Archive for October, 2015

That One Thing Preventing Your Business From Growing (and it’s not what you think!)**

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Over the last couple years I’ve really struggled with an identity crisis as a small business owner.

When it comes to my client work and what I do for other people, I’m super confident, but I’ve been unable to do for myself what I do for other people. I doubt and second guess myself all the time, and I know that it hinders growth.

Part of my identity crisis has played out on this blog. In the past I tried to write in a cut and dried, business-y, authoritative voice using appropriate keywords and link bait titles such as 3 Ways to Improve Your Story.

But writing those posts made me feel fake and distant from my work, because when I talk to my clients, I don’t say things like, “HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR STORY: FIRST, throw out all the marketing advice you’ve ever heard! SECOND, listen to everything I say! THIRD, I always come up with a third thing, because titles with 3 things always get the clicks!”

Yet, that’s how EVERYBODY writes copy these days, and that’s how I was being advised to write in order to position myself as a “thought leader” (a buzz word I’d love to punch in the face).

At the same time, we were struggling to land the type of client that would let me write in a voice that was captivating to audiences in every other medium in which I write — relatable and conversational.

One day my friend and colleague knocked me over the head via our Slack channel and said, “QUIT OVERTHINKING IT. Just be who you are in all your content, and the right clients will follow” (my paraphrase).

So we relaunched the blog and I started writing like a person and not a robot.

And let’s be honest: this blog isn’t going to close any deals, anyway, so I might as well be myself and have fun with it.

** (see what I did there?)

Redefining Balance

A couple weeks ago was the Autumnal Equinox, and I happened to be at yoga that night when I had a DUH moment.

On the Equinox, daylight and darkness are nearly equal. The Universe doesn’t achieve balance for a season or a year or a lifetime — just on that one day.

Do you know what this means?!

Balance isn’t a lifestyle

Even the Universe can’t maintain balance for more that 24 hours, so why do we — and I’m speaking mostly to my fellow lady friends — why do we work so hard to live a life of balance? Wouldn’t it be healthier to find contentment in the lopsided reality of the world around us?

I personally have a hard time seeing beyond the chaos I’m in right now. It’s always going to be this way! I whine. But it’s not always going to be this way. Yes, maybe life is a little lopsided right now, but in just a little while the world will tilt into balance, and I’ll find relief until it tilts out of balance again.

It’s a rhythm I can count on when times are desperate and I need a little hope.

Balance is a signal of change, not an example of permanence.

When we hit the Equinox, we can’t hang on to those long, wandering days anymore. Fall brings back a natural rhythm to our lives, and we need to leave the carefree days behind us. But then, just as we’re despairing that Winter will never end, the Spring Equinox tilts us back into those carefree wandering days of summer again.

When I feel overwhelmed, it’s usually because I’m doing too much. And I’m trying to do too much because I want to hang on to everything. But the momentary balance of Equinox encourages me to let go of something for a season so I can embrace whatever the new season has for me.

And based on my experience, those things I let go of usually pop up again in a season yet to come.

The {New} New Year

I’ve always thought of Fall as the real New Year. My kids are back in school, my clients are back from their summer time off, and I start setting goals and routines into place for the coming season, both personally and professionally.

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This week I had to make a list of Things That Are Stressing Me Out Right Now. My brain was filled with worry and conflicting priorities, so I wrote it all down in hopes that the piece of paper would carry my worries away.

Unfortunately, my paper was not a magical problem solver, but at least I was able to see clearly that I was hanging on to too much and that maybe it’s time to make a change.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by All The Things, maybe it’s time to let go of the balance fantasy and embrace the tilt. Thoughts?

Pre-Production Process

One of my favorite parts of my job is realizing the initial storyboards into final deliverable assets.  Deciding on colors (based on style guides approved with the client), focal points, and all the little details is super fun.

Here’s a little example from some recent projects showing first the storyboard (sketched in photoshop, given some minor shading and coloring for depth), then the final assets (which are each on separate layers for the animator to work with).

-AI

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