I’ve recently changed my business name to my own name.
I wanted to pull back the curtain on this decision, and share the reasons why I made it…in the hope it inspires you to make some changes in your business, too.
You can either listen in by hitting play below, or you’ll find the transcript further down the page 🙂
I ADORE this time of year.
Not because of the festivities, or the food, or the presents.
I adore this time of year because for me, it is a time for some pretty intense, obligatory soul-searching.
Towards the end of the year, I really start to reflect on what I’ve learned in the last twelve months – where I’ve been, where I’ve still yet to go, and a good, honest look at what’s working and what isn’t.
And I can tell you – sometimes, it ain’t pretty 🙂
A couple of weeks back, as I was reflecting, I realised that as I stand here now at the end of 2014, I have completely outgrown the identity that I have manifested for myself.
(Actually, if I’m honest with myself, I outgrew it months ago – I just couldn’t bring myself to admit it).
When I named my business The Brand Alchemist all those months ago, I believed my ‘thing’ was branding. It was what I knew best – what I was truly passionate about. At the time, that was probably true – but I also know I had a niggling somewhere deep down that was telling me my ‘thing’ was about something much more vast than ‘branding’.
At various points during the last twelve months, I’ve felt an increasing sense of discomfort around the word ‘brand’ – and if you’ve been reading my blog posts in recent months, you’ll probably have picked up on that. This discomfort finally lead me to changing my business name a couple of weeks ago – to my own name. A lot of people have asked me why I did this, and I wanted to share the reason why in this audio note.
I really believe that I had to go through the entire last twelve months to finally understand my true mission.
The strangest thing (or actually, maybe not as strange as it sounds), is that I knew – when launching The Brand Alchemist – that something was seriously mis-aligned. But my intuition was also telling me that the mis-alignment was exactly what I needed – and so I went ahead holding the faith that everything would become clear eventually.
Everything I have done in the last twelve months – every interaction, every post I’ve written, every offering I’ve developed, every interview I’ve done – has lead me to the point where I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I now need to shed the identity I’ve created for myself and allow myself to find my flow in fulfilling my true obligations here on this planet.
And the name, ‘The Brand Alchemist’, is first on the list to shed.
When I finally brought myself to look at this cold, hard fact – I felt stupid. I felt…embarrassed, ashamed and – probably worst of all – like a HUGE fraud.
You gotta admit – someone who claims that their ‘thing’ is developing a strong brand changing their own business name twelve months in does seem a little bit strange. Well, I thought it did – and worst of all, I feared that it would be a false reflection of my credibility.
But I’ve come to realise that it is actually quite to the contrary.
The work I’ve done over the last twelve months has helped literally thousands of people – just over 16,500, actually – and we receive handfuls of email every single day, and have done right since the very beginning, from folks who have been grateful for the insights the free test has given them.
I’ve had the privilege to work with some industry greats – and the thing I find so amazing is that I didn’t seek out any of those opportunities – they came looking for me, based on my credibility and advocacy for my work. Perhaps one of the most exciting opportunities is facing me in 2015, as I step into my role of Expert Mentor in Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Club.
My business has evolved so much over the year – in so many ways, with next to no advertising, no spammy emails, and no complicated marketing campaigns.
Could I have achieved all of this if I truly didn’t have credibility? No, of course not.
But the biggest lesson of all, that even I have had to learn, is that if you’re not careful, the ‘brand’ you manifest for yourself can quickly become a cage that holds you prisoner.
I read in Smashing Magazine once – ‘If you love your brand, let it go’.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do, moving into 2015.
I’m SO grateful for everywhere I’ve been, but I know that now my attention must turn to where I’ve yet to go.
The truth is – I always knew that this was about more than branding. I wholeheartedly believe (and have believed for some time) that the point when solopreneurs decide that they need a ‘brand’ is also the point when they embark on their journey to find their true mission.
Ironically – all of the work I’ve done in the last twelve months is an attempt to help others discover their mission through their archetypes – and to great effect. But the word ‘brand’ is too limiting – not just for me, but for us all. And it’s my duty – as part of my obligation – to be an example of believing in something so much that the right thing to do is to let it go.
Because this isn’t the kind of mission that answers the surface questions such as ‘What am I good at?’, or ‘Who is my ideal customer?’. It also can’t be identified by metrics, or marketing campaigns, or surveys.
I know I’ve said publicly before that I believe that what we are actually attempting to do when we develop a ‘brand’ is about something much much deeper, something…primal, instinctive, and actually uncontainable.
And it CERTAINLY cannot be contained within the confines that the word ‘brand’ places on us.
I know I’ve said publicly before that I believe that what we are actually attempting to do when we develop a ‘brand’ is about something much
And so…this brings me to the question in hand. Why am I changing my business name? I’m changing my business name because I no longer want – or need – that confinement. I want to be free to explore my ideas about archetypes and soul discovery, free to expand…and most importantly, free to press the ‘delete’ button whenever my soul demands it.
Taking the word ‘brand’ out of my business leaves a very, very big void…one that I’m not entirely sure yet how to fill. But in the meantime, I’m continuing to strip back the layers – because I’m seriously excited (and deliciously terrified) about what lies beneath, that’s glimmering at me from deep down in my soul.
At some time or another – and, most likely, many, many times – we must lift our head up from being buried in the sand, and face our nemesis. This might mean a financial hit is necessary, and it could bring with it several long nights (or even weeks or months) of the soul. But if we don’t follow our heart – to whatever new depths it is leading us – then we risk the emptiness that only going against the flow of our creativity can cause.
Anyway – I really hope that this inspires you – even in an indirect way. It may not be your business name, but I would hazard a guess that you too have something lurking in the recesses of your heart that feels like a deadweight on your dreams. What is it that YOU need to let go moving into the New Year?
HINT: It’s usually the thing that you’re clinging onto most forcefully.