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Are You Being Brave With Your Brand?

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Are you being brave with your brand?

I find a lot of inspiration at my gym, and not just to workout. This week, my inspiration is this sign, ad it got me thinking about the excuses we all make for not doing something in our lives and more pointedly, our brands and businesses.

And believe me, I get it. Making excuses is ridiculously easy; it takes the pressure off of a hard situation or decision; and helps us justify why we aren't doing whatever it is we are supposed to be doing. For example, I can't do X because of Y; I never get to B because of A...and so it goes. 

In some regards, I think making excuses is not really the wrong thing to do. It's not easy to get results. They take work. They take effort, sometimes really hard struggle, and that can be scary. Plus, even with all that hard work and effort, results aren't always guaranteed. But the flip side of that is...if we never try to do something, in spite of our excuses, we most definitely will never get anywhere in any of our endeavors in life. Pressing on in spite of the excuses--that's the stuff, right? I think Wayne Gretzky said it best, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." and that all starts with letting go of excuses, and being brave. 

What if we all just stopped making excuses, and started being brave with our brands? To me, that means:

  • Taking the right (or wrong) risks for the right reasons.
  • Being open to changing our brand, even if we aren't sure our brand is ready for it.
  • Or conversely, being willing to say "no" to changing our brands, and standing our ground as to why...even if it doesn't make 'strategic' sense to everyone else around us. 
  • Testing the boundaries of what our brands is, and isn't.
  • For indies, having the courage to stand up and make a noise in your industry, even if you still feel like the smallest fish in the largest pond you've ever seen in your life.
  • Recognizing that growth isn't always an immediate outcome of marketing, and still not panicking.
  • Not letting outside voices sway your vision, your plan, or your goals if you don't agree with that outside voice (regardless of how loudly they are talking!)
  • Along the same lines, not presuming that everyone else in our industry knows better what we should be doing for our brand than we do. Sometimes yes...but not always.  
  • Not making knee-jerk reactions when problems or challenges stop by the party. Giving ourselves the space to think through the issue and then choosing our remedy vs. letting fear dictate our moves, even if it is urgent.  
  • And finally, not losing touch with the inner spark or the sponsoring thought for why we started our businesses in the first place because it's still really important. And re-connecting to that synergy is powerful brand magic.