BRANDING | IDEAL SCENE

ideal-scene-blog When you think of a brand, do you automatically think of a logo? Most of us do. But a brand is much more than just a symbol that identifies your product or business;  a brand is your story and promise - it's what makes you and your business, you.

A well designed and executed brand communicates your mission, your personal style and tells your story. If your mission is to recreate moments of love and strengthen the family bond through beautiful photography then coming up with ways to provide that promise and mission to your clients is part of your brand. That might look like a package that bundles together your photography sessions with prints and your mission statement written on a card (wrapped up beautifully with colors and textures that speak your brand of course).

So how do you identify your brand?

Grab a sheet of paper and dedicate 5-10 uninterrupted, relaxing and quiet minutes because I'm going to share with you 1 of several exercises and questions that I have all of my branding clients ask themselves. This exercise was adapted from this amazing book

At the top of the sheet of paper write IDEAL SCENE.

Imagine 3 years have passed, you've been incredibly inspired, you've achieved all of your goals, you've worked with brilliant teachers and clients, you've solved problems, you've made it to where you've always wanted to be and everything has gone as well as you could’ve possibly imagined with your business.

  • What does your life look like?
  • What is your ideal scene?
  • What do you do on a typical day?
  • What kind of person are you?
  • What have you accomplished?
  • What have you given to the world?
  • What are the most important things in your life and business?

Consider these questions and imagine what your ideal scene looks like and jot it down. It's not permanent and will change as you grow. The most important thing is your taking the time and energy to imagine and write out what your ideal scene looks like.

My ideal scene is living the simple life with a vegetable garden, chickens, honey bees and babies. My husband and I have a cabin in the woods by a lake and a loft in a bustling city. We spend time in the city at art and music shows, speaking at events, hosting workshops and sharing coffee with friends. The other half of our time is spent in the woods at our cabin, with our family, eating amazing food, going on long walks and swims and exploring nature, parenthood and life. I spend my days communicating with all sorts of people, guiding them to connect and manifest their ideas and dreams, inspiring them to grow successfully and finally helping them achieve their creative potential so they can find ultimate fulfillment in their life and in business.

A bit lofty, sure. The truth, yes. Possible, definitely.

So what's your ideal scene? Share in comments below or on my Facebook page.

( PHOTO UNKNOWN )

Letters from Meredith | Free tips & resources to grow your ideas, expertise and business

5 WAYS TO PAVE YOUR OWN CREATIVE PATH

how-to-pave-your-own-creative-path People often ask me how I learned to be a successful business owner, a money-making artist, and a girl who chose to pave her own creative path.

Growing up in a family full of entrepreneurs helps, but mostly I pay homage to lots of reading, watching and planning.

After briefly attending one semester at a community college, I realized that I was disinterested in paying thousands of dollars for an education when I already had everything I needed in order to educate myself. Don't' get me wrong, I loved that I was learning when I was in class. But I couldn't help thinking, I could teach myself this and not pay all of that money.

So that year I dropped out of college with a commitment to grow, read, observe, plan and most importantly to always believe anything is possible.

6 years ago I started that trek and today I am sharing with you 5 ways that help me make it happen:

1. LEARN - although I chose to discontinue college, I never stopped investing in ways to learn new things. I truly believe that a constant stream of fresh and new ideas is the best way to stay on top of your game. When I first opened my Etsy shop several years ago, I had no idea how to scan images onto my computer, edit them, then print them as high quality pieces of artwork. It took a lot of time and a lot of practice. A year or so later, I learned how to navigate the Adobe Creative Suite and now have several years of experience translating beautiful hand-made art into graphic art. The easiest and cheapest way I learn new things on my computer is to google it. But googling things does not give you all of the answers and advice you need. When I need more thorough explanations and more inspiring people teaching it - I go to my monthly lessons, podcasts, blogs, magazines and newsletters. My top 6 fav's are:

  1. Braid Creative (newsletter + ecourses) - have you guys seen their new website? it's amazing!
  2. How (magazine)
  3. Fast Company (blog)
  4. Be Free, Lance (blog series) 
  5. Music Business Radio (podcast)
  6. Entrepreneur on Fire (podcast)
  7. Lesson Learned (blog)

2. GROW - Self-growth can only happen when fears and obstacles are diminished. So what fears or obstacles are keeping you from growing? Is it failure, is it a past experience, is it the fear of losing money? So intend of imaging how you can grow, think about what is keeping you from growing and start eliminating it from you life. To me, self-growth isn't just about learning and making money, it's about being the best version of yourself. It's about finding balance, peace, happiness, love and diminishing those fears and obstacles that get in the way. One way that has helped me get rid of fears is working with a coach. I offer creative coaching and recommend it for anyone looking to overcome and conquer those hurdles.

3. GOAL-SET - You've heard me say it before, and I'll say it again goals are dreams written down with a deadline.I know you have thousands of dreams swimming in your head and heart, you're a creative person, of course you do. But until you write them down and give them a deadline, they will only ever be a dream. So get yourself a notebook and start jotting down your dreams and when you'd like to achieve them. Grab some tips from this blog post on how to get your dreams on paper.

4. READ - I can't say enough about how much reading books has helped me grow my expertise and guide me through running my own business to managing my day-to-day routine. At first I read more instructional books on how to screen-print, how to paint with acrylics, etc. Then I found a deep passion for self-help books. Books that shared techniques on how to prioritize your goals, how to dream big and how to make money doing what you love. Some of my favorite books are:

  1. Focal Point
  2. Manage You Day-to-Day Routine
  3. Launch
  4. Start Something That Matters
  5. The Magical Path

5. BELIEVE - None of these tips matter if you don't' believe. To achieve your biggest dreams, you must believe that it's possible and that you have the power to make it happen. Otherwise, it will never happen. Sometimes believing is hard because of fears, but what if you didn't have those fears, would you believe? Fears are only hurdles in our creative path. Jump over them and keep going, I promise you that your biggest dream are on the other side.

Are you paving your own creative path? If so, what tips you do have that have helped you? Any recommendations on resources or blogs, I love a good blog!