How well do you know yourself? Do you cut yourself a lot of slack in the areas in which you need the most improvement? Because of the lasting effects of an earlier thought-provoking call with friend and client, Dena Harris, I'm replaying parts of the conversation in my mind. It was a high-paced, power-packed discussion which was supposed to be all about her but quickly expanded to include the personal vision I have for my own career's future. In exploring the direction in which her business is moving, and how that direction will drive our revision of her entire website, our discussion made room for a topic it's time to stop avoiding: in spite of my range of skills, my own website fails to deliver most of the professional messages I'd like it to convey.
My professional direction has taken a lot of wonky turns during the last year and a half. The joking part of me likes to say, "Seeing as how I made up my whole career and all." The serious side, however, realizes it's time to identify and organize this career of mine with more professionalism. Our talk led us through territory I've just started to ponder aggressively on my own. It's time to identify the steps needed to take what's often seemed a haphazard collection of creative projects and define the ways in which they actually are a part of a coherent body. But more than that, it's time to take action so as to successfully communicate my message to others.
"Branding" seems to be on the lips of half the people I talk to these days: branding for businesses, educational institutions, entire towns - including Greensboro where I live - and creative freelancers too! And why not? As rapidly as information and choices are thrown at us, we need to find effective ways to help our customers quickly recall who we are and what we're about.
With that in mind, Dena's turned me on to the book she's reading right now. A book about which she's very excited. (As was evidenced in her blog on Tuesday.) And so Why Johnny Can't Brand, by Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr. has now been added to my own gotta-have book list. Just her recommendation alone would have been enough, but the Amazon reviews reinforce her message that it could be just the tool I need to help me on my way.
You'll have the opportunity to read more in coming entries, about how I decide to go about addressing this freshly-identified project of mine.
Meanwhile I sign off with this thought circling my mind: "Step 1: Admit you have a problem."