that you are multidimensional creature (most likely a pixie, or a unicorn, or a mermaid, or a fairy of some kind) with many interests and countless passions. You belong to a tribe of fired up, vibrant “Universal women” and you wouldn’t have it any other way. You are not programmed to do just one thing in life. In fact, nobody is. We are all polymaths, conditioned to specialize in just one thing by economy that needs fabric and office workers, not creators and healers.
And this is why to build a successful brand you need to “find your niche”, which basically means that at some point choosing to focus your efforts on just one thing is inevitable. So choose you must but there are ways to do that without cutting off your many pairs of wings. You can use them all, just not all at the same time at first. Here’s how:
Commit for one year to just one thing and get known for it
A couple of years ago I was listening to a talk by Sean of Seanswes and this is one of the major points he made. He focused on lettering at first and when he got his business of the ground, he slowly added videos, courses, podcasting, payed community and more and expanded his expertise to topics like freelancing and time management.
Start small. Start with one thing and put your best work out consistently week after week, day after day. When you gain momentum add your other passions, one by one, to your business until you’re practically a lifestyle brand. I've created a worksheet that will help choose where to start and what to add.
If you're part of the Creative Business Sisters already, cast your spell here.
You'll need patience, consistency and absolute trust in yourself – real tangible results won’t come as easy as the likes on an Instagram post, so keep at it and if you need encouragement, write to me, or join the Creative Business Sisters Facebook group.
“Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Not just at Hogwarts, here too. You are not alone, we are all in this together.
Create an umbrella brand
This is something I learned last summer while taking Instagram with Intentions by Hilary Rushford. If you can address the same audience with your two (or more) areas of expertise, go ahead and create an umbrella brand. Hilary does it amazingly well – she talks about Instagram marketing and gives advice on fashion and style. And if you think about it the two things go so well together, right?
There are more combinations like this, you just have to do your research and find yours. Calligraphy and web design are often combined to address the needs of brides to be. Cooking and nutrition advice combined with waste free living tips? Bring them on!
The easiest way to find your unique niche is to combine two (or more) of your passions and find the people who’d love to hear about both.
Create two sister brands
If combining your passions seems absolutely impossible and you have two distinctly different set of people that cannot possibly mix, you can create two sister brands. This means splitting your efforts in two, so your businesses will grow slower and you’ll need even more patience than if you were running just one operation. But your soul won’t cry tears of agony in the middle of the night, so it might be worth it.
You can create one focused brand and one umbrella brand for everything else and thus cover all your passions. It’s like having a business Instagram account and a personal one. Some people will follow you on both, some will be interested in you, other in your products alone. If you decide to have two sister brands, be very patient and divide your time wisely and strategically so you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Enjoy your hobbies
Do you really want to turn your mittens knitting obsession into a business? You know how much time and effort go into tasks totally unrelated to the actual creative process when you're running a one-woman-empire. Do you really want orders, expectations and deadlines to suck out the joy of blissfully knitting with a pot of tea, a sage scented candle a purring cat and an Charlotte Bronte audio book next to you?
Sometimes it’s good to just have things for yourself and not have the pressure of a business crush your love for them. Remember, nothing of what you do is wasted. Whether you decide to include it in your business or not, it makes you YOU and this helps your business stand out and your brand be truly remarkable.
Your life, your rules
Nothing is set in stone and nothing lasts forever. You determine how your business grows and what it features. It should adapt to your life, not your life to it. If you’ve traveled for an year and then decided to settle down, your business will change accordingly. Your focus will shift from “Where to get the best vegan dinner in Amsterdam” to “How to set up an office in your teeny-tiny one bedroom apartment”.
Have faith in your audience. The people who see you as the technicolored real human woman you are will follow you wherever you go. The people who are there for the free nicecream and macha late won’t, no matter what you do. So, don’t hesitate to shine and share bits and pieces of yourself.
Your unique cocktail of talents, interests, gifts and skills gives the thing you choose to pursue as your business a distinct flavor - or as I call it, your very special kind of magic. Your point of view can’t be copied by anyone and that makes all the difference.
Take action now!
As Marie Forleo says "Clarity comes from action, not thought". Download the worksheet, switch off the distractions (yes, that means your social media accounts), set your timer, and let’s do this!
If you're part of the Creative Business Sisters already, cast your spell here.
If you want to know more about the graphic in the worksheet, go ahead and read Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles.
What kind of brand do you have?
Focused, umbrella or sister brands? Let me know in the comments below and tell me how you chose it and how do you make it work for you?