Wisdom from ME (4 years ago!) - Branding Consultation for Creative Entrepreneuresses

I have a stack of business-related books about 2 miles high sitting in the corner of my bedroom.  I like to say I read them so you don't have to, but that's one geekish habit I would actually recommend.  I usually pick up at least 20 new ones every year, and sometimes I'll revisit the old ones to see what I can pull out of them through the newer eyes of my business changes and progression.  I'll make you a nice long list one of these days. 

So that's what I was doing last night.  (Going through books I've had for a while, I mean- not making lists.)  I opened one of my books from about 4 years ago, and some papers fell out.  I kind of always expect a Target list when that happens; I definitely did NOT expect being dropped with some knowledge I gained 4 years ago that I can feel has seeped into my business philosophy ever since.  And I'm going to be a bit more vulnerable than I'm usually comfortable with (it's kind of a goal of mine, really), and share it with you, too. 

Here's what it says (The elongated version with no misspelled words, so you don't have to read my messy stream-of-consciousness handwriting.) 

I need to do my business on a 'how I want my daughter to see me' level.  (To me) that's 'confident', 'successful', and 'an individual.'
That's not going to happen by looking at myself in the mirror with a scowl on my face!

(This business... or I could really say LIFE, is) not a competition.  Self confidence is about how you feel about yourself, not how you relate to others.  In comparing, you will always lose.  Heidi Klum would lose if she thought of herself with the same critical comparisons (about looks) I use in thinking about myself. 

(I want my daughter to) see me doing something for myself.

The things that help me be that person cannot be pushed back to 'one day' or 'in the future.'  They have to be done now, because 'one day' will never come.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

So that was fascinating... and kind of awesome!  It's definitely an insight into my totally human side with insecurities and moments of doubt.  I hope you can interact with me with that knowledge- in fact, I think it reaches to all women.   
But I also think I needed this reminder.  I hold a strong, personal belief that things drop into your lap when they need to if you're open to that happening.  Hopefully this blog post drops into your lap, too, just when you need it!

*Disclaimer- I don't know where these notes came from! It definitely was not from the book they were hidden inside.  My assumption is that they're a stream of consciousness based on what I was learning about myself and my business at the time. (They kind of read that way!) 

What I liked in February - Branding for the Creative Entrepreuress

Part of my job is keeping my ear to the ground on what's going on in the realm of branding, creative businesswomen, and just women in general.  But let's face it: even if I didn't think it was my job, I'm a researcher-type!  I run into a LOT of awesome stuff, so I think it's going to be really fun to share it with you! (Hopefully this can be a regular thing!)

This month I loved...

I've been following A Mighty Girl for quite a while on Facebook, as well as their website and blog, and I absolutely believe it is the best website/blog/information source of its kind out there.  If you're raising a Mighty Girl or if you ARE a Mighty Girl, this is a DON'T MISS! It's chock full of educational material- like the current 15 Women Scientists You Should Know, book lists divided by age ranges, toys, and even clothing- all celebrating exactly how mighty we girls can be! 
So follow them on Facebook, and check out their website!  Trust me, you'll find yourself there for a LONG time!

Marcus Lemonis is an entrepreneur.  He runs Camping World, a multi-BILLION dollar company, so what he says is worth listening to if you're a businessperson, anyway.  But in CNBC's show, The Profit, he goes into struggling businesses (sound familiar? Most of us are or have been there!) and, with an investment and a whole lot of advice, helps turn them into profitable leaders.  From candy to shoes to lipgloss, it's REALLY fascinating to watch him work! 
We spend a lot of time in our industries talking about industry-specific things and how to build our businesses in industry-specific ways.  So I think it's worth noting that this is a man who can build ANY business.
Trust me, there's a lot to learn here!
Find more info HERE and check your local listings to find The Profit on CNBC.  I've watched every one I could get my hands on On Demand.

Now this one is either going to blow your mind or you're going to decide (correctly) that I'm the biggest branding geek ever to live.  But trust me, if you don't see how this applies to your business, you just haven't been around me long enough! (It even made it into The Roaring Brand branding guidebook!)
It all started when Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth got their hands on an old NYC Graphics Standards Manual.  See, before there was Photoshop or Branding Boards or, well, BLOGS, there were Standards Manuals.  Large companies (like the NYC Transit Authority) paid designers and marketing geniuses to build their brands and put them into a concrete book form that anyone could understand and replicate.  
You can find out a LOT more about this at the Standards Manuals website, and even purchase your own copy!
But here's the quick take-away for this blog post: Branding has been around a LOT longer than Pinterest or Google Search.  The internet has made it REALLY easy to make quick changes at your every whim, and, in fact, you're told to! Keep your audience interested, they say!
But in the interest of preserving your sanity as a creative businesswoman AND creating a company that supports itself creatively (in other words, you're not re-creating the wheel every time you need to make a marketing piece or answer a tough email), you should consider the fact that the more concrete and stable your visuals, policies, and other branding parts are, the easier it will be the build and stick with a strong brand- and a strong business!
Standards Manuals for ALL!

The Wandering Scientist

The Wandering Scientist is, according to her short little bio, a scientist, techie, and mother of two little girls.  I came across her blog when a Facebook friend shared one of her posts, and I've since decided she's pretty awesome all-around. (A Mighty Girl would approve!)  But that particular post from back in December, titled They Have Always Misunderstood Our Heroines, is the one I want to share. 
In a short, succinct, yet poetic way, she puts into words EXACTLY how I feel about the way Disney (and many other writers and producers of action movies and heroes) get it wrong when it comes to girls and women.  Especially us readers. 

They misunderstand our heroines. They have always been kickass. We love Elizabeth Bennett not because she marries Mr. Darcy in the end, but because she had the courage to turn him down in the middle. We love Jane Eyre not because she marries Mr. Rochester at the end, but because she had the strength to leave him and stay true to her principles in the middle. We love Anne of Green Gables not because she finds true love at the end, but because she learns to love herself along the way.
— The Wandering Scientist

Check out the WHOLE POST HERE!

Hopefully you'll get something out of the awesome things I encountered last month!  I'll be on the look out this month for some more awesomeness to share.  And I'll leave you with a little bit of inspiration from one of the most inspirational women in history:

All images and words © 2016 Katie Bradford Osborne