Why There Is Nothing Wrong With Taking a Step Back to Refocus Your Brand

Early last month, I started to feel like my brand wasn't quite headed in the direction I wanted.

It was aaaaaallmost there, but something still felt off.

It was then that realized was positioning myself as a blogger... and only a blogger.

But the thing is, I'm also a designer, and that was honestly something I was so afraid to tell anyone at first.

Despite years of experience, I had this weird idea in my head that because

  • I was self-taught,
  • had only done volunteer work,
  • had no portfolio of the work I actually wanted to do,
  • and the fact that my own website wasn't something I was proud of...

...that somehow I wasn't worthy of being called a designer, let alone launching my own studio.

I kept making excuses about why I couldn't.

I kept saying I didn't have what I needed yet.

I kept looking at my website with disappointment.

I kept wishing I could have the guts to share my work and share what I know.

But I wasn't doing ANYTHING about it. 

I was waiting for someone to give me permission to further pursue my love of design when the only one who was holding me back...was ME. 

Lessons Learned
+ Action Steps for You

1. Stop waiting for permission.

No one determines what you can do but you. It's up to you to decide how bad you want it and how much time and effort you're prepared to invest. Don't waste time waiting around for someone to give you a green light. You have to make that choice yourself. 

2. If you want to start or change something, then do it.

I have to constantly keep reminding myself this. Sitting around wishing or making excuses isn't going to change anything. I know, because I've been there too (and I'm sure I will be again). It's helps you accomplish absolutely nothing.

  • It's not gonna help you learn new skills. 
  • It's not gonna launch your new website, business, or product/service. 
  • It's not gonna help you help all those people who need YOU and what you have to give.

Get started right now with whatever you have. There's no such thing as being fully "ready," so don't let that stop you. This is your time to learn and experiment. You can never improve something if there's nothing there to begin with. Take things one small step at a time and just get started.


No one thought of me as a designer because I gave no indication that I was one. I kept it on the sidelines, too scared of being called a faker since I hadn't shown what I was really capable of. And I hadn't shown my work since I was too afraid to put it out there.

So I stuck to what I was most comfortable with - writing posts specifically about blogging.

Yeah, BIG WARNING FLAG THERE.

Everything was starting to become a routine. My brand had become stagnant, and I felt paralyzed.

I had to take a step back and start working ON my business rather than Just IN it.

 

I no longer had a clear direction of where I was headed. My original game plan went kaput after realizing that creating a paid course or eBook wasn't the direction I wanted to go, at least not right now.

But with design, I recognized that familiar pull that was tugging at me to dive in, the same pull I'd felt when I first started the blog. 

It was time to make that next uncomfortable step into something bigger and better.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ ACTION STEPS FOR YOU

1. If you're feeling overwhelmed, unsatisfied, or just plain stuck, it's okay to take a step back to refocus.

It's so easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of running a blog or biz that you can quickly lose focus on the bigger picture. 

As you learn new things, experiment, and grow, your brand is going to evolve. Your original plans might not work anymore. You might find yourself wanting to head in a new direction. And there's NOTHING wrong with that.

Nothing is permanent or set in stone. If something's not working for you anymore, then change it. You're not locked into this for life. Allow yourself time to work ON your business rather than in it and help it grow into something even better. 

2. Don't feel like you have to do something if it doesn't feel right for you or your business.

  • You don't have to create a six-figure course to be successful.
  • You don't have to be on every social media platform.
  • You don't have to blog.
  • You don't have to strictly follow anyone's methods or ways of doing things (and yes, that includes mine too). 

You do YOU. You know yourself and your brand better than anyone else out there. Trust your intuition and let it lead you.

3. Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.

You've probably heard this a gazillion times (and now a gazillion and one ;)

No one ever got anywhere by staying in their comfort zone.

Amazing things are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone, waiting for you to take that leap, or even just that tiny first step. For you to go, "Screw this, I'm freakin' going for it!" and take action.

It's new.

It's scary.

It's uncomfortable.

But it's how you make your craziest aspirations come to life and do the things you otherwise never would've thought possible.

What are you being pulled to do? Follow it, no matter how crazy it might seem. 

Allison Barclay

St. Louis, MO

I make handcrafted logos for rebellious creatives who want their brands to get catcalled || Hand Letterer • Writer • Gamer • Fluent in Lord of the Rings quotes