Around here we think a lot about change. Working with clients to create new iterations of products and brands, we are up to our elbows daily in looking at the process, and whys, the challenges, ways to make it more palatable, ways to inspire embracing the difference between where a brand or a person is now and their ideal vision of themselves in the future.
Yet every day in our own lives, we find ourselves bracing against change, looking for small ways to avoid it because let’s be real, the idea of constant change is disturbing.
Small amounts of change can feel refreshing, like entering a newly painted room or taking a weekend trip to a place with a higher altitude, or more sunshine than you’re used to. So how do we balance the need for stability and the need to remain open to small shifts? Small shifts that enable us to stay plugged into the world around us, but not overwhelmed? Shifts that allow us to emerge and grow into our best selves without feeling like we’ve changed so much we’re unrecognizable?
I remember a few times in my twenties being asked to house, baby, or puppy sit. I’d say yes because the idea of stepping out of my own life for a few days or a week intrigued me. Sometimes I not only lived in someone else’s house, but I drove their cars – think baby seats and dog hair. Living in someone else’s house and driving their car was delightful. I was fully immersed, dwelling in another person’s home, reading their books, cooking with their pots, and trying their spices. One time it involved borrowing a shirt, (think babies who spit up) but mostly I stayed away from wearing their clothes. That seemed like a boundary line inappropriate to cross, unlike using their soap in the shower and their shampoo. Pretty much I was still me, but everything around me was theirs.
I loved it. Until I was ready to go home again.
Going home after one of those visits allowed me to see my world with new eyes. It helped me discern what I wanted to keep and create more of and what I was ready to part with.
So how does this apply to work? To brands? Clearly, a brand cannot try on the trappings of another brand for a weekend. Or can it?
When we work with clients on content planning, we look at the competition. We look at who the competition follows and who they are followed by. We look at their hashtags. We sift and sort and learn from what they are doing. We go back to what we are doing, shift where appropriate, test and measure results. We continue to make small changes, aligned with our brand core, and watch what transpires.
Regardless of whether we wish to evolve our brands, or ourselves, the world is evolving around both constantly. Eventually, if we want to keep playing, we must confront change and find a way to participate.
And when we do this, we first remind ourselves why we do this. We do this because it would be our avocation if it weren’t our vocation.
So before you feel overwhelmed by the idea of change, first allow yourself to feel the joy that comes from feeling plugged in, listened to, alive, and understood. Then marry this feeling of joy and connection to the process of evolving. And then take the first step to assess where you wish to go from here and what needs to happen first to get there.
And if you’d like a partner to walk through the process with you, to guide you, and encourage and inspire then we are right here.