That time I invested in a business coach and totally rejected their advice.
Back when I was a baby brand design business
One of my first investments was with a business coach because I was craving someone to tell me what the heck to do - I was around 7 months into full-time, self-employed small business life and still feeling pretty lost to be honest. Overwhelm was real, decision fatigue was high, imposter syndrome was raging, I was drowning in comparisonitis….
So I invested in a 1:1 session with a business coach, and one of their first pieces of advice was to ‘lose the yellow - people hate yellow’. When I tell you I was shooketh 😳. Yellow is MY colour, I type this on my golden yellow Mac, surrounded by yellow desk accessories, sitting in a yellow and orange jumper… how can I ‘lose’ something that feels 100% right for me, like…. cut me and I swear I will bleed yellow!?
I'd actually had a load of feedback from other businesses, followers, clients etc that they loved yellow too - were drawn to me because of my yellow aesthetic, there has been an aspect of yellow within my business for all time! So my immediate thought was ‘well I won’t be doing that’ and I stood my ground!
Besides being very ‘me’ yellow also speaks heavily into my business values and ideal vibes; happy, positive, creative, inspiring, and playful. So not only was it the love of my colour life, it also felt strategically right for my business.
I also have a huge obsession with consistency, I mean as a person who claims to sell strong (and frankly sickenly good 😘) brand design and strategy, how could I not love some solid visual consistency? Don’t start on my content strategy or my half-arsed email list…. I am horrific at life consistency ok, but themes, visuals, colour? Heck yeah they span years, decades, lifetimes for me! We will also just note here that my (highly likely neurospicy) brain does not overly l o v e being told what to do….
But, was I cutting off my nose to spite my face? Yes. A little. Just a smidge…. Shut up - that’s why!
I huffed and puffed over it for a few days, then popped my big girl strategy pants on, took the advice on the chin and decided to review my colour palette and look at what that meant to my business. I kept my beloved yellow obvs but brought in many other supporting colours too. And … well alright, it felt great ok, I won’t lie. Having a wider colour palette gave me greater variety with how I represent my business, it made me stand out in a sea of monotones and minimal beiges. The biggest feedback I get when anyone comes across my business still is ‘love your colours!’.
Sometimes we get advice on our business that can feel jarring - we have such set ideas that any opposite opinion can feel wild, crazy, just plain no. But, without that advice from the coach, I would have never reviewed my colour palette, refreshed my brand design, took a harder look at my brand strategy and pulled in a wave of fresh clients - ie. levelled on up 📈
We know our businesses the best, even if sometimes we do feel a little lost and too ‘in it' to see straight, but outside advice can truly be the spark we need to make positive changes. However, at the end of the day there needs to be that freedom, that collaboration aspect and just the confidence to know that you can say no! If something feels aligned to you, especially if you are the face of your business and you sell a service that essentially is selling ‘you’ then 100% keep what feels right, and work with your designer/coach/copywriter etc to make that stronger rather than squash it out.
The sign of a good designer (ie. the lesson learned)
Your brand design should be flexible, it should breathe and grow with your business, it should carry elements of consistency, it should be strategic so it works hard for your business, it should be designed to pull in your ideal audience....and it should most definitely scream, ‘you’.
Outsourcing and working with others can feel intimidating - what if they take over? What if you hate everything? What if it's a waste of money? It all comes down to what you do with the advice you have been given.
I feel strongly about, and utterly love to collaborate with my clients, I want them to feel proud of what we achieve too, to feel their opinions matter and that they are listened to. I want them to take the advice I offer, and make it their own. I want them to feel like they can ask me anything, and really get the most out of our time together. My service is 'done for you brand design' sure, but the value I offer are my skills, knowledge and expertise (my ultimate goal being to make it fun and inspiring too! Some say I put too much on myself, and by 'some' I mean the nagging voices in my own head telling me to stop over-sharing and over-explaining.... )
I still follow that coach and value her advice. I still take onboard other things she told me. But most of all, my biggest takeaway from that first investment was that I also learned how it is ok to do my own thing, and what value there can be in knowing your own business well enough that you can choose to follow what feels right for you at the end of the day.
Plus it gave me the reflection and lesson that resulted in this piece of content two years later!
Everything is content when you become a business owner right!? 😬
So friend, has investing in your business given you any unexpected lessons for the best?
If you liked hearing about my business, check out this post where I reviewed my business journey so far! Also just plain old check out my IG for more brand design, branding, and brand strategy tips, advice and examples.
Fun activity, scroll back through my feed to see the exact point I introduced new colours it is so obvious haha!