I was NOT happy.
My Mom had just lifted me out of the boat and now my feet were in the muck and mud. I can vividly remember the feeling of this strange, new substance oozing between my toes.
Get me out of here, FAST!
It was the flood of 1960 in northeast Oklahoma. The flood waters had not reached her home, but the only way to/from my grandmother’s house was by boat. I had just turned four and figured out very quickly, I DO NOT LIKE STRANGE substances touching my feet. What the camera does not show is how fast I ran towards the house, screaming.
Fast forward several decades, and I still DO NOT like being stuck in the muck — even metaphorically speaking.
Our business is growing, and although we are on target to double last year’s sales, I can still get caught up in the muck of temporary slow periods or hign-maintenance clients (no, not you). When I step back into the muck, business slows down, clients tend to pay more slowly, and I have the tendency to isolate (not good) . . . or run towards the house screaming.
So how do I get back into the flow of clarity and Step Up, Step Out and Get Going?
- I take the small, 1″ Post-its and start posting “gratitudes” all around the house
- I catch up on returning phone calls and get current with emails
- I pay a bill . . . even a small one . . . to let the Universe know I’m interested in the flow of money
- I move to “receiving mode” . . . if I get a gift or an invitation, I accept it and say, “Thank You!”
- I add “Sir” or “Ma’am” after every “Thank You!”
- I ask for help with something I’ve been avoiding
- I stop trying to “hold it together” . . . I let go of the “hold” . . . I surrender
- I smile at strangers and open doors for everyone
- I give away a perfect parking spot to a total stranger
- I pay for the person behind me in the drive-through lane
- I rest. I breathe.
And sometimes, I DO NO THING. I value my silence and my “alone time”. I sit (or lay) in silence with my eyes closed. Some call it meditation . . . I call it “plugging in”. It restores my energy, which allows me to better serve our clients.
I’m ALSO learning that when you run a business, the “muck” will always be there. How I choose to react to it is determined by me. If I don’t like to be in the muck, I’m learning to step out of it.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck in the “whatever” with your business, give me a call.
If you’re ready to STEP UP and STEP OUT of the muck, I can help you look good, STAND OUT and attract more clients.
My mother’s birthday was July 4th.
And, YES, she was one heck of a FIRECRACKER. She LOVED being the focus of attention, and knew how to make that happen.
She always led with her “sparkling” personality, and it always served her well. Even after she moved to a nursing home, she landed on the front page of the Webster Kirkwood Times at least twice.
As I look back, I now realize (in her own way), she was teaching me to be a “Firecracker”. . .
After all . . . Fireworks Get Noticed.
I now use my Mom’s “how-to-be-a-firecracker lessons” for creating my own “Fireworks” in business:
- GREET and introduce yourself to everyone you meet.
- SMILE and the world smiles back (she wrote this one in her high school year book).
- SPARKLE and always dress to impress — whether it’s your wardrobe or your website.
- GIVE of your Time, Treasure and Talent.
- COMMUNITY — surround yourself with supportive people.
- PERSISTENCE — if there is something you want, ASK for it.
- HAVE FUN — people want to work with people who are having fun.
If you are in business for yourself, and are ready to get noticed, give me a shout . . . I bet we can create some great fireworks together . . . I learned from the best!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!
At Davis Creative, our mission is to “create positive ripples”, and our purpose is to help YOU (our clients) help more people. You rely upon us to help you Look Good, Attract More Clients and Make More Money, and we love helping you create a “Happy, Healthy, Heart-filled Planet” — be it the mental-, physical-, financial-, or social-health of an individual, business or community.
From logos and taglines to business cards and books . . . our client base spans the globe with sales in all 50 states and in 17 countries. We help the “helpers and healers” . . . the life coaches, mentors, therapists, physicians, educators, authors, speakers, and a spectrum of professional service providers — all having one thing in common — they are making this world a better place.
Our RIPPLES . . . Our Core Beliefs . . . Our Client Commitment:
- RESPECT: We value diversity, unique perspectives and positive experiences.
- INTEGRITY: We take responsibility and do the right thing.
- PASSION: We love working with people who are passionate about their business and about helping others.
- PROMISE: We keep our word and make a commitment to support our clients’ best interests.
- LEGACY: We give. We give back. We give our clients their brand advantage.
- EXCELLENCE: We believe “Good Design is Good Business”, and good design encourages an atmosphere of excellence.
- SHARING: A peaceful world starts with sharing a single smile.
Sharing our RIPPLES . . .
The greatest compliment we receive is your repeat business. The second greatest compliment we receive is your referral to a new client! If you know someone who you think would be a great fit and needs our help, have them give Cathy a call at 888-598-0886.
- The HOOP represents the foundation of WHO you are, your essence, your unique sense of self. Who are you? What is your history? What gives you credibility and “expert” status? It does not necessarily need to be the extra alphabet letters after your name – more-often-than-not, it also includes your life experiences which have allowed you to develop into who you are now. Having a well-defined Author Platform creates a strong foundation for building your tribe of followers.
- The WEB represents WHAT you stand for, and HOW your unique offering serves others. What is your mission, your passion – both personally and professionally? Quite often, it’s our life “mess” which becomes our message. How can you take that message and share it with the world? How can you share your life lessons to help others? Weaving a well-crafted, consistent visual, verbal and virtual message attracts people who are eager to work with you, and will more than likely be the ones who buy your book.
- The EMBELLISHMENTS (feathers, beads, arrowheads) represent HOW you serve others. These are your gifts to your tribe, your followers. Interacting with your tribe strengthens your platform and helps to build a stronger relationship:
- Social media – be visible where they hang out.
- Workshops, webinars – create programs to share your knowledge and experience.
- Blogs, guest-blogging – reach a larger audience.
- Events – attend, become involved, extend your network, plan your own.
- Partnerships – create online and in-person events to increase visibility.
D: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
into a “gotta have” brand?
Santa’s back in town! I saw it for myself — several sightings on the retail front.
We can learn a lot from Santa when it comes to branding. He does a pretty darn good job when it comes to effectively delivering his brand promise.
Think about it . . .
- CREATES RELATIONSHIPS: Santa builds positive relationships across the globe; he attracts throngs of people who are willing to stand in line to meet and talk with him — if only for a few minutes.
- SERVES HIS COMMUNITY: Santa serves his “tribe” by offering a service unlike any other. He’s definitely not “in it” for the money, but more for the outcome — the feeling his followers receive when they interact with him. He has definitely earned the love and respect of customers AND his staff.
- BELIEVES IN HIS BUSINESS: Not only does Santa BELIEVE in his mission, but so do his followers. It’s all about offering a product or service which makes people happy — we are ALL attracted to people and things that make us happy. Santa consistently fulfills his positioning statement of Bringing Joy to the World.
- PLANS FOR SUCCESS: Nothing stops Santa — just remember Rudolph and the fog. Santa finds solutions. He’s a “can-do” kind of guy. The kind of guy you want at the reins of your business.
- BUILDS TRUST: Santa instills “trust” and “warm cozy feelings”. If you can’t trust Santa who can you trust? You’ve been telling him your heartfelt wishes since you were a kid. Santa listens and follows through on his commitments. He doesn’t over-promise, and always has a back-up option — just in case (toy recall).
- CROSS PROMOTES: Santa is everywhere. He graciously offers his positive brand to movies, car dealer ads, non-profit causes and more — all in the hopes of spreading goodwill and good cheer across the globe.
- STAYS FOCUSED: You don’t see Santa expanding his line of offerings beyond the aspect of “giving”. The downfall of such was creatively portrayed by Martin Short’s Jack Frost and Tim Allen’s Santa, in the “Santa Clause 3” movie, showing the negative impact of wandering off-target. Ultimately, “good” overcomes “evil” and the movie ends with the North Pole back to “normal” — back on target.
- SUSTAINS HIS IMAGE: Santa creates a positive response in the marketplace and emotes a distinct visual image which immediately comes to mind when his name is mentioned. Even with 100’s (if not 1000’s) of Santa likenesses seen around the world, we all have our favorite that comes to mind — white beard, red suit, and a wink of the eye.
- ADAPTS EASILY: It’s not everyone that can morph their body PLUS a 100-pound bag of toys small enough to fit down a chimney (and in some cultures through a keyhole). Knowing when and how to adapt to your customer’s needs — and a willingness to do so — always give you an edge with the competition.
- RISES ABOVE: Santa is basically one-of-a-kind, so rising above your competition is a piece of cake (or cookies and milk). Taking flight is easy when you keep your magic-sparkle flying dust handy. Markets change as often as the weather . . . being able to fly above a snowstorm or around lightning strikes allows Santa to deliver a solid brand — on time, on target and on budget.
How are you delivering YOUR brand?
A good logo transcends time and a variety of media, allowing a brand to imbed itself in a community — whether your community is defined as local, regional, national or global.
Watching how global brands transcend their own iconic brands to target core audiences can help you learn to expand your own brand.
Take Nike’s latest NYC campaign:
Rising 20 feet in the air, the Wendy’s fast-food signage has been around since the chain was founded in 1969. But have you ever noticed the “homage to MOM”?
In an attempt to endear the public to the Wendy’s brand, the word, “MOM” has been incorporated into the illustration above the name.
What does your logo say about you and your company?
NOTE: Latest conversation regarding the Wendy’s “MOM” image . . . not intentional?
When is it time to update a logo?
John Deere has updated their logo 8 times in over 120 years. Why?
- Company Expansion
- Target New Markets
- Outdated Fonts or Colors
- Re-Position the Company with their Competition
A well-designed Logo will:
- Be simple, easy-to-read, yet memorable
- Distinguish your company from your competition
- Evoke the essence of what you do/sell
- Look good on business cards as well as billboards
- Look appropriate in black and white as well as color
- Define your business through the use of fonts and color
What does your current logo say about you?
Is your existing logo designed by a graphic arts professional? . . . Or perhaps you tried to save some money and have your cousin’s ex-girlfriend design it in PowerPoint? Your logo is a direct reflection of how your consumer perceives your business. Lack of attention to detail shows.
Your company is growing.
The original Apple logo on the left was a sketch of Isaac Newton with an apple dangling over his head. Luckily, it was only used for a year before Jobs hired a professional graphic designer to come up with the familiar Apple (used 1976 – 1998), using the six primary colors of the rainbow. Today, the shape is still the same, but the look and feel is much more timely and techno-savvy.
You are adding new target markets.
So, you’ve decided to “up your ante” and target new prospects with bigger wallets. That’s a great idea – but how are your new prospects going to perceive you? Are you still the “local guy” with the hand-drawn logo that no one can read, or are you ready present yourself and your company as professional and knowledgeable?
You want to appear “current” and up-to-date.
You deliver your brand message in everything you do. From the shirt on your back to the sign on your door, your logo should appear on everything your consumer sees and/or interacts with. Having a professionally designed logo allows you to create consistency in message and embeds your brand in the mind of your consumer.
Choosing the right designer is vital.
Just about everyone claims that they can design a logo, but it takes experience, insight and creativity to design the right logo. Professional designers also understand the value of intellectual property rights and will always provide ORIGINAL art, custom-designed just for your business — never copied nor plagiarized.
Your visual brand is a unique opportunity to connect with your consumer and help them identify who you are and what you do — it creates a MIND STAMP — a visual bond. It’s all about making an impression — hopefully yours is a good one.
Making Your Brand “FEEL” Good.
SO . . . How DOES your brand make your customer feel?
- DEFINE your business focus.
- DESIGN your business image.
- DELIVER your business message.