Finding My Authentic Voice
Let’s just start by saying as a loud child, I have never had an issue finding my voice! Just ask my poor mother! Hardy har har. But seriously, I have always been a talker and arguably an over-sharer. I did a lot of theater in my youth and never got stage fright. It wasn’t until I became a small business owner that I suddenly felt speechless.
As I was starting my business in 2020, not only was it a tough time to navigate what to say on social media as COVID-19 was disrupting everyone’s life and racial justice was at the forefront of conversation. I also was incredibly unsure of myself in my new role of artist, business owner, and mom. Talk about an identity crisis! I had a major case of impostor syndrome for one of the first times in my life. If you want to learn more about how I pushed through that, check out this blogpost.
I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself an artist. I had only started painting late 2018, so I certainly wasn’t an expert. I didn’t know my head from my butt when it came to business. Who the heck was I to yammer on about anything of substance? While this might not be recommended for everyone, I feel like after a lot of posting where I was unsure, worried, and second guessing myself, I finally sat down one night on our patio with a glass of whiskey and started writing out some Instagram posts in Later. I don’t know if it was because I was finally a bit relaxed, or if it was the whiskey (let’s be honest it was probably the whiskey) but I finally felt like I could be my silly self.
My thing was that I don’t know everything, but I’m figuring it out. I LOVE sharing tips that have helped me so that it might be easier for you. I love using idiomatic expressions that your grandmother probably uses. I use WAYYYY too many exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!! Once I started to figure out what my voice was, it made it easier to figure out my branding too. I found that when I posted about balancing life as a mom and a new business owner, people really related to that struggle. I started sharing more about my experience with postpartum depression, working on self care and putting aside my perfectionist tendencies. While these things may not seem aligned to a watercolor stationery business, I realized that they were aligned to me.
As I started to realize more and more what was a big part of who I am, I realized that I wanted to include that into my brand. I started off thinking that I wanted to make really fancy high end wedding stationery, but as I wrote copy for the wedding part of my website covered in peanut butter and jelly smears with my hair a mess, it just didn’t feel authentic. Instead what I found myself drawn to is creating products that make people FEEL like they have their shit together, even when they haven’t showered in a week. This revelation didn’t happen overnight. I feel like every day I am evolving closer and closer into who I am meant to be.
I felt so much pressure as I started my business to have all of this sorted out before I even began. I remember feeling a ton of anxiety as I would shift and change my direction in the early days. We were on our third logo by the time we hit the 5 month mark. But as I changed course more and more, it actually felt better. It felt better because I was getting closer and closer to where I’m meant to be.
When thinking of our word of the year for 2021, we chose grounded for our business and our home life. Staying grounded and remembering that all of this comes back to who we are as a family has been super helpful. It has helped remind me that I didn’t start this business to be someone I’m not, I am building this business to be the best version of myself.
So my homework to you? Grab a glass of whiskey and start writing! Kind of kidding, but not really. I’ve created a worksheet with some little prompts to help you get started in figuring out what you and your business are all about. Just fill out the form below to get the prompts sent right to your inbox. I hope this helps! And Cheers!