Everyone wants to know what the key to branding is, as it’s foundational to our identity as creators.
“I walked alongside the wildflowers and remembered who I am.” ~ Susie deVille
I have begun to lay the brick for the next phase of my journey as an author, speaker, and entrepreneur coach. I’m being careful with the foundation, selecting a level site free from rocks, pits, and roots.
Eyeing hand-crafted blocks, smooth yet irregular, as well as machine-made elements with engineered edges offering consistent, sturdy, and reliable results.
I want to build something extraordinary, transformational, unforgettable.
I have tapped the shoulder of a world-class mason, in the form of a marketing powerhouse, who knows the proper cement, gravel, and sand ratios. A woman whose reputation for building author platforms and book launch runways is unparalleled.
When she wields her mixing trowel, she knows just where to slather on the piercing uniqueness of an author’s voice, ensuring the structure of promotion is held together with integrity, authenticity, and enduring strength.
Her engineering prowess, though, is only as strong as my weakest moment of self-doubt.
The Trance of Overthinking
Like a squirrel jumping from a tall branch high in a tulip poplar, becoming airborne, and landing onto one branch and then the next, the mind looks for footholds to stir worry. To give way to the old notions of imposter syndrome whose stanzas ring out with high notes of “I’m not enough.”
In the busy cyclone of doing this week, I let an extra-long To Do list crowd my discernment and pierce holes in a healthy regimen balanced with time in fresh air and quiet. I could feel the heat of forgetting my healthy pacing and losing my balance creep up the back of my neck and inject a molasses-like goo into my brain.
Once there, it was a very short trip to worry, scrutinizing ideas over and over, wondering if they are strong enough to carry the load of every creative truss.
It doesn’t take long to forget who we really are.
When I woke up from my trance of overthinking and narrow perspective, I remembered I needed to get to the woods. To walk it out, talk it out, in fresh air.
Movement as Meditation
Perhaps the most important lesson my journey over the last 15 years has taught me is that we need to exercise the musculature of our true nature every day in ways that are small and grand. For me, one way to do that that is a simple, solo walk in the woods, regardless of the season
When I get to the woods alone and feel the trail under my feet, I return to the questions that I should be asking to chart my course to the islands I seek. The movement is a meditation that works out the stiff and clumsy second-guessing that has settled upon me like a thin layer of pollen on a porch table.
We believe that marketing and branding are born in a cauldron of an expert’s wizardry. They are not. Rather, the key to branding and marketing successfully is directly linked to how clear we are, how sure we are in our work, and our confidence in articulating same.
Where We Get The Key to Branding Wrong
We get branding wrong when we try to create a memorable brand that doesn’t ring true with us or our market. When we fabricate rather than reveal.
How do we get down to the pillowy nature of who we really are? We subtract. We take away. We collapse into quiet. We stop doing. We allow. We stop forcing. We stop white-knuckling it. We let ourselves feel everything.
We walk alongside the wildflowers for an hour or two.
The minutes of no thought in solitude remind us there is nothing more we need to prove. Nothing left to justify. Our job is to listen, remember, and build according to the blueprint stamped from the part of us that has wanted to hear the sound of its own voice for our whole lives.