I have been thinking recently about how we tend to hide behind certain things in our businesses to avoid the decisions and tasks that scare us. I came to an interesting thought while reflecting on my conversations with a few of my coaching clients.
Something that comes up a lot with my clients is Branding. I want to share with a you a little insight on branding and how we can sometimes hide behind our branding to avoid other scary decisions for our businesses.
Before you all start to get worried about what I am going to say here, I want to point out that I do believe branding is very important in our businesses. The problem, that I see so often is when people hide behind their branding. Let me unpack this idea for you.
Here is an example of when I have seen clients hiding behind their branding.
Hiding behind a rebrand
Say that I am hired by a coaching client. The client and I are excited to work together and so we sit down for our initial goal-mapping session. We together determine a few goals that the client should be working towards.
Often that goal looks something like - seeing more people in their businesses. The reason that is often the goal is simple. It is because if they can reach that goal, many other important things for their business will automatically follow.
If my coaching clients can see more people in their business then they can book more people, which will help them make more money and that will in turn cause their business to grow. All of this will give my clients the time they need to serve both their life and their business.
Right after that initial meeting with my client where we mapped out these goals, I will often hear the client say something like this:
“I just hired a graphic designer and we are going to spend some time redesigning my website!”
My initial first reaction to this is, “NO!” You may ask why is that your first reaction? I will tell you! But before I do, I want to say that I do believe in the work that graphic designers are doing and I am not telling you to avoid redesigning your website.
The reason that I have a negative reaction in this situation is simple. Usually, at this point and time the most important thing that my clients can do for themselves is to learn how to hone in on their purpose and the messaging for their business. They need to begin to take decisive, clear actions in order to draw people into their message.
Your brain’s safety mechanism at work
We only have so much decision making capabilities to use at a time. As a safety mechanism, our brains start to push us towards avoidance. Why is this you ask? Well, this is because the moves that we need to be making in our businesses are often scary.
When we start to reach out to new people and try to grow our connections we get scared. We get scared because we worry that we will not be able to provide the value that they need, or we worry that they will not want to hear how we can help them.
What I want you to notice is what my client is doing when they say, “I am doing a website redesign.”
My client is avoiding making the important decisions that will ultimately move their business forward. They are spending an unnecessary amount of time making decisions on their websites. Sadly they are keeping their heads pointed at the ground, instead of setting their sites ahead on the horizon.
Branding is an essential element in starting a business and it is also vital as you are growing your business. However, the timing with which most people start revamping their branding package tells me a lot about the things that they are avoiding. Let me share how I know what they are often avoiding!
Avoidance in your decisions
I often will be on a coaching call with my clients and we will create a list of tasks that need to be completed in order for the business to move forward. Examples would be centered around outreach and visibility in their businesses. But instead of discussing how they are moving forward in those areas and completing these goals, our calls look very different. My client will get on our call and they will want to update me on all the things that are happening with their graphic designer, and their website design. They want to share with me the branding changes, the color pallette choices, fonts, and images. While all of these things are exciting and interesting, they pose an important question in my mind.
Are these things moving their business forward in this exact moment? No! They are spending all their time and decision making on their websites, when they should be striving to move their business forward.
There is always a time and a place to focus on your branding, and leveling up your brand to match with your business, but this should be done when it is not a distraction to the growth of your business.
When I am on these calls with my clients and I ask questions like:
“Hey, what happened with…?”
“How many people did you reach today?”
“How did you do with your KPI of reaching out to 10 people a day?”
“How are your goals being met this week?”
Do you know what I get from my clients when I tackle those questions? Crickets! They always get quiet! This is how I know that their choice to revamp their branding is a safety mechanism because they are TERRIFIED. Once we get to that realization, then there is deeper work that we need to do because success is always first a mindset, then a result.
Soaring off the cliff into success
What we don’t realize in these situations is that our brains want to keep us from jumping off the edge of a metaphorical cliff. But, when we make these types of decisions it is a form of self sabotage, because we know what we should be doing, but we are not doing it. We hide behind these smaller decisions that aren’t so painful or hard.
Hiding behind choosing fonts and colors is just cushioning ourselves from the risks that we should take. Our brains are created to help to keep us safe, but in these instances this safety net is self sabotage. What our brains don’t realize is that we CAN jump off the edge of that cliff, because we have always had wings.
Finding where you are at in your fears
Take a step back today and ask yourself the following questions:
“Where do I see myself hiding in my business?”
Are you looking for ways to hide from decisions or tasks that scare you? If you are doing this you need to remind yourself that you can succeed if you have the proper mindset and attitutde going into the task. Instead of telling yourself how afraid you are, you need to remind yourself that this task or goal will help your business to succeed.
“Where might I be cushioning myself toward safety?”
Maybe you are looking at this and saying, well I am not avoiding the hard tasks, I just want to get this rebrand done first. I want you to look deep inside yourself and see if you really think that your rebrand should come first or if you are having a hard time convincing yourself that you are strong enough to tackle the hard things.
“Am I doing this because I don’t realize that jumping off the cliff is not a problem because I already have the wings on my back! I can jump off the edge of the cliff.”
If you answer this question yes then you need to give yourself some credit! If you have the right mindset going into these goals, you are already equipped with some great tools to help you to succeed. You have to believe that you can soar off that cliff, you can succeed!
Where your focus should be
The most important thing that you can do right now is to be visible to your people! Your business will grow if you are seen by people in your target audience. It is so important to take strategic action, and to set up KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) in your business. Your growth is dependent first on you knowing your purpose, second on knowing your messaging, and third taking decided action toward your goal destination.
Find a way to jump off that cliff. Hiding behind something like a rebrand is just your brain doing it’s best to keep you safe. But remind yourself that you can jump off the cliff, you have the wings. Success is off the edge of that terrifying cliff. Your branding will come in time, be patient right now and grow the things that matter.
What happens when you put a ton of time and effort into your beautiful new brand, but neglected the growth step? Sadly, there is no one there to see that beautiful brand that you worked so hard on. Your website is not the determiner of your success in your business, you are. Go out there and get that success, go after the people that need what you have to offer, create a system and a strategy to serve them.
I want to encourage you to remember that it is okay to feel scared, it happens to all of us. But never let yourself forget that you have those wings that you need to soar! Stop staring at your feet looking for that next step, you are called to fly, not walk!
Just think about this, the more successful you are, the more you can light the way for others!
If you are in the stage that I have been describing, check in with yourself, and trust your intuition, ask yourself, “Am I hiding? Or Is this the next level that I can serve my clients at?”
I am sending you all so much love today and I truly hope that this has served you well and that you gleaned something helpful today!