March 2018: The winter blues, collaborations and Easter in Spain.
The winter blues.
Have you been feeling under the weather? Is your business still in the winter shut down? Don’t you just want to hibernate until the winter goes away?
This journal might initially come across as negative. But this is how I’ve been feeling over the last few months and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all, give you an update of March highlights, and finally remind you that Spring is always round the corner.
It’s true, this year’s winter has been really long and really dull. It creeped up on us around October and it just doesn’t seem to want to go away. We have been snowed under by the Beast from the East which forced offices to close for few days. It caused a weeks’ long disruption in Tesco deliveries and made us all eat frozen peas for dinner for few nights in a row. It’s the end of March now and we’re yet to see the snowdrops appear on the lawns.
I could go on complaining all day. However, this winter, more than any other, has made me realise that my work routine has been wake up to rain every single day just to go to the office and work until it’s dark, then walk home in the cold and spend an evening catching up on more work as I don’t feel like doing anything as it’s raining. I’ve been consumed by work. Funny, since my new year’s resolution was to work less. Ha!
Was it worth it though? Perhaps, since I can at least explain why I always want more sunny days in my life and why I travel a lot and hence I run my own business rather than being in a 9–5 job.
As business owners, we are in a unique position to shape our organisations in a way to suit our lifestyles, dreams, hopes, aspirations and desires.
A bit of history - After gaining a couple of degrees and spending several years in jobs that I didn’t love, I got into business. In fact, I pursued 5 business ideas that were not the right fit for me until I finally got it right with Visuable. Still a work in progress, whilst I’m trying to survive these long and cold winters in order to achieve my ultimate lifestyle vision of location independence. A life filled with remarkable challenges and unique experiences. A work-life balance which allows me to pursue my passions whilst growing as a person and as a professional.
Persistence. I feel that I am getting closer and closer to my destination but the road is still rocky and uphill! This month especially, I had so many tough decisions to make. It wasn’t easy. But I feel that I’ve learned a lot and I’ll be stronger going forward.
At times like these, it’s really important to keep reminding ourselves about our WHY. It’s what got us started in the first place and it’s what keeps us going when the times are tough (or when the winter just doesn’t want to go away).
Remembering my why. After a lot of soul searching, I found my zone of brilliance in bringing brands to life and I am now doing my dream job helping other business owners to up their game and be more successful in life and business by building a strong visual brand that mirrors their values, passions and personality and attracts their ideal audience 😍
My business is structures around my 3 core values that are rooted in my personality and reflect my business vision of the future:
FREEDOM to run my business without being strictly tied to a geographical location as I live and move around across 3 countries: UK, Cyprus and Poland. Freedom to choose who to work with and what projects to take on. My service range has been designed to set you and your brand free too, helping you achieve whatever you’re dreaming about!
PASSION to get out of bed to do what I love every single day. To pursue my creative passions and work with people who inspire me with what they do 😍 The services I offer are all about helping you successfully merge your passion with your profession and build a brand that you’re proud to show off!
GROWTH – I created my brand Visuable to be a platform for me to grow, shift, change, try new things and reinvent myself as I expand my knowledge and expertise.
Implicit in these 3 core personal values is also how I’ve aligned my business mission: to transform brands from bland to brilliant and to help them grow and become more successful.
Your brand is a compilation of your value, identity, mission and your own unique experiences. Your brand is you. It’s your stories, achievements, passions, values, and personality. It’s who you are and what you do. It’s where you hang out and who you hang out with. And you know what? –
You have full control over it as it’s you and your personal choices that shape who you are and who you want to become as part of your business journey. Your brand is never finished and it should grow with you. If it doesn’t grow, it means you’re staying still and you need a wakeup or pickmeup call.
If you do need a pickmeup for your brand, I happen to be running a Branding Workshop in May where I’ll be explaining the above in more detail and talking about defining your brand for business success — I would love to see you there!
It’s never a straight line - I originally launched as a photography and web design studio and run it successfully for 2 years. Recently, due to growing demand within my audience I expanded my service range and now offer branding workshops, brand design packages and consultancy services as my audience wants me to teach them how to create a successful brand.
I am lucky enough to be able to continue exploring new directions, trying things out and pivoting when I see that my new endeavours don’t go as planned. It’s part of the game and the learning journey. Winter is part of this journey and Spring wouldn’t be as rewarding if it wasn’t for winter. I love it!
Achievements and Good News.
I met my role model— Jasmine Star. This lady has been a big influence throughout my entrepreneurial journey and being able to watch her live on stage deliver an inspirational talk and meet her face to face has been an absolute highlight of this month!
Visuable is through to the next stage of what’s now called NatWest Entrepreneurial Accelerator (previously Entrepreneurial Spark). This is an awesome achievement and I never have thought I would get this far!
Collaborations are a great way for us to explore new directions, invite other business owners to be part of our journey for a period of time and to collectively grow all brands involved.
I love collaborating with business owners who offer complimentary services and have recently undertaken a collaborative project called #vfactorcomp that I want to share with you, especially the thought process and details involved.
VFactorComp was a collaborative competition initiated by myself under Visuable, Rin of RinHamburgh&Co and Kimba of KimbaDigitalMarketing. We’ve set out to find a UK based business with a big vision to help them execute it through our complementary services, together.
We first run a very successful marketing campaign over a period of 2 months which helped us to collect 150 sign-ups from business owners within our target audience. We then asked the competition participants to record a 2 min video explaining who they are, what they do and how winning the #vfactorcomp would help them to achieve their vision. We received a staggering 40 video entries! The prize was a package that includes the visuals, voice and visibility they need to help their business reach their vision – that’s why we called it the Vfactor! From the 40 entries we received, we picked 5 which had the vision we wanted to support. Then, it was down to a public vote to select the winner. This phase belonged to 2 businesses – Amy, a Singing Coach and Adam and Corina from Professional Apprenticeships who were leading head to head. Professional Apprenticeships won and here is a video explaining how they did it.
Conclusions: running #vfactorcomp campaign was all round amazing for all of us involved. It helped us, the organisers position our brands the way we waned to, it reached a wide audience and got everyone talking about it even long after the voting closed. We’ve even managed to secure quite a bit of UK-wide PR around it! Most importantly tho, it will help one awesome business with a big vision to become a nationwide brand. We’re just about to get started working with Adam and Corina and I cannot wait to tell you about the journey we’re taking their business through and show you the final brand reveal – we’re expected to relaunch them around the summertime 2018. Watch this space!
Easter in Spain.
In my true #jetsetter style, I’ve decided to get away this Easter. As I mentioned earlier, this winter has been long and dull. It made me loose my mojo a bit. I didn’t feel like participating in social activities. I was hiding from social media, networking events, fitness activities, hobbies and friends. Damn, I was even hiding from my journal, which is why the March issue is arriving a little late 😉🤘
I was waiting for Spring to come 🌷🌸🌹
Having just spend 4 days in the Spanish sunshine, I am slowly starting to feel motivated again. I’ve spent some time writing down things that I want to do and achieve over the next year and generally getting myself out of the winter coma. I went for runs, bought fresh veg from an outdoor market, went to museums, culture sights, parks, tapas bars, eat soulful food, drank wine and spend time with Orestis. I have enjoyed the sun-filled walks through the narrow streets of Girona and slow afternoons drinking Aperol Spritz in yet another tapas bar. All of this made me feel revived and ready to go again!
Did this winter make you feel numb? It certainly made me feel that way. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting stuck in again and I would love to hear how you felt over those last few months and how you plan to make a come back and blossom. Let me know in the comments below!
Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some sunny pictures which I took over those few days in Spain!
Smile, spring has sprung!
That’s it for now!