I spent over a quarter of a century searching for what to do with my life. I bounced from job to job, career path to career path, never really feeling like I had a purpose.
Fishing deckhand, sandwich maker, florist, barista, bank teller, public radio development director… at every single job I wondered - am I honestly making the world a better place by mindlessly clocking in and out every day?
I despised being confined to a 9-5 box and only having a few hours of my own every week. I hated being micro-managed, limiting my vacation days, and, worst of all, pretending to look busy when I'd finished all my work before my shift was over.
So when I finally realized becoming an entrepreneur was the best way to use my skills, knowledge, and expertise to actually make an impact, a whole new world opened up! And then would you believe what I did next? I LET THE BRANDING INDUSTRY CONVINCE ME TO PUT MYSELF RIGHT BACK IN A GODDAMN BOX!
I obsessed over doing business the "right" way. I emulated what every other jabroni in my industry was doing. I was terrified of offending potential clients with my strong opinions. I hid behind my rose gold logo and popular Canva designs and generic inspirational quotes because that felt safer and "more professional" than simply being myself.
But once I broke out of that box and decided to build my brand around my individuality, that’s when my business finally gave me the freedom I was so desperately working toward.
I know you crave freedom, too - duh, that’s why you started your business in the first place!
You want the confidence to say “thanks, but no thanks” to projects that don't intrigue you. You want to call it a day and head outside with a beer when the sun hits the backyard. You want to offer valuable products and services that actually change lives.
Which is why it's SO FRUSTRATING that your business isn't bringing you happiness. You're working in an industry you love, your schedule is pretty full, and your clients are nice… but as painful as it is to admit, you actually feel trapped in this business you built.
You force yourself to sell products and services that don’t excite you anymore because that’s just how you’ve always made money. You avoid speaking up about current events and social issues online because you don’t want to offend your audience. You give in to manipulative customers because you're terrified of a bad review. You talk yourself out of pivoting because it feels like starting from scratch.
There's a point in building a compelling brand where entrepreneurs get stuck in what we think we "should" be doing and completely lose sight of our bigger vision. A business that makes money is important, but entrepreneurs like you don't just want to make money - you want to make a difference.
And you can’t change the world when you’re trapped in a goddamn box.