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BRANDING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Your Brand and Your Cycle

Let me start by saying that this is not AT ALL my area of expertise (just yet :) ). But I feel deeply called to raise awareness on the topic. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet!

Mapping our menstrual cycles can give us incredible insights into when to do what, for the greatest results in our business. I really wish I had discovered this in my twenties, I would have had a much smoother ride. The first time I saw this in action was when a dear friend shared with me that her business’ schedule for workshops and events all aligned to her cycle. She was fully aware of her expected fluctuations and made the best of them.

Let me start by saying that this is not AT ALL my area of expertise (just yet 🙂 ). But I feel deeply called to raise awareness on the topic. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet!

Mapping our menstrual cycles can give us incredible insights into when to do what, for the greatest results in our business. I really wish I had discovered this in my twenties, I would have had a much smoother ride. The first time I saw this in action was when a dear friend shared with me that her business’ schedule for workshops and events all aligned to her cycle. She was fully aware of her expected fluctuations and made the best of them.

WOW.

So, for the total beginner.

The female’s body is intelligent beyond imagination. We cycle and shift, roughly 4 times a month, calling within us different rhythms in our mind, body, emotions, and heart. Culturally, that has meant lots of complaining and resistance because we can’t seem to ‘perform’ in a sustainable way. Attempting to emulate men, we’ve done everything possible to just push through and continue the hassle, even if the wisdom within us is begging us to slow down.

Every one of those rhythms and cycles presents great opportunities for enriching our Brand. Learning about them and using their gifts can leverage our businesses in powerful ways.

Accessing that wisdom, those different qualities within us IS our superpower. That is where we can find strength.

So here go a few ideas of what to do when:

(We all fluctuate differently so this is just a brainstorm for you to translate into your world)!

Reflective Phase (day 1-6, menstrual period)

Lower energy, less focus and no desire to socialise can be common. We can access deep wisdom and knowledge here.

Great for:

Dynamic phase (day 7-13)

With an active mind and body, our left brain is ready to get stuff done.

Great for:

Expressive Phase (day 14-20)

Our energy starts shifting, still outward driven but a bit more emotionally aware.

Great for:

Creative phase (day 21-28)

Pre-menstrual phase and undoubtedly, the most difficult for many. This is where Brand building can get tough. The mind can become unusually self-critical, yet we have access to great creativity and lateral thinking too. This is the time where the excessive comparing with others tends to appear for me, and I restrict my social media browsing BIG TIME.

Great for:

Ok, so that was longer than expected – but hopefully fun!

A few resources I like on this topic are:

BOOKS

COURSES

Now, I would really love to hear from you. Do you use this? Do you align your Brand efforts and cycle in any way?

With love,

Cris

You hear me talk a lot about building a Strong Brand but in the context of small business, what does it really mean?

Before I begin, let me tell you that in my experience, building a Brand that matters, takes time. That’s why comparing ourselves to others AND starting now, matter so much.

So here we go, a few thoughts on this one...

You hear me talk a lot about building a Strong Brand but in the context of small business, what does it really mean?

Before I begin, let me tell you that in my experience, building a Brand that matters, takes time. That’s why comparing ourselves to others AND starting now, matter so much.

So here we go, a few thoughts on this one…

A strong Brand has a strong why

Trends come and go but Brands that know what they do well and why, those that understand who they serve, in a deep way, really stay strong through the passing of time.

Connection

A strong Brand spends extra time understanding and connecting with customers. The people they serve, go first. A mindset of improvement and serving customers deeply, build strong Brands.

Consistency

Showing up often, maintaining coherence in your language and what you stand for, allows for a clear message that builds a strong Brand.

A Solid Identity

Having a clear identity across all your platforms and communication material makes it much easier for your customers to find you and understand what you are about.

A Spirited Leader

The Brands I’ve seen go from a spark of inspiration to solid entities attracting raving fans had a great captain behind them. A leader so committed to asking more, starting again, apologising, really going the extra mile.

From the inside-out

Brands are shaped from the inside, even if you are a one-man band. Aligning you and your team to what you are about, and why it matters, creates solid Brands. Internal alignment makes for clear and powerful messaging and delivery of products and services.

Commitment to Creativity

Not settling. Always asking questions, considering what else can be done. Looking at it from a different angle and considering every little detail build strong Brands.

Nailing the Experience

Every step matters. Considering the before, during and after in the interaction with customers builds solid Brands and provides invaluable trust!

That’s it!

If you need help building one, I’m here! Just drop me a line!

With Love,

Cris

Hi there, today I wanted to chat about possibly the most common block I encounter with my clients. Well, the second most common. (the first one is fear :) ).

Writing.

That time when you have to write your website’s content, create an E-book, or simply create some content for your social media accounts.

Hi there, today I wanted to chat about possibly the most common block I encounter with my clients. Well, the second most common. (the first one is fear 🙂 ).

Writing.

That time when you have to write your website’s content, create an E-book, or simply create some content for your social media accounts.

I’m not joking when I say I’ve had clients investing (let’s not say, wasting), many, many months staring at a blank page pondering on how to make a story of their ‘why’, their gifts, and what they can offer.

I must confess initially I found it really annoying. Back in the day when I was designing websites, content would be the thing that would stop a project right in its tracks. I would send kind messages to my clients again and again, and nothing would come back.

After seeing the pattern way too many times, I knew something else was going on.

The commitment that comes with writing, showing up and saying ‘ hey, look at me, this is who I am, this is what I love doing’, requires incredible courage, especially at the beginning of your business journey.

Some of the things I hear from my clients are:

So why so much fear?

For hundreds of years, women’s survival depended on us staying nice, polite, quiet, and not rocking the boat too much. That lesson has been embedded in us deeply, so writing, speaking up and becoming visible, in a website, social media or any piece of writing, really can stir deep emotions.

Conquering the fear feels like a great feat. And because this is not commonly spoken about, with the feeling of being stuck, huge shame can arrive.

Your mind might say stuff like:

So, the purpose of today’s writing is to let you know that you being stuck is NORMAL, EXPECTED AND BEAUTIFUL.

Birthing your work and your visibility with words takes practice, bravery, and mountains of self-compassion.

So as usual, a few tips that I find really work:

GET HELP

The quickest way to get unstuck is to get help. Find a copywriter that ‘gets you’, give her your bullet points, your imperfect draft, your multiple options and ideas. All the messy ups and downs and get her to craft it all in one! Works a treat, I do it all the time! A brand strategist can also point you on the right track!

WORK ON THE FEAR

Multiple times I’ve sent my clients to see a kinesiologist or healer of some sort. The fear that stirs up can be so profound that sometimes, we need energetic clearing to move on. If this writing thing is really shaking you up, consider seeing someone, do some work on the fear and what it means to be seen and show up.

FOCUS ON WHO YOU CAME HERE TO SERVE

This one works a treat for me.

Becoming very clear about who you’ve come here to serve takes the attention from you and onto the work you are meant to be doing. It is your audience and all those that you can help, that urgently need to find you, so an imperfect website or blog post can be more than enough. It’s about them, not you. Getting unstuck gets your work into the world much faster!

IMPERFECTLY PERFECT

Getting used to the idea that it will never be fully finished. That imperfect is better than not done. That you’ll get many chances to iterate later down the track can be absolutely liberating.

I’m launching my new site soon, and let me tell you, it’s highly imperfect from a copywriting perspective. BUT for now, it’s good enough. My clients will forgive me, I will finally move on!

So here’s to words flowing, imperfect sites going live and our hearts lifting the burden of fear from showing up!

Would love to know any tips or rituals you have for writing and showing up!

With love,

Cris

This one has been brewing in me for a while.

If you are my client or student, yup, you’ve heard me talk about this.

Understanding the ghosts in our heads can be one of the most profound pieces of work we can do to propel us where we want to be.

Ready?

This is how it goes.

This one has been brewing in me for a while.

If you are my client or student, yup, you’ve heard me talk about this.

Understanding the ghosts in our heads can be one of the most profound pieces of work we can do to propel us where we want to be.

Ready?

This is how it goes.

Two years ago I had this sudden clarity come over me. The time had come to close the design division of my business and focus on mentoring and empowering women to launch and establish their Brands, and get their powerful work into the world.

The clarity came with a sense of urgency too.

I was meant to do it right there and then.

The idea of the think.feel.Brand mastermind came up quickly, and with that, a very close encounter with the Ghosts in My Head.

Till then, my identity was as a designer. Even socially – I have talented friends, like REALLY TALENTED, working in the creative industries with prestigious work, all over the world. I had been published in multiple design books. Design is what I had done for almost 20 years – that was my world!

To step out of it and enter public conversations about inner growth AND Branding, brought with it David and Goliath-sized internal battles.

And because I’ve told this story many times, I know that some of you will really get me on this one.

I was suddenly filled with this gigantic fear. What will my cool design friends think of me?, What am I, Tony Robbins or what?, Who do I think I am to have a voice in the conversation about Inner Transformation?.

Creating anything and everything for the mastermind was painful but important. The voices of the ‘cool friends’ in my head would also disturb me so many times.

Then suddenly I stopped and had an imaginary conversation that changed it all and got me on track!

I imagined we were all in our late eighties, me and my elderly ‘cool friends’. I looked at them and said something like:

Hi there, I stayed stuck, ‘cool’ and ‘designery” for you all. My heart is broken, my work wasn’t done, but I did it for you all. Will you please finance the rest of my life and heal my inner pain NOW?

What came next is awesome.

In my imaginary conversation, they looked and me and laughed.

They said, Cris, we NEVER asked you to do any of that. It was all in your head.

Oh gosh… what a feeling…

You know what also came with that encounter?

The realisation that I didn’t come here to serve them.

And when I got on with my Mastermind and all the work that has come after. When I saw client after client do profound work AND get unstuck, when I started seeing the caliber of the work I was doing, the confidence in my calling became more solid and clear.

I barely see those ghosts show up in me anymore,

And I’m clear that I’ve got important work to do.

I no longer shrink to them internally to fit, to belong.

But I see them in most of my clients.

ALL.

THE.

TIME.

Women shrinking for their peers, partners, high school friends, parents, siblings., you name it!

Literally playing small, fitting in and not shaking the boat, because the fear is just too loud.

I work with them by focusing on their gift, the one that no one else on this planet has, and also their people, their tribe. Who they have come to help and lead again and again!

Clarifying those 2 can be a truly powerful antidote for clearing those ghosts in your head. But as with everything, sometimes big work can take time.

Now tell me, does this resonate with you at all?

Do you know what I’m talking about?

Have you identified those voices in you at all?

With love,

Cris

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

When we hurt we wish to hear that we are right. That we didn’t do anything wrong and that it was them, how dare they not read our mind and know that things simply work in a particular way?

But what I find is that all those mishaps, those disconnections in the journey of experiencing your brand are brilliant thermometers for knowing where the fine tuning needs to happen.

So generally, after we shake the ego and the pain, we sit down and brainstorm the gift.

If someone didn’t understand your return policy, maybe it’s time to re-write it again from a different perspective. Client’s are asking ‘silly questions’ about your product? Then let’s think creatively of new ways to explain it. Maybe a video or a how-to brochure could do a better job.

Years ago when Wallnut was still in full design branding mode, I accumulated a set of big mishaps within just a couple of months. They were painful, expensive and heartbreaking.

Luckily, back then I had a brilliant business coach who got me to implement boundaries and systems for each of the issues that I experienced and let me tell you, none of them ever happened again.

I had to add new bits to my contracts, I had to finesse my client onboarding process and I had to get better at saying no and spotting my ideal client. So in hindsight, all those painful mishaps were nothing but beautiful gifts helping me shape my business into one that runs more smoothly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, feels respectful of me, my vision and what I’m about.

So I ask you today, what are the gifts you are being given by your customers? And what are you doing to make them count? In your processes, your systems, your offerings?

Would love to hear if you have any stories like this!

With love,

Cris

Let me tell it straight.

I FEEL IT ALL.

The sadness, the injustice, the deep love, and happiness. The subtle, the loud and strong.

The whole lot.

As a kid, it looked like lots of tummy aches, a sense of fragility and the constant perceived feedback that I was just ‘too complicated’ for the world.

During my teens and early twenties it turned into friends saying I was ‘too deep’, ‘ I thought too much’ or just the general feeling that the world would overwhelm me a lot. Boyfriend breakups felt like death and happy moments felt like blissful Nirvana!



Let me tell it straight.

I FEEL IT ALL.

The sadness, the injustice, the deep love, and happiness. The subtle, the loud and strong.

The whole lot.

As a kid, it looked like lots of tummy aches, a sense of fragility and the constant perceived feedback that I was just ‘too complicated’ for the world.

During my teens and early twenties it turned into friends saying I was ‘too deep’, ‘ I thought too much’ or just the general feeling that the world would overwhelm me a lot. Boyfriend breakups felt like death and happy moments felt like blissful Nirvana!

Luckily, I believe nature is designed to heal itself. So in my mid-thirties during my studies at Business School, I stumbled upon a brilliant career coach. In one of our sessions, she asked if I had ever been tested for being ‘Highly Sensitive’. I went, what?? Is that a thing?.

Till then, I had held my high sensitivity with absolute shame. It was a thing to work on, to overcome, to apologise for.

Turns out Highly Sensitive is more than a thing.

Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS), the trait’s scientific term, is more generally referred to as HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).

Brain imaging and genetic testing among many other studies have confirmed that roughly 15% to 20% of humans have a high sensitivity to stimuli. Anything that enters the senses is perceived and processed in a deeper way; therefore, the nervous system can be easily overstimulated and aroused. These individuals, not only receive data from the outside world at higher volumes, but they are also highly aware of data coming from inside their body (and their mind) at higher rates too.

In fact, biologists have found the same trait in over 100 species.

Some call us ‘the canaries in the Coal Mine’. Others use terms like ‘Empath’ to describe the same phenomena. The world of energetics has many more ways of describing it.

Kelly Brogan, one of my ultimate heroes and an incredible leader in the world of female mental health, describes highly sensitives as the feelers, the thermometers that tell us when our food and water is poisoned, when our society is ill, when our surroundings are out of balance.

Over the past years, a big part of my inner work is accepting, loving and embracing my sensitivity. Seeing it as a superpower, rather than a curse. But like anything, to master something we have to study it. So I’ve had to go deep into observing my rhythms, my energetic pulse. In the process, I’ve been blessed to attract incredible teachers and mentors that have helped me understand and walk this path with more grace.

As part of my work, I have decided to also raise the profile of HSP. Share it, wear it vulnerably and talk about it. My heart is also with parents raising HSP who can greatly benefit in understanding it even more!

Being Highly Sensitive makes me great at my work. I pick up on stuff that clients might be thinking but not saying. I consider subtleties that can impact brand building in a big way, I feel colour and sense images in ways that has helped me craft beautiful stuff.

Not surprisingly, many of my clients are Highly Sensitive too.

And let me tell you, Brand building with High Sensitivity can be quite an intense path, so I have decided to share what I would call a ‘Survival Guide’: the things that I see help me and my clients to sustain us, protect us and nourish us on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

HSP Brand Building Survival guide:

BOOKS

The Highly Sensitive Person

The Highly Sensitive Child (highly recommended even if you don’t have kids. It’s helped me reparent myself in multiple ways).

Energetic Boundaries

MOVIE

Sensitive, the Untold Story

WORKSHOPS

More and more work is being offered on this topic. If you are in Perth, the wonderful ladies from Be Alive Physiotherapy are offering some great workshops on this topic.

PRACTICES

Low social media. I would say this is one of the biggest ones. We perceive more and get stimulated much more, so having strict boundaries around social media can be instrumental in working on our wellbeing.

Meditation or Mindfulness of some kind. I know that if I had taken a more serious meditation practice earlier on, the world would have taken less of a toll my mind and nervous system. For HSP, I believe this is a daily non-negotiable.

Nature. The ultimate healer. If you have big work to do, a launch, a website, make sure you schedule a regular visit to nature or a walk at the park. It really is excellent for balancing the whole body!

Essential Oils. Both in a diffuser and applied topically, I find certain oils incredibly grounding, especially when I have a lot of movement around me. Vetiver, Cedarwood, Geranium and Clary Sage are some of my favourites for creating a bubble of soothing calm around me.

Clean Food. Multiple studies have shown that highly sensitive ones experience toxins in food in a deeper way. Our bodies just scream louder. For this reason, as part of high performance, clean food is a must. Understanding inflammatory food, possible allergens and particular routines that work best for your mind and body are crucial for balancing this one out.

Connecting with other HSPs. This one is so important. My guilt and shame around the topic went right down when I started learning about HSP and meeting others. Discussing our common experiences and seeing how they also crafted a lifestyle that helps soothe and sustain them in the best way was so validating and important to me.

Boundaries. This is huge, especially if you are in your early twenties. Saying no to parties, alcohol, business opportunities, promotions, etc, can be really hard. No one but you understands better what you need to thrive. Crafting an environment where you access your gifts often and deplete yourself less is instrumental in the brand-building game.

Regular energetic tuning. Kinesiology, acupuncture, shamanic work, reiki, myofascial treatments, massage, etc. – All of those are instrumental in balancing the nervous system and energetic body in a powerful way.

General Business Practices

Talk to your team about HSP. Explain to them your gifts and challenges so that every time you need a rest or quiet time, you don’t experience shame or guilt in such a big way.

Structure your week with plenty of quiet, solo time. A bigger buffer between client’s sessions, a quiet night after a speaking event, a calm weekend after teaching a workshop are all great ways of staying well.

I believe the HSP can build a great business and brand, but words like ‘hustle’ ‘push through’ ‘grind’ might not be our best way to get there. Sometimes I have to re-adjust expectations about what I can and can’t achieve in a particular week, in order to keep the balance within me. Comparing with others, will just not go well.

Your workspace will impact you a great deal. Quiet, calming colours with soft music and oils might be the perfect soothers for your nervous system to balance and do good work.

Self Care will have to be seen as a business investment. You, the greatest asset, matter more than anything else, so scheduling massage sessions, yoga, or walks in nature as part of work will be a game changer for sure!

I would love to know if you are HSP and if you find any of the recommendations below useful!

With love,

Cris

A couple of weeks ago I was reminding my Mastermind participants to prepare their businesses for winter. A week later, my son got sick and as of writing this, I have spent more than a week with multiple wakes at night, some re-scheduling of priorities and in general feeling a bit rundown. Surrender has definitely been the word of the week!

When running a small business, Winter, as in sickness and little ones unwell and needing care, are factors that will surely impact how smoothly we run. The energy of Winter is also that of inward contemplation, our bodies require different things, and we tend to introspect much more.

Considering all this, I wanted to write a little message with some ideas on how to get your business ‘Winter Ready’:

A couple of weeks ago I was reminding my Mastermind participants to prepare their businesses for winter. A week later, my son got sick and as of writing this, I have spent more than a week with multiple wakes at night, some re-scheduling of priorities and in general feeling a bit rundown. Surrender has definitely been the word of the week!

When running a small business, Winter, as in sickness and little ones unwell and needing care, are factors that will surely impact how smoothly we run. The energy of Winter is also that of inward contemplation, our bodies require different things, and we tend to introspect much more.

Considering all this, I wanted to write a little message with some ideas on how to get your business ‘Winter Ready’:

IMMUNE BOOSTING TIME

Naturally, immunity is a big one. I always turn to my incredible health coach, client, and friend, Kate Barnes for ideas on this. Things like good quality supplements, making sure we are having fresh air and sun (a.k.a. Vitamin D) every day are some of the things she mentions to me a lot. I love her E-book on Immunity and highly recommend it, you can get it here.

VILLAGE BUILDING

Once again, checking on babysitters, extra support and carers for this season are some of the things I’ve been focusing on. This podcast from my dear client Julia Jones has so great ideas on ‘Buying your Village’ (yup, we are allowed to do that 🙂 ). Making sure you have a bit more support like an assistant or someone on call to cover you at your shop are all great ideas too!

BATCHING MORE

Assuming that I may have more time off-work that expected during this season, I’ve been focusing on batching more work when I have a chance. Writing a couple of blog posts at once. Scheduling a few more months of Instagram, paying a few things in advance and even cooking larger quantities of food like muffins, broths and meals are a few ideas on how to get ahead.

CONSIDERING WHAT’S ESSENTIAL

Having a good look at projects, pending stuff, commitments, engagements and really checking it to see if they still feel right is so important. Boundaries, saying no and letting go is my never-ending practice, but I did it recently with a couple of projects and the stress, and sense of pressure has definitely gone down!

RIDING THE FLOW OF THE SEASON

Winter naturally calls for inward attention. We slow down, we contemplate, we go deeper. I see this as a great chance to access great wisdom within us. So, why not consider drafting that project, e-course or book that you’ve been pondering? Maybe spend some time reflecting on your current offerings and what could stay or go? It could be even spending some time to reflect how your inner gifts are being reflected in what you do!

THINK CREATIVELY

If your business is particularly affected by the winter season, less traffic, seasonal products or events, fewer customers visiting the area, consider a business winter spin.

What else could you offer to complement your client’s needs and wants that they are not used to hearing from you at this time? What other service or platform could work well? What about collaborating with other businesses around this time to boost sales?

Challenge the belief that this is a low season for you and think creatively exploring what’s possible!

EXTRA SELF-CARE

I personally perform better in my work and at home when I have a bit of self-care in my system. After a week of little sleep, I’ve taken extra time to have a massage, treatments, sauna, meditation, and exercise. It has actually taken me years to see it this way, but now I REALLY know that I can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you need permission, this is it, schedule if you need, for the whole season, a few extra treatments, visits and time to fill your cup!

That’s all, hope it helps, let me know if you already do a few of these or if you find this helpful.

Let’s hope for a beautiful, cosy and insightful winter business season!

In my work, it's become common that I get to see women cry. They open up, they release, we chat, and yes, sometimes they cry. Occasionally I also get teared up.

...But the Mother’s tears… those are something else.

In my work, it’s become common that I get to see women cry. They open up, they release, we chat, and yes, sometimes they cry. Occasionally I also get teared up.

…But the Mother’s tears… those are something else.

When I have a woman in front of me, responding to the deep calling of her heart and her purpose whilst showing up as a mother. Geez, that’s another thing.

Those tears carry deep exhaustion, rage, and mountains of courage.

I believe they are tears passed down through generations of women wanting more. More than nappies, the never-ending meals, and the baby cuddles. They wanted time to explore their gifts, to test their powers and stand on their own feet, raise (use) their voices and make a contribution.

So when they look at me crying, telling me about their dreams and how pursuing their business and ideas feels not only exhausting but sometimes selfish and almost rebellious on their part; When they tell me how they carve time where there isn’t any, to dream and to envision what could be possible, I find nothing but absolute inspiration and awe.

So today, Mother’s day, I wanted to write and say to all my fellow mothers that read this, that I see you and your tears. I am there with you experiencing the pain and the barriers and the constant desire of giving up because it all seems too hard. But you know what? We can’t.

We can’t give up, because it is today and now that we have to dive deeper than ever into our inner fountain of life to find what it takes to rise up and shape this world into that beautiful thing we know it can be.

Fellow mothers, let’s hold hands and keep rising up, one tear, one courageous sprint at a time!

With Love,

Cris

In conversations around innovation, it is common to hear arguments around how much, or how little we should pay attention to feedback on our brand, ideas, products or services.

My take on it? Read the blog to find out.

In conversations around innovation, it is common to hear arguments around how much, or how little we should pay attention to feedback on our brand, ideas, products or services.

Some believe that thorough focus groups where you gather your ideal customers and show them all your ideas, product prototypes and get them to compare and test, is really important.

On the other side, we have those that believe the audience knows nothing about what they really want. It’s kind of the ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ type of thing.

My take on it?

I believe we should do a bit of both.

I see client’s missing crucial information about their customers that explains so much about why their business is going the way it is. This is why I love customer journey mapping for example. We get to walk in our customer’s shoes and wonder how their emotional world is impacting how they relate to us.

However, I have also seen brilliant ideas and projects collapse after asking for too much feedback. Client’s deflated after asking too many people for their opinion on their newest concept or brand name or even logo. Ideas that I feel, would have done quite well.

Entrepreneurship for me is chasing that wild calling coming from within. And no one has your story, your pain, your take on life. So it is that intricate combination that puts you in a great position to come up with something no one else has.

Many great ideas have come from just following that inner knowing about how something could be better. As Marty Neumeier (Brilliant Branding expert) says, ‘You can’t be a leader by following’

So to be practical, this is what I recommend:

  1. Dream and Stay Creative

    Open lots of space in your calendar for creativity. How could you package your services in a better way, how could you surprise your clients at the end of the session? What could we name our products to make them more attractive?

  2. Do Your Research

    Ideal customer interviews, surveys, market trend reports are all great to get some insight and understand your customer’s behaviour. Gather all that data with your left brain but then ask your gut to make the interpretation. What do you think is really going on? What do you FEEL they are all trying to say? What is your intuition saying?

  3. Understand your customer’s emotions deeply

    Become a master at understanding your customer’s deepest fears and deepest desires at every step of their journey with you. It’s what they feel and want (or don’t want) that holds MAJOR clues to innovate and develop something unique.

  4. Ground yourself and listen

    Hearing feedback about your ideas and offerings can be painful and confusing. After gathering data, open space for some grounding. Meditation, a walk in nature, even disconnecting from the whole thing for a couple of days can be great to allow you to access your inner intelligence about what feels right for you and your business.

  5. Stay true to your why

    It is your reason for being in business and building a brand. Your why will guide you in moments of decision making. Revisit your roots often and remind yourself why you started in the first place!

Would love to hear from you? Are you struggling to make decisions in your business? Have you ever become paralysed from having too much feedback?

All the best to you all!

Cris

Have you ever been told that you are too much of something or too little of something to get where you want to be? Have you ever believed it?

In business and in brand building, I think this is a conversation we need to have. Let me tell you a few stories…

Have you ever been told that you are too much of something or too little of something to get where you want to be?

Have you ever believed it?

In business and in brand building, I think this is a conversation we need to have.

Let me tell you a few stories…

I like to say I have an Indian heart. Since I can remember I was fascinated by the imaginary world that India represented for me. I would stare at my dad’s photos of his visits there. When I started design school, every opportunity for ‘pick your theme’ projects was focused on India. I loved the colour, the mystery, the textiles, the music… I just couldn’t get enough.

Understandably, going to India was pretty high on my list.

A dream in the making, by the stories, the people that had gone and come back, the books, the yoga classes…

Then one day, a dear friend said to me, he truly thought I could never make it there. He believed my body wasn’t strong enough, he thought my high sensitivity wouldn’t stand it.

My heart was crushed.

I didn’t question it, I didn’t give myself the benefit of the doubt, I just believed him and went down.

The joy and the illusion all lost momentum because of a single conversation in which I gave my power away. I gave my dreams away to a comment, a point of view. And I didn’t stand up for myself.

As life would have it, India came to me. Not only did I visit India. I lived and worked there. Met my heart family, met my husband and fell deeply in love with the place.

This story is good because it has a mix of both.

Destiny bringing what I feel was inevitable in my life (journeying to India) but also because I was able to beat the odds. With a mix of pride, a mix of “you think I can’t, well watch me” and a mix of fear of “what if my friend is right”.

Similar to India, a few years back I started Wallnut.

I was having good traction, good clients and great projects, then a job offer came along.

It required A LOT of me. Moving cities, changing occupations, starting again in many ways. But the person with the offering was inspiring and I thought it could be a great experience. After a bit of back and forth and listening to my heart, I declined the job and chose Wallnut instead.

I will never forget how the person who offered the job said to me something like…

“Do you know that most businesses close down after 2 years? Do you really think you are the one that is gonna beat the odds?” I think I said something like, “only time will tell”. (FYI that was more than 10 years back 🙂 ) But I’ll tell you. It shook me. It felt lonely and I felt silly. Who did I think I was after this?

I see this in brand building and women often.

A mix of them not having enough belief in their work. A mix of sceptics that surround them and a mix of giving their power away and not standing up for themselves (we all do it).

The thing with this is that the calling, the gold and the potential for the difference you came here to do, live inside your heart. No one really has the fire screaming from the inside as you do. No one aches as much as do you when you see the issues that you know you can contribute to solving. So as an older sister, or a wise woman, developing our ability to stand up, protect and roar for our dreams and desires, is a huge skill that I want to keep cultivating in myself and my clients.

Because the tragedy is that if life or destiny keeps insisting, well, things will work out. But at the end of the day, it is we who drive it. The desire, the dream, the achieving, the business. We are the ones who host it inside, who know it’s potential well.

So, even if no one will,

Will you stand up for your dreams?

For your gifts?

I deeply hope you do…

With love,

Cris