If you’re new to me and my content, you’re going to hear me say intimacy or see it peppered throughout my website a fair deal. And if you’ve been around for a while but still have no idea wtf I’m talking about when I refer to intimacy, I wanted to take a sec to help you understand why I’m so passionate about building up intimacy in our businesses.
But, before we get there, I’ll give you a spoonful of context.
When I started my business 6 years ago, I was frantically trying to learn all the things. I realised quickly that running my own show was really different to working in the design studios I had before. I wasn’t just doing my work anymore. I also had to market myself and connect with leads and convert them into clients. I had to design a website and pinterest graphics and on-boarding documents.
I was hungry to figure it out. I hoarded free PDFs that promised growth or clarity, I signed up for endless webinars, and I did what anyone else (I think - hahah) would have done. I looked to my peers: the other young women just starting design businesses around the time I was.
Well, I didn’t just look. I peered and snooped and … became. I lost myself in the sea of sameness because I was just looking out, the whole time. I was listening to them (along with all the so-called experts), without taking a second to really listen to myself, what I wanted, who I wanted to work with and what I wanted the future of my business to look like.
So I modeled my offerings, my opt-ins, my website, my voice, my values (I’ll talk about this soon because 🔥 I have some hot opinions) on what they were doing, because it appeared to be working. And I wanted mine - my whole business and dream - to work too.
A personal turning point in this story aligns with a personal time of change as I became a mother. As a result of many things that relate to business, life and society, I was angry and anxious and fucking tired.
I knew I couldn’t foster any sustainability with what I had at the time. So much inside of me had shifted with my new season, and so much of how I viewed the world and moved myself through it had, too. The postpartum fog (along with a sprinkling of necessity) made me a much more critical thinker and allowed me to take a second, step back and really evaluate.
I saw that I had spent over a year looking out, trying to find value and superimpose it on what I was creating, writing, doing. When all I really wanted and everything I should have been doing was looking in to create value.
So that’s what I did.
I started cultivating intimacy, first with myself and personally what I value, believe in and want. Then I moved focus to my business and got intimate with what I really wanted to do, what I really brought to the table in such a noisy industry, who I wanted to work with and how I wanted to make them feel. And relished in the realisation that who I am and what my purpose is is so intertwined, one constantly informing the other.
Which allowed me to stop chasing the highly sought after but never achieved work-life balance and opt for finding harmony. Honouring an ebb and flow between my roles and responsibilities, while liberated me from the frustrating push-pull of over compartmentalising my life, parenting, relationships, marriage, work.
While I am oversimplifying it fiercely, what happened in my life and business and self, personally, can only be described as finding and nurturing intimacy.
So I took the same values and beliefs into my work and use intimacy as a means to build up a deep understanding of your business and your people so that you have a plan, all the confidence and the right words to grow your business into what you dream to be.
Okay, but what does intimacy have to do with business?
As humans, we value connection. And whether we realise it or not, intimacy is probably quite important in our lives too. With family, a partner or partners, our children, and hopefully ourselves. I’m talking about small intimate moments that encourage acceptance, understanding and vulnerability, with others and ourselves.
And when our businesses are us, as individuals, and when the people we work with or create for in our business are the reason our businesses grow or thrive, it makes sense that we would value intimacy within that space too.
Because our businesses are, in essence, a vulnerable extension of ourselves. That we publish and share with the world again and again.
Intimacy in business could look like:
All of which support you to grow your business into what you dreamt for it to be.
Red wine appreciator, amateur gardener and the voice and heart behind everything here.
I work with small business owners who want more rad clients, growth, and clarity and less rules, formulas and lost-in-the-crowd brand stories by supporting them in building a business they love and brand they believe in.
Partnering with me goes well beyond branding and I’m never in it for the short term. This is also not your typical design studio: I’m equally invested in working with businesses that aren’t ready for or don’t want to invest in design.
So that either way, we wrap up our project with what you need to communicate what you do, who you do it for and why it matters in the most compelling way, without sacrificing your vision or values in the process.
(Or maybe just not enough clients at all?)
Grab my free Brand Messaging Checklist and a cup of coffee (or glass of wine ;) ) and find out what small and impactful changes you can make this week to start getting more (fab) clients. Or find out more about it here.