STARTING A MOVEMENT WITH THE TALENTS YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN

untitled-131-of-1234I’ve seen a trend.

Blogs are popping up everywhere. Businesses, non-profits, personal..everyone, everywhere is blogging right now. And there’s some good to it, and, there’s also some negative aspects to it.

As a writer, I’ve wrestled with the increase of people using blogs as a way to share their voice and opinions. I love seeing people share their voice, story, opinions, and heart. I think, for the most part, it’s healthy and a good thing to do. What I dislike is the sanctity to writing that’s been somewhat lost by the availability for everyone to post everything anytime they want.

It feels like people have seen what works for some, and decided to replicate it, over and over again. We see this on social media a ton with slang words being born (like LIT), and the perfect filter usage being a daily pressure (just me?).

Branding, as we all know, is essential for our business’ growth. I get that. What I don’t want us to lose sight of in that growth, however, is ourselves.

We were each given specific gifts, strengths, language, styles, personalities, and purpose. If we all continue to replicate what we see working for someone else, we’re going to start looking a lot like the Twilight Zone’s Stepford Wives.

Our businesses need us to function out of our strengths. Our world needs us to work out of our strengths. If we are wasting all of our energy trying to copy someone else’s natural-born talents, well we are robbing the world of something really great, and that is sad.

Here are a few things to remember, next time you’re tempted to get down on yourself or copy someone else’s abilities:

Outsource 

No one person is meant to do everything. It’s just not reasonable, sane, or possible. Do what you do well, and set aside a budget to hire someone to do the things you don’t do well or enjoy. My very first freelance client asked me to design a pamphlet for her non-profit. It started out as a conversation about writing content, then turned into me trying to teach myself Adobe Illustrator, then dropping the client (after leaving her hanging for a few weeks). It was THE WORST!

I let my pride and need to feel like I could do it all totally control this opportunity, and I failed. Now, one of the first things I let interested clients know is that I do no graphic design work; I do, however have a list of talented referrals and have even offered to take a pay cut to help pay for this unexpected expense. I’d rather miss out on some money then be frustrated and offer less than my best to my craft and client. Be honest about what you can and can’t do-your client will thank you!

Make a mood board

I am a huge fan of Pinterest. It can get dangerous for a brain like mine (hyper-creative, input-oriented, easily distracted), but it’s helped me so much with getting a vision for each of our blog series, my home, my goals, and more. Take some time and make a 2017 board for each area of life (example: 2017 Work, 2017 Home, 2017 Family, 2017 Travel…) to make a visual collection of what you want your year to look like. Don’t pin what’s trendy or cool today, put on there what you love, what you find beautiful, and what brings joy to you. If it helps, make it private-this eliminates all pressure to be trendy!

Remember, the world needs YOU

YOU. Not a fabricated, perfectly styled box of who you are trying to be like, but you. You may totally stink at grammar, but kill it in Creative Suite. You may love answering emails and phone calls, accounting and crunching numbers, but the thought of networking or selling something makes you want to curl up in a ball and cry-that’s ok! Step fully into what you know, without a shadow of a doubt, you were created for. The world needs it. The world needs you. 

If we are going to be women who are breaking new ground and changing the world, we must start by recognizing what exactly we alone can offer. Starting here will set us up to be the movement makers we are all meant to be, using the gifts we’ve been given.

Sally Rae Kim

 

  • I love this. I’m loving the freedom that delegating and setting aside a budget to bring on team members who can do amazing work I cannot do–and do not want to do–is giving me. For me, there is a fear of loss of creative control, but I’m finding that it’s all working out. For the visual side of my work, I’ve decided that my brand is that I have no particularly nitch other than delight. I work with the things that delight me. One day it may be the brilliant, lightness of kids playing in snow, and in another moment the mysterious sense of fading leaves in dying light. Totally different look and feel and equally as beautiful. Why should I make my work look exactly the same as itself–and everyone else’s? At first, it made me feel like I wasn’t serious because my grid didn’t look like many others–all the same filter, all the same cotton candy light, all the same subject matter with very little variance. While it’s pretty, it came to appear too strict and narrow for my tastes. Is this all those artists see? All they care to document? I wanted more, so I am creating more. While different, I am as serious as they are, but I love how adaptable I am as an artist.

  • Eileen for OSW

    Oh Sally, what a wonderful post!!! I love the call for everyone to awaken their innate, unique talents. So needed, especially now. And YES to mood boards!!! It’s such a great exercise in allowing our unconscious to communicate as well 🙂 Much love and light to you sister!

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  • Raquel

    Amazing. This post everything I needed to hear (and still always need to hear). Thank you Sally.