“Branding is for products. Also, for cattle. People-even artists- aren’t products. You may make things, but you aren’t a thing. Resist the temptation to climb into a perfectly-crafted brand identity. Instead, practice claiming your whole self- your wild, weird, ever-changing, ever-learning, mistake-making, beautiful/ awful whole self, something so much more powerful and honest than a brand.”- Shauna Neiquist
Recently I can’t escape from the word “Authenticity”.
It’s like every blog, Instagram post, book, and talk show is talking about Authenticity. I've loved it. It’s a conversation that has been needing to be had for a long time! In many ways Authenticity signals a huge paradigm shift in our culture. Authenticity is definitely a step in the right direction!
HOWEVER, I’ve had this little thing in the back of mind that has rolled around like a pebble in my shoe for the last 6 months. This idea that...
When you spend any decent period of time around other people - like family, school, work, church, clubs etc - who you are leaves an impression on that group. The longer you are in that group, the deeper the impression that you leave. If you’ve been there for a long time and then suddenly, you’re not ... the people in that group sense your presence missing.
That impression is the idea of you that you leave other people with. It may not be who you are, it may not be who you think you are - and it’s likely to be slightly different for each person. When who you actually are is inconsistent with the impression you seek to leave (think cool instead of authentic) the people that click with your impression, as they are drawn to you, will reach a point on that journey where they feel the clash between real and the impression and check out.
If you want genuine relationships, it’s important to pursue a life where...
Where do you stand on the whole “Buy Cheap and Often” or “Buy Expensive and Rarely” debate?
Whether it’s a nice pair of shoes, a new jacket, or maybe even a first car, we approach our buying decisions somewhere along this spectrum. Perhaps we even range along this spectrum depending on the context (or financial pressure) in which we are making our purchasing decisions. When I was younger, I was quite happy with an “on the cheap” first car … but then again, that car didn’t last long. These days I just want a reliable vehicle that is going to survive my children – even though it costs more!
In some ways, I think that our placement along this range connects back to how valuable we see ourselves being. If we diminish our own value, we’re much less likely to spend the money on the more expensive, higher-quality item because we don’t see the value alignment. If you are feeling like...
We live in a society that wants us to fit into nice, neat categories. Categories make life simpler for controlling people. Set up a category, claim your adherents, throw stones at the other categories! Just look at the Mummy wars that rage online … Breast vs Bottle-fed, Organic vs leftover Maccas chips on the floor of the mini-van! Or, more broadly, Normal vs Weird, Left vs Right, Conservative vs Progressive, Male vs Female.
Life is so much “simpler” when you can manufacture an identity that is made up of a set of dogmatic ideas. Same vs Different. Us vs Them. As a society, we don’t know how (or whether) to deal with people until we’ve got them pegged into their categories. Once we do though, we very quickly (and permanently) write them off or accept them into the fold.
This is not how life is meant to be!
In our family, we’ve tried not to allow ourselves to be defined by these polarising...
What do you think is the most valuable part of your business???
Important, but probably not the most valuable.
How about your product?
What about your client base?
Still important but we’re not there yet.
Can you guess?
The very most important part of your business is …
If you are anything like me, this is probably a very uncomfortable idea. On one hand, we realise that we are the very core of our business, but on the other hand, there’s a whole life time of self-talk saying we’re not important. Perhaps we’ve picked up from others that they don’t think we’re important or we’ve bought into the cultural messages that tell us that we’re just not enough. Deep down, the idea that we are important is hard for many of us to swallow.
KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
One of the keys to business success is the relationship between us and those we wish to reach. As...
We need to talk….
Most people who know me would probably describe me as kind, gentle, a peacemaker. What some of you may or may not know is that I am a mother to 5 children ranging the ages between 7 to 16. If you asked my kids to describe me, they would probably not describe a picture of a tranquil mother, gently floating in flowy dresses and speaking in hushed tones. I love my kids and I want nothing but the very best for them. But I am firm. Rock solid. I believe in setting very high standards and equipping them to reach them. I can be a mama bear at times and will fiercely defend and protect… so all of this is to warn you that for the rest of this post I’m putting my mum voice on. Not because I’m criticising, but because I want you to reach for high standards, but I also want you to be equipped to reach them- and sometimes to do that we need a firm reminder…. You’ve been warned….
I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of...
Have you ever been a Bridesmaid at a wedding where the dress you had to wear was … not really your style? Or perhaps you were a Groomsman and the Groom loved pastel blue? Being the supportive friend you are, of course you spent the money and wore the outfit at the wedding. Since then, though, it’s probably been sitting in the back of the closet not seeing the light of day!
Imagine again though, that the dress (or suit) was perfect! It was exactly your style, fitted brilliantly and you loved wearing it. The likelihood is that you’d be looking for ways to be wearing it as often as possible!
Now imagine that you had an amazing branding shoot. You loved the experience, you loved the images and maybe even used them for some social media marketing or to give your website some extra zing. But … that was a year ago and you haven’t even thought about those images since. At Life As Art, we want you to get the most out of your imagery. Don’t...
I spend a lot of my life living in the day to day habits of life. I wake, shower, dress, get the kids ready for school, eat, take them to school, go to work, pick them up from school, cook dinner, put them to bed, collapse on the couch, sleep. Oh, and somewhere in there, build a meaningful relationship with my wife and manage the conflicting expectations of 6 other people and myself. To a large degree, these structural markers for each day are requirements rather than options. If I tried to skip any of these, someone is going to suffer … most likely me!
Habits (or perhaps you feel more comfortable calling them “Routines” or “Structures”) are an important trellis on which the vine of my life needs to hang. Vines that lay along the ground will likely grow, but if you want lots of grapes, the vine needs to be held off the ground (on a trellis). Vines on a trellis have greater access to sunlight and air and will be vastly more...
In our little home by the sea, we are packed to the rafters with people and personalities. Our house is filled with two crazy Love Birds, our five children, and all the beauty and chaos that brings. But also packed in tight in our not so little family is mental illness. It’s something that over the years I have tried to be transparent about, and secretly hoping that with that transparency it would become something I became more okay with. And most of the time I am alright with that.
This week, however, I’m not okay, and I’m finding it so hard to be okay with that too.
I’m shipwrecked. We had a severe, violent incident on Monday with our daughter. Windows were shattered. Holes were put into doors. Words raged. Other family members were injured. In the moment of crisis, I was there. I showed up and I handled it. I followed the instructions from all the years of advice and instructions given to us by different psychologist and specialist- to the letter. It was...