Why I Can No Longer Be My Business
A few months ago I hinted at some BIG changes happening in and with The Classy Hippie and I’m excited to be sharing them with you today.
I can’t be my business anymore.
Wait. Am I shutting down The Classy Hippie?!?
No. I’m doing one better. Over the next few months, from now until late summer // early fall, I will be taking The Classy Hippie through a brand audit and re-branding process. On September 1st, I’ll relaunch The Classy Hippie as a personal lifestyle blog.
Soooo, are you not doing design anymore?!?
No way! After the relaunch of The Classy Hippie, I’ll start work on launching a NEW design studio with a BIG mission - EEK - I really am SO excited to share that with you as well as the journey I’ll be going through in order to achieve that mission.
This mission is my long-term end goal, so it will most likely take a while, but I am SO ready and passionate about making it a reality. BUT it’s still too soon to share what that is for now. Look for that early 2018.
Soooo, what will be happening until 2018?
Good question! I will absolutely still be designing and working with clients during the transition time. When it’s all said and done, The Classy Hippie will be my personal online home where I’ll get to share all about Minimalism, Simple Living, Faith, Politics, Environmentalism, Healthy Living, Self-Care and other things I’m learning and finding interesting along the way.
And I'll have a NEW separate design studio built to grow beyond myself and continue to help serve the Do-Gooders of the world.
So, what made you decide to make these changes?
I’ll go into a few reasons below as well as some tips to help you answer the dreaded question designers of today are facing - one Instagram account or two?!
3 Reasons Why I Can No Longer Be My Business
1. Designing for myself is literally the hardest thing.
Pick. Choose one.
These are the things I struggle with. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a hard time choosing, at least when it came to me.
As a designer, I make choices all the time. I decide and I go a direction that makes sense based on the research, the project, the client, the brand, etc. It’s not always “easy” but when you start the process and go through the brainstorming - clarity starts to appear and the “right” solution begins to present itself.
It’s fascinating really, starting with an idea and working through it, until you reach a solution. I love it. That ‘a-ha’ moment when everything starts to fall into place. It’s priceless.
However, when it comes to ME, I have SUCH a hard time getting to that same end result. I think a lot of designers would agree, designing for yourself is the hardest task.
Maybe it’s because we’re so familiar with all kinds of styles and techniques, history, influences, other designers’ work we admire, various graphic styles we like and it all comes together to form our experience and our taste - so when it comes to picking ONE, it’s hard.
At least that’s how it is for me. I LOVE so many things and want to create so many things and want to do and see ALL THE THINGS.
So, when it came to designing The Classy Hippie, which essentially is ME - think Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce - it was HARD and it took me a VERY long time to even start putting something together.
Since filing for my LLC two years ago, I’ve had three websites. One super quick and easy site that looked like my wedding website, one that was SUPER informative about my services but lacked visuals, and the one I have now which best represents The Classy Hippie brand as it is today.
As a brand designer, I know how important consistency is for brand recognition and to build trust with your audience, yet, because my business was [and still is] me, sticking to a consistent graphic style when I personally enjoy exploring and experimenting with different styles was nearly impossible.
This resulted in numerous graphic styles which is a BIG no-no and leads me to my next point.
2. I want to be able to fully express myself.
Something very interesting happens when you make yourself your business. Suddenly this idea, and what you want to create in the world is tied to your personality, your beliefs, your strengths, your weaknesses, your thoughts, your life, YOU.
Suddenly instead of your work or your business supplying you with an income, all the pressure is put on YOU and who you are to create that income and support yourself. Congratulations, you’ve now commoditized yourself.
Now it’s up to YOU, your personality, who you are as a human being to make money all while putting yourself out there and being open and transparent. Talk about stress. Talk about pressure.
But, when I put the stress and pressure of providing work and an income on who I was as a person, I started questioning everything I was creating, writing, posting, sharing and whether or not it would appeal to my target audience.
Why? Because you want to talk to your tribe, to your ideal client, to the people you want to serve, to your audience.
Every time I went to share something about my life, I thought about whether or not it would appeal to a design audience and every time I shared something about design // my business I thought about whether or not it would ‘bother’ someone following my account because of the personal things I was sharing. Back and forth, back and forth.
Every time I went to blog, I wanted to share about minimalism, simple living, nutrition & food, wellness, paying off debt, things I found interesting and other lifestyle topics that didn’t really have anything to do with my business. There was a disconnect.
Something had to give.
Obviously, I’ve been doing it this way for the last two years and though it’s “worked” in some aspects, I feel like it’s holding me back in so many others.
Personally, I don’t want to worry about what I post or share. I want to explore and not care about whether or not it ‘makes sense’ to a potential client. I want to be free to create and be myself without the pressure of needing it to make money.
I want to share my faith and my viewpoints and what I’m learning without worrying about whether or not it could possibly offend a potential client.
Is it possible to do both in the same space? Yes. Many designers and business owners do it, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t work for me.
3. I want my business to grow beyond myself.
Finally, I have dreams to grow my design studio into a boutique studio. Nothing HUGE, but a small intimate group of passionate designers working to help the Do-Gooders of this world build their businesses by providing them with the branding and visuals they need in order to do that.
One where people can fully be themselves, where we have team dinners and team challenges together. Where there’s a photo backdrop and prop bucket for mid-afternoon photo sessions. Where we bring in speakers, chefs, yoga instructors and more to teach us and keep us on track with a healthy lifestyle.
I look forward to that day and that time and when it comes, I don’t want it to be all about me [The Classy Hippie] I want it to be a collective of awesome people working and creating together, and that means the studio needs a new name to lay the foundation necessary to build the kind of design studio I want to create and be a part of.
There you have it. The decision I've been tossing around for months has been made and I honestly feel so great about it - so much relief!
Even though I've decided to separate my personal blog from my business, I know that there will be overlap between the two, because after all, they're both run by me.
However, having a dedicated platform for my business that is not directly ME allows me to make the business it's own thing and make the decisions I can make when it comes to designing for others.
Whereas, having a dedicated platform for JUST ME allows me to be myself and go down whatever rabbit hole I find interesting at the time without having to worry about whether or not it’s ‘consistent’ with my business’ brand or if it speaks to my target audience.
Finally coming to terms with needing the two spaces has been liberating - and if you know me at all - you know how important FREEDOM is for me.
Have you been struggling with this concept as well? Here's a few things to consider when battling the dreaded question - two Instagram accounts or one?
1. If you aren’t struggling with the one vs. two accounts issue - CONGRATS! No need to worry about any of this. Some people have one account just for business others have one account just for personal while still others have one account that shows both or two separate accounts.
2. If you LOVE all the things and they don’t necessarily make sense for your business to be posting about, then consider having two accounts. If you're an intensely curious person who loves to experiment with different styles or types of content, it could be worth creating a separate space for your personal vs. your business.
3. Have kids? Love posting about them? Another great time to consider having separate accounts. I follow a few people who have done this after having kids. I also follow a few who have had kids and still post them on their business account, but in each case, their business is their name, so it’s one of those situations where personal and business exist in the same place. Ultimately, you’ve got to decide which is right for you.
4. Are you planning on building a team one day? Always running your business solo? These are some thoughts to consider when deciding on whether or not you want one or two accounts. I follow a designer who has a team, who's business is her name and she has one account that shows design & personal. I follow another designer who always plans on it just being her who has two separate accounts - one for personal and one for business. It's up to you and what makes the most sense to you.
5. If you’re struggling with this question at all, chances are making the change is what you need. If not, why would you be questioning it or struggling with it in the first place? Try it out for 30 days and see how you feel, you can always go back.
I hope this was helpful to you! I'm really looking forward to the next few months and taking The Classy Hippie through the re-branding process as well as FINALLY sharing my NEW design studio and it's BIG mission with you.
That's still a ways off, but until then, leave me a comment on your thoughts about your business being YOU or creating separate accounts for personal vs. business - I'd love to hear what you have to say!
Love & Blessings,