I’ve been revving up to allow myself to speak completely frankly in these posts, addressing things I personally care about, not just branding and design tips.
After all, great brands are built upon ideas, and those ideas stand upon the shoulders of those who execute them, aka you!
And if our integrity is out, the product(s) will continue to propagate the mess we’re dealing with planet-wide, while if integrity is the foundation of the product or service, we will see the planet change.
My philosophy is simple:
Most of our issues as a species are based upon short-sighted, greedy and selfish thinking, small AND large.
LARGE: Yesterday, Chinese labor is cheap. Today, the ecological aftermath of burning dirty coal is no longer just China’s problem and therefore becoming very very expensive.
SMALL?: You’re in a terrible mood. You cut someone off on the highway. They get angry, chase your car until they cause an accident, badly hurting others around them.
After working almost exclusively with one major client for 2 years, offering classes and workshops on the side, we amicably decided to stop working together and to remain friends. That set me on a journey of looking deeply into my own intentions for my business and the world.
So I have been asking myself to be responsible – responsible for being true to my desires and to the quality of the work I put out there.
Let’s be Responsible
Since we’re friends here, I will assume that you are a bit like me – you know when you’re creating something that has heart; you also know when you’re putting something out there that feels devoid of meaning, is short-sighted, requires the use of precious resources that won’t return anything but some green-backs.
You know when relationships may be jeopardized, when ideas are copied. You know. You know. You know.
If you are a creator and are pressed to pay for rent, you will have looked around and thought to yourself at least once: “It’s easier to rehash the same old, far easier than creating something new, something better, something with meaning.”
If you’re like me, you’ll then want to gouge your eyes out and never release it because your sense of quality and integrity will not let you sleep.
Some questions I ask myself when preparing to create something:
1. Does this idea light me up?
I mean really light me up? Sometimes ideas don’t let me sleep, and I know that it’s not THE time for them yet. I write out everything my brain wants me write out and I save it for when it arises again. Sometimes it’s right there and then, sometimes it’s a year later. But I save everything that prevents me from sleeping.
2. Is it in alignment with my heart?
This one can be a roughy, as many don’t know what that means, what their heart wants or how they need to go about expressing that. There are many ways of connecting, and I will be writing more about this stuff here, but for now, just put your hand on your belly and ask yourself: “Are you ok with this?”
Is this driven by fear? Or is this really what my heart and body want to do now? Your answers will get clearer with time. A wonderful resource is the guided Chakra meditation by Belinda Davidson. That’s one way to begin connecting to your core desires.
3. Is it a rip-off of someone else?
This happens in the online world a lot. No ideas are truly original, but you are, how you express it is. You also know when you’re stealing. Don’t steal. Do your own magical, unique thing.
Stealing design is also stealing. I see this a lot. Get a creative designer who will help you come up with your own look. The saddest is when entire looks get stolen. This has certainly happened to me on more than one occasion.
4. How much work will this actually require? Am I prepared to do it?
A less obvious one, but there’s no sense in promising something to your people unless you can deliver upon it, unless you have the time and energy to deliver upon it. If you don’t deliver the promise, you sort of become a liar.
I love you. Trust me. I do.
And because I do, I want to see your best work out there. I will hold you to the same standard I hold for myself because I also love our world and know for a fact that the more honest, fully integrous (word invention) businesses are out there, the better for us all.
Here’s to your great ideas!