How to cope with a branding identity crisis
Today I want to talk with you about the dreaded identity crisis. Because as a LadyBoss, I think it's something we all may be able to relate to (at least a little).
These last 4 months have been extremely crazy for me and my business. Just a few months ago, I quit my day job to get back to the hustle of building my own business.
Shortly after quitting my job, I enrolled in a couple intensive branding programs to help me strengthen my brand. Shortly after that, I enrolled in a 12 week intensive group business coaching program. Then a couple 1:1 business coaching sessions. Whew. (((Can you feel my head spinning!?!?)))
It was a lot of learning, a lot of work, a lot of time and a LOT of transformation (plus awesome mindset shifts and throwing limiting beliefs out the window!).
Now, only 4 months after quitting my job, I stand before you (metaphorically, of course) a completely new business.
In the midst of all of this change and transformation, I found myself a little (ok, a lot!) lost, smack-dab in the middle of an identity crisis. And that's scary. Especially as a brand revitalizer and designer!! I am supposed to help female entrepreneurs build strong brands, but here I am struggling to find the confidence and consistency of mine! Eekkk
Who am I? What exactly do I offer? How and why does it matter?
So you know the first thing I did? I hid. I got scared!!!
I mean, i still posted on social media and talked with people. I still completed 17 discovery calls in 14 days! (Wowza!). I still had great content to offer, and I still helped female entrepreneur friends find their brand personality, their voice and their identity!
But there I was, feeling scared to fully step into and commit to this new season of MY small business. So, instead of going with it, I posted fluffy and somewhat shallow things on social media. I felt like I wasn't worthy of sharing the branding "meat and potatoes" with you, because I didn't even have my own brand under control!! I was sinking into the dreaded "imposter syndrome" (more on that another day!).
Have you ever been there? Have you ever Feared the content you were offering just wasn't valuable enough? Like people wouldn't get your message the way you intended? Like they might stop following you because you didn't say something just right?
Girl, let me just tell you now, that's a HARD life to keep up with. I would suggest, that there's not enough strength in that entire body of yours to support the weight of the fear and self doubt that comes with that type of thinking.
It's time to kick it.
So, here are 8 tips to ditch identity crisis burnout!
1. Go back to the basics
Rewind, slow down, grab a cup of coffee, and process what's going on inside of you. You need know who you are and what you're business is all about, down to the very core.
Really think about the basics of your business and what your vision is for the future. What is your purpose? Why did you start your business in the first place? Who would you love to be reaching with your products or services? What is the number one message you want them to get from you? How do you want them to feel when working with you? Why do they need your business? What sets you apart from your competition?
(Guess what! My BRAND ID program helps you develop ALL of these things and more!)
Now ask yourself if you are on track with the answers of those questions. If not, refer to point 5. If the answer is yes, then way to go! You are well on your way to a solid brand foundation.
2. Practice self care
Sometimes a little R&R, a manicure/pedicure, a long walk, alone time at a coffee shop with a frothy, hot drink, or a nice long shower is all we need to give us that boost we need. Am I right??
When facing an identity crisis it's so important to get back to the basics of who we are and why we do what we do. A little self care can go a long way in helping us remember these things. I don't know about you, but nothing boosts my confidence like some quiet time and a mani + pedi. It's time to give yourself the boost you need, remember your purpose, and start filling your cup so you can get back to making more impact.
3. Setting your RAS (reticular activating system)
There’s this little thing called your reticular activating system (or RAS). Your RAS is a part of the mammalian brain located in the brain stem that helps control your consciousness. It is believed that you have around 2 million bits of sensory information attacking your sensory data system in any given moment. However, your brain is only aware of 5-9 bits of information at a moment because of your RAS! Isn’t that amazing?
Your RAS decides what pieces of sensory information is let through into your consciousness and what pieces are ignored. Your RAS filters out any bits of information that does not support your most prevalent thoughts and it responds to anything you deem important.
Here’s an example: “Let’s say you’ve started shopping for cars and decided that a Honda CR-V is the ideal make and model for you. Suddenly, you begin to notice dozens of them on the road every day. Prior to having the vision of owning one, you really didn’t notice just how popular of a vehicle they were. Your RAS is playing a filtering role and the Honda CRVs become front and center in your field of view.” (source)
You know what this means? What we consciously think about is also what our RAS works to bring to mind during the other moments of the day. Meaning, if you are thinking uplifting, encouraging and positive thoughts about yourself, your RAS will work to support those thoughts. If you are thinking negative thoughts, then your RAS will bring up negative thoughts as well.
Train your RAS to bring up encouraging thoughts by thinking uplifting thoughts about yourself! Come up with your I AM statement. (("I am an awesome brand designer helping female entrepreneurs make more impact every day in their business. I'm helping change the world, one client at a time.")) and repeat it to yourself every day!
4. Be consistent
When struggling with your business and brand identity, remind yourself that this is a journey. You wont have all the answers to your business right now, but you do have some answers. Give yourself the grace and freedom to move forward with those decisions. Remember, done is better than perfect. Pick a direction and go with it. Be consistent with it. If and when you decide to make a change in your business and brand, then make the change and be consistent with that. Whatever your plan is, just be consistent. Consistency is key with your brand identity.
5. Get help
If you are struggling with a business or brand identity crisis, it's OK to admit it to yourself and seek help! There are tons of experienced and awesome business/brand coaches, strategists, developers, etc., out there who would be willing to walk alongside you. (or of course, you can ask me!!!)
Think of it like navigating a new city all on your own without a road map. Of course you're exhausted!! We were made for community. It's ok to ask for help.
6. Give it up and give it over
The best thing I do for my business is to every day surrender my business. The best thing I do for myself personally is to seek wisdom and guidance from the Lord. In the giving it all up and giving it over, I find peace about where I am and where I am going. I can then embrace the identity crisis I'm in and allow Him to move me to the next season, knowing that His plans are perfect.
7. Embrace the journey
Like I said before, this whole thing is a journey. There is no one, simple answer to your brand story and I can't hand you all the perfect brand elements with a pretty bow around them. It's just not possible! This process takes digging deep into who you are, what you want to become, who you want to serve, and the impact you want to make on the world. It takes self-discovery and time.
I would love to help you on this journey and help guide you through it.
8. Join a community
This journey is full of joy, heartache, excitement and really, really hard times. You will be supported, you will be encouraged, and you will also be burned.
The good news is you don't have to walk this journey alone. If you need help with your business brand, I'd love to encourage, support and help you through the process.
If you want to join a community of supportive and uplifting female entrepreneurs walking this journey together, join us now (don't worry, it's completely free, because everyone deserves community).