With a new season upon us, I’m in reflection mode.
This time of year always feels like the ideal point to take stock of my brand and consider where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. So today, I’m sharing three questions you can ask yourself to help you gently reflect on your business.
1. How far have you come this year?
Grab a pen and paper and write a list of 15 things you’ve accomplished since the start of the year. Your successes don’t need to be finished projects, product launches, or new services. They could be the ideas you’ve had, a change in attitude or a resetting of boundaries. Perhaps you’ve taken the brave step of letting something go or even saying no.
It would be easy for me to see the branding course I haven’t created, the storytelling workshop that hasn’t launched, and the community project that won’t come to life for some time. Heck, I could beat myself up about how long it took me to finish writing the content for this website. But I also acknowledge that everything has its season. And that knowing, in itself, is a win.
We often dwell on the negatives, the stuff we didn’t succeed at, the problems we’d like to solve, the things we’d like to create. But how about choosing to take in the broader picture? Sometimes, success can look like scrapping goals rather than setting more.
2. Can breakdowns make space for breakthroughs?
Every individual and business will experience failure. But, sometimes, we can gain insight from those challenges and look forward with the foresight to make meaningful changes.
The last two years have required a heavy dose of self-compassion as I navigated transitions in life with the rest of the world. In 2020 I had big goals for my digital studio, but I was working on projects that no longer fulfilled me, and I had so little time for the branding clients I truly wanted to work alongside. So I had to distance myself from one business, create the space to start another and begin the slow process of building something again.
Maybe you’ve failed at doing some of the things you set out to achieve, but what did this make room for that was perhaps more important? Look closely, and you might see your breakthroughs too.
…there’s so much to gain from getting to the heart of why your brand exists. It can be a powerful way of gaining clarity and figuring out why people choose you.
3. What steps can you take to reconnect with your story?
When I work on branding projects with clients, one of the things I like to focus on is their reason for doing what they do.
Sharing what you do and how you do it is vital. But there’s so much to gain from getting to the heart of why your brand exists. It can be a powerful way of gaining clarity, sharing your story and attracting the right audience.
Evaluating my purpose for being in business helped me unearth ideas and gave me the nudge I needed to launch my new branding studio. I had lost touch with the sense of fun my work used to bring me and had to ask: what’s driving me? With no clear vision and a set of cloudy values, I needed to find a way to connect with my creativity again.
What can you do to feel more aligned with what matters to you? How can you run the kind of business you want to run? Curious about diving into this more? Watch How great leaders inspire action, a TED talk by Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why. An oldie but a goodie, it might spark some creativity and help to realign you with your own story.
Sinek also recently filmed this short video for the TED audience: How to discover your “why” in difficult times, an honest reflection of his own experience of the pandemic where he reveals more about uncovering your “why” in life.
Wherever you are on your business journey, I hope this offers a moment to celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small.