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    Brand Camp rebrand with Gimme That It

    It had been four years since I had changed anything major about the website.

    Four years without switching out logos, restructuring sidebars, or even doing a whole lot of copy-tweaking in the depths of the website.

    This wasn’t because I wasn’t thinking about changes, mining my own depths, or doing my best to keep my content current.

    I had conversations.

    One with Danielle Laporte two years ago.
    A few with Makeness Media and Illana, a year ago.
    I even made a whole new website with Michelle Cormack, A Girl Named Fred. And promptly didn’t launch it.

    Thousands and thousands of dollars spent.

    And still I didn’t pull the trigger.

    Timing…not right.
    Vision…not clear.

    The hardest part of any rebrand is the waiting.

    The waiting for all the pieces to come into clear-enough focus that you can make the jump.

    It’s not close to clear, it’s not even vaguely clear, until suddenly, WHAM!  I want it to feel intimate and magical all at once.  I want peeps to know they’re home.  I want to push away people who aren’t fully into this whole living-as-big-as-possible thing.  I’m okay if my list gets smaller.  I’m okay if I get hate mail for pushing too hard.  I want to turn people ON or OFF, all the way. 

    Let’s GO.

    And GO we did.

    Over the course of five days in sunny/snowy Calgary, Nikki, Shannon and I started from scratch. (To be clear: yes, that’s insane. Leave this to the professionals, folks.)

    New logo: check.
    Endless conversations about getting away with the word ‘Fuck yah’ 3 inches high in the header: check.
    New pink hair: check.
    Tenuous moments in which crying about newly-dyed hair seemed imminent and no one knew whether we’d make it out alive: check.
    New headshots created because only jumping on the bed could keep me from crying about said new hair: check.
    Lattes, late nights, endless conversations about minutiae: check.
    Conversations about hosting, templates, CSS, pop-ups, plug-ins, and other technological disasters: check, check, checkity check check.

    There were a few elements I knew I wanted: the handwritten, the spirit animals, the paintings I create for fun. (Because business is like a painting — layer after layer, no done point, no absolute right or wrong way to do it.)

    But the rest? I asked the Gimme That It crew to Alpha me.

    Tell me what, as former clients, you’d like to see.
    Tell me what’s interesting about me.
    Tell me what’s fascinating.
    Tell me what draws you in, tell me what pushes you away.
    Tell me what makes you smile.

    REALLY!?

    THAT works for you?
    THAT’S the reason you hired me?
    THAT’S my biggest gift?

    Those conversations about what people want of me versus what I want to give them — yes, I can respond to your e-mail — no, I can’t be your BFF — are worth their weight in gold. Because we business peeps don’t get to see ourselves from the outside. We never get to see the full glory of our gifts, or we’d all walk around with swelled egos and major superiority complexes.

    When it comes to starting new, there’s nothing more valuable than the voices telling you what’s so damn special about you, just as you are in this moment.

    I couldn’t have asked for better co-conspirators in the process of bringing my best, fullest, and most balls-to-the-wall self into the light. Thank you, Nikki and Shannon, from the bottom of my deeply-full and swear-y heart.

    Brand Camp rebrand with Gimme That It

    5 things I learned from 5 days of crazy-intense rebranding:

    1.) Speak in visuals.

    Describing a painting is in no way the same as showing someone the painting. Use Pinterest, Pinterest, and more Pinterest to communicate with your designer(s).

    2.) Go farther than you thought possible.

    NO ONE in a few groups that vaguely know me on Facebook thought the whole ‘Fuck Yah’ thing was a good idea — but the people who know me best were practically waving friggin pom-poms with excitement.

    Listen to the people who know you best. Ignore the rest.

    3.) Hang on to the non-negotiables for dear life.

    It took a full day to create the animals that now adorn the site as markers to take you to the worlds of marketing, money-making, mojo, magic, making meaning, and purpose. One full day of the five that I was present. But they were non-negotiable, and the whole site starts and ends with that animal medicine.

    4.) Work only when you’re ready.

    Not feeling it? Too tired, over it, or inspiration isn’t coming? Do something else. Dance to hip-hop. Hold a baby. Ignore the problem entirely. Even on a deadline, ‘pushing through’ leads to lame-ass results.  I got surprisingly large amounts of sleep whilst in Canada.

    5.) Allow for serendipity.

    The jumping-on-the-bed headshots only came about to stop myself from crying about my 2-hours-old haircut and color job. It started out a little gray-purple, like a 30-years-younger Paula Deen.  NOT GOOD.  Now those images lend life and exuberance to the whole freaking site.  Serendipity up the yingyang.

    Oh, and! I hear the Gimme That It ladies are headed to Mexico in June! Should you want to rebrand with the best of ‘em while wearing your bikini and rockin’ the business expensed vacation, reach out now.

    Image sources for Branding Board: Mixed bag // Painting is my own // Truthbomb by Danielle Laporte // Artist photo // Brass Sculpture // Minted print detail

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    I weigh 182 pounds (and other truths about working from home) // Brand Camp

    Let’s visit The Land of Brutal Honesty.

    It’s a dark place, but a necessary one. In the land of brutal honesty, we’ve got to talk about the voices in your head that say terrible things.

    Let’s hone in on my personal voice, since that’s the one most readily available to me at any given time.

    My personal voice says I’m too fat to do __________, where any activity that fills in the blank has nothing to do with the size of my things.

    Friend, here is actual dialogue heard coming from my brain in the past week:

    “You weigh 182 pounds, you think you can write that!?” (For sure, the number on the scale affects my ability to make sentences. Don’t you know people who weigh less than 100 pounds make the best sentences? You. Break. Sen. tences, Kris-ten?)

    “You’re so…fucking…fat. So fat. Soooooo fat.” (This one plays on loop when my brain is out of other ammo. Classy, eh?)

    “You’re broke, you know. I mean, I know you think you’ve got money in the bank, but if you got cancer and got into a car accident and then your friends all refused to loan you money or help you out, you’d be screwed.” (Because if I got into a cancer-car-accident, my BANK ACCOUNT would be my first concern.)

    “She’s really mad at you. She didn’t say she is, but SHE IS.” (Ah yes, thank you for the paranoia regarding that one friend who didn’t respond to a text message within a few hours. On Sunday. She couldn’t have been ignoring her phone — she must be plotting my imminent demise.)

    “You should be farther along by now. Look at her, she’s got hundreds of thousands of adoring fans…what’s the matter with you?” (Shame me for not making progress by delaying my progress with these thoughts. Classic brain manipulation at work.)

    Yah. My brain has a fucking lunatic voice inside it. Yours does, too.

    Your brain says simple things to start, like:

    “You’re not good enough.”
    “You’re too _______.”
    “That’ll never work.”

    And on and on and on, until you’re worried about cancer-car-accident scenarios instead of writing your blog post or meeting with that new client.

    Here’s the thing: you are good enough.

    If you don’t do the work, no one else will.

    No one else has the crazy-ass combination of talents, quirks, brain voices, challenges, and stories that live within you, so nobody else can do the work you do.

    Even if you bag groceries at the Acme or sell soap door to door. No one can do it like you. You can sit around freaking out about how much soap the lead guy on your team is moving every day, or you can get out there and beat him at his own game.

    You can keep freaking out because your thighs have cellulite, or you can ignore your thighs entirely while you do things like paint and sew and draw and raise babies and plan your next business move and go to a workshop to learn something about your empathic nature.

    Your crazy voices will never go away.  They’re what make you human.
    But you don’t have to listen to them.

    You can make progress despite the number on the scale, the number in your bank account, the number of followers you’ve got, or the number of clients on your calendar.

    The numbers don’t have the final say. You do.

    If you’re still reeling from the part where I said my weight out loud, on the internet — you probably want to hook up with my friend Sarah Jenks.

    Her Live More Weigh Less lifestyle challenge is on like Donkey Kong right now, and it will get you feeling better about your body and your day-to-day life with the help of a trusted expert. Join the challenge here.

    Challenges not your thing — but you wanna get your losing weight on, without meal plans and weighing foods and giving up all the carbs for all of time? I got you. Go get these videos, friend. Watch ‘em, love ‘em, and add Sarah to the short list of people who make your life better.

    Live More Weigh Less -- because Sarah Jenks is genius.

    As for those voices in your head?

    Ignore ‘em.  Change the tapes.
    And acknowledge that we’ve all got ‘em.
    Sadly, you’re no more crazy than the rest of us.

    Now get out there, stop waiting on the weight (as Sarah would say), and do your work.  I’ll be doing Live More Weigh Less with you, friend.

    ::mwah::

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    The Fine Art of Being Exactly Who You Are // Brand CampThere’s this thing that happens as you keep on keeping on in business.

    As the years go by — and without realizing it — you start to round your own corners. (It’s fine for running laps in gym class, not as great when it means editing yourself.)

    You soften your edges. You self-censor for the sake of applying all that business knowledge you’ve paid thousands of dollars to learn and in order to “spread your message” further.

    For the sake of reaching more people or “touching more lives,” you might even start to act ‘professional.’ (GASP. The horror!)

    Little by little, you also get to be more afraid. With more visibility comes more people, which means more criticism, which means you try to defend yourself by doing less and less controversial things. I’ve fielded hate mail for everything from hugging orphans to dropping f-bombs to charging for my programs (yes, charging any dollars at all), and I expect to get hate bombs in my inbox all day today. After all, the word “fuck” is now 3 inches high in my website header.

    Only.  Only I can’t tell you to turn people off in order to turn your people on without leading the charge.

    I can’t temper the enthusiasm that leads me to jump on the bed and dye my hair pink and weep and laugh and swear while loving this business I have without showing you exactly what that looks like.

    That’s why there’s an all new Brand Camp.

    I’ve divided six years’ worth of posts into marketing, mojo, magic, meaning-making, money-making, and purpose for your perusal. I’ve spiffed up the bookshop so that it’s all samples, all the time — like sneaking into the bookstore and reading the first chapter of a few books before you decide what to buy.

    I’ve added more swearing, yes, but I’ve also added more heart.

    I’ve poured every bit of myself into making this a home for you.

    Where do you go when things are tough or you feel lost or confused or like you just can’t see what’s next? When you don’t want to write another marketing piece because the last three flopped, or you’re afraid of the next move, or you’ve lost sight of why you’re different from everyone else and their brother on the internet? 



    Here. You come here.

    Take a deep breath.

    You’re free to be, free to go deeper, free to tell the absolute,
 abiding,
 painful, 
weird,
 messy,
 100% truthful truth.

    The truth about bringing your gifts to light.

    The truth about being in, growing, and maintaining a business.

    But not just any business: the one that moves you forward as a human being.

    One that brings your most amazing gifts
 (hint: the ones you usually give away for free)
to the surface so they can be valued and explored.

    Deepened.
    Shaped.
    Tweaked.
    Celebrated.

    I’m not interested in the next level, growth for growth’s sake, or shaming you for being where you are right now.

    I want to talk about the big things, the important things. (If you’re still here, you do, too.)

    Who are you?

    Why are you here?

    What are you meant to be doing?

    Where are you making meaning?

    Where can you continue to grow and to expand?

    How can you keep making meaning by using your gifts?

    Those are the questions I’d be happy to help you answer in person, on the phone, or for the long haul.

    Oh, and join the Fuck Yah Club!

    It’s all new — meaning today it starts from scratch with 0 peeps — and includes a copy of Go Your Own Way as well as a new masterclass every month! Our first class is Marketing Without Shame — join here.

    Here’s to new beginnings, friend —
    K

    P.S. I’ll be talking about the rebranding process with Gimme That It in a few — it’s way too good to try to squeeze in here.  If you wanna kick me out of sheer jealousy because the new digs are so spectacular, get on over and talk to Nikki and Shannon. They’re the bestest.

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    “I can’t do that…I’ve got a core group of people I serve, and they want to see new stuff from me,” she said, one month into motherhood and sleep deprived on a Thursday morning.

    I protested. “But…it’s not like what you write only applies to one day. Brilliant articles about the way minds work or why consumers do what they do aren’t only relevant on September 15, 2014!”

    She sighed. “Okay…okay.”

    Like many of us, she’s tempted to keep creating and creating, pushing and pushing without end.

    We’re all subjected to the absolute tyranny of The New.

    (Note the caps, people: this is serious. The New.)

    the fast track to business burnout // Brand Camp

    In social media terms, if it was created more than 30 minutes (or seconds) ago, it’s useless or worthless or irrelevant, unless it’s showing up in a retro-oriented Buzzfeed quiz or freaking ancient and on display at The Met.

    Only The New isn’t necessarily The Best. Relentlessly pushing ourselves to produce and produce and produce — without stopping to reflect and to curate, eliminating our weakest works — doesn’t serve anyone best.

    It keeps us grinding ourselves down, wearing away our shiniest bits until our messages are, collectively, muted.

    It’s okay to show us what you’ve already created. We’d love to see your very best work.

    Further, it’s okay to profit from the work you’ve already completed.

    If you created 14 paintings you’re proud of last year, scan ‘em and sell prints until you’re 89 years old.

    If you’ve created a catalog of travel photography or stock photography, organize it and let yourself profit from it until you freaking retire.

    It’s okay to keep talking about The Not-New.

    Sell last year’s books.
    Revive the “old” programs.
    Re-purpose the blog posts, articles, essays, or stories.
    Curate your collections.
    Hit the highlights one more time.

    We’d love to see your freshest stuff — but sometimes, we’d rather have your BEST work than your most recent.

    Let yourself have Greatest Hits. Rhythms you return to. Stylistic patterns that repeat.

    These are the basic components of your voice in the world.

    They’re what make you…YOU.

    Revel in them.  Refuse to give in to the tyranny of The New.

    After all.  The stars have been doing the same old thing for millions of years, and we’re still quite smitten with their collective shine.

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    There's way too much to learn...and other lies your brain tells you.  // Brand Camp

    We’re chatting and she’s talking about how well things are going. She’s made significant changes to her business. It feels better, it’s growing, it’s no longer a source of disagreement in her marriage. We laugh, we make plans to talk again.

    Before we hang up she says, “Wait, Kristen. I just need some encouragement.”

    “Yah?”

    “I feel like…

    There’s way too much to learn…everyone else is doing it so well and I’m never gonna catch up.”

    Ah. Yes. THAT. Welcome to the club.

    There is SO much to learn — about everything, all the time. We have access to millions of classes at our fingertips. Where once we had to go to great effort to learn new stuff, now it’s practically beating down our doors.

    Sorting through the available classes to figure out which ones are worth it is difficult.
    Making the time to learn the things once we’ve decided to tackle them is difficult.
    Learning the lessons no class can possibly prepare us for? You guessed it. Difficult.

    It’s difficult because it matters.

    We’re not talking about the pursuit of an extra ten bucks or getting a free milkshake at McDonald’s.

    We’re talking about doing your work in the world.

    It matters.

    Your brain will bully you by telling you that everyone else is doing it better and that you should be further along by now.

    Thing is, brains across the planet give EVERYONE that same line.

    The ultra marathoner who’s tackled six races this year? Hasn’t broken the world record yet. (Clearly a loser.)

    The new business owner who’s made 6 figures for the first time? Nowhere near seven. (Why bother?)

    The poet who’s just won the National Book Award? It isn’t a Pulitzer. (The only prize that counts.)

    Your brain won’t stop telling you everyone else is doing it better. EVER.

    It won’t stop telling you that you need to catch up. EVER.

    Your job is to keep doing the work.

    To ignore the naysaying voices that pipe up when you’re tired, when you’re confused, when you’re unsure of your next step.

    Keep. Doing. The. Work.

    …and for your own pep talk, kick in the pants, dose of clarity, or solution to your current business conundrum — grab yourself a Lightning Bolt session with me.

    For a similar article you might love…try The Art of the Little Win.

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