I just realized it's been over a month since I last posted. I've been plugging away and making progress. Here's what I've been up to.
First of all, I'm excited to announce that I've been working with an actual graphic artist to establish my brand!
As an "accidental entrepreneur" and DIY Leader, of course everything you've seen up to this point has been designed and developed by me. Considering that my website and LLC went from conception to go-live in less than a month, clearly I haven't yet spent a lot of time on the aesthetics of my brand.
Like everything else with this #LeadershipReform mission I've been on, I wasn't even thinking about "big girl" branding yet. However, during a casual conversation with a friend of mine, I was introduced to the work of Bekah Crowell and was intrigued by the comprehensive approach that she brings to every project
I contacted her the next day; had an initial consultation, signed a contract and kicked off the project earlier this month. I'm learning so much throughout this entire process, and love seeing how the "pros" actually do it. I especially appreciate the behind-the-scenes view into graphic design, because it's so similar to instructional design in regards to how much science and psychology go in to it.
For example, many people create a presentation, call it training, and suddenly they're adding "instructional designer" to their resume. Similarly, anyone can put together some clip art, call it a logo and suddenly their resume includes "graphic artist." However, when the professionals do it, it's on a whole other level.
The pros often have a lifelong passion for their medium that started with an undergraduate (and often graduate-level) degree in which they learned the science, methodologies, best practices and psychology behind the medium. Add to that their years of experience specializing in this ONE area, and there's no comparison.
Subliminally, you don't realize why the professional's version is better, you just know that it is. But the pros know that the ball-end serif font family "conveys a sense of professionalism and that the client will be treated as a person, rather than a number," and that software skills training is not a one-time event, requires hands-on practice in a realistic environment as well as in-application performance support to ensure a user's success. Point being... hug a graphic designer or instructional designer the next time you meet one. These folks work really hard to make it look easy.
I digress. But be sure to look for the big reveal of my professional branding some time in May. Until then, I encourage you to check out Bekah Crowell's website.
"Hire a professional, y'all. It's money well spent." -- Me, The DIY Leader
TEDx Talk in the Works?
OK, this is the scary part that I'm putting it writing in hopes that it will force me to see it through to completion.
I've been accepted by Thought-Leader, a consulting firm that has successfully led over 400 individuals to their own TEDx Talk, to help me prepare for a TEDx Talk on leadership. Eeeek!!!
This was another idea that "fell into my lap" literally, while watching talking cat videos on YouTube (seriously, they're fascinating. Check it out)! Clearly, when you receive a message whilst viewing talking cat videos on YouTube, you must follow through with it!
From day one of this adventure, I knew I had to get my #LeadershipReform message out there soon and (hopefully) in a big way, for it to have any impact. Enter... Thought-Leader.
Their vetting process is pretty intense, comprised of a thought-provoking questionnaire followed by a 2-hour interview if your questionnaire passes muster. During the interview, I shared my story and explained why I was so passionate about my message. I also stated, "Quite frankly, I have no idea what I'm doing." Their response was, "Hold my beer."
"Of course I'll do it! Presenting on the world's biggest stage... every ADHD sufferer and introvert's worst nightmare. What could possibly go wrong?" -- Also Me, The DIY Leader
I've completed the written application process. However (and, unfortunately for me) a 1-minute video summary is required as well. I'm not nervous about the live presentation at this point, because I know live audiences are a bit more forgiving when you lose your train of thought and have to pause to poke fun at yourself in order to get back on track. You can't do that in a 1-minute video "pitch" though. So... stay tuned to learn if I ever make it over this hurdle. I have until April 1st.
Last But Not Least
I'm overwhelmed by the knowledge that has been shared with me and the support that I've received from friends, acquaintances and even perfect strangers during my brief entrepreneurial journey so far.
I have no idea where this journey will take me. However, I already have a long-running list of folks whom I'm going to bring with me if it truly takes off! Until then, my list continues to grow and I continue to learn while obediently following the leads that are presented to me.
"GREAT Leaders know their weaknesses, are humble enough to admit to them, yet smart enough to know who can fill the void." -- Still Me, The DIY Leader