I’ve been thinking about how we hide.
We hide behind our parents as young children. We hide behind books and video screens. I hid in my clothes, and it started when I was a teenager.
Growing up, my dad would invite friends to live with us if they needed a place to stay. I remember guys sleeping on the living room floor or on the floor in my brothers’ room. My mom taught me how to stretch the food to feed a few extra people each night. But the most vivid memory I have was when one of these men noticed me. I was twelve or thirteen years old and headed out the door when my dad’s friend, who’d been living with us, asked if I wanted a ride in his car. He had a look in his eye that I intuitively knew was a creepy-kind of look.
I was smart enough to decline the invitation. I hurried away on my walk. But after several of these incidences I started wearing baggy jeans and boring tee-shirts. I wore baggy dresses to high school; I kept my hair long without styling and no makeup. I wanted to hide. I didn’t want anyone to see I was growing into a woman.
It’s hard for me to admit this. I was a shy teenager. Once at college, I gained more confidence, and I got rid of the jeans and tee-shirts. I worked in San Francisco in a great office, I wore nice, but still loose-fitting clothes.
Once, I had a client who told me she didn’t know if I was heavy or thin because my clothes were so big.
Here’s a picture from last week when I was on the stage at a live event. No more hiding out in my clothes. (I’m on the right next to Darla LeDoux.)
It’s been a long process to come out of hiding (and to recognize when I AM hiding.) Just a few years ago, when I was getting ready to publish my current website for the first time, I hesitated before hitting the key to make it live.
And here’s the funny part, who was going to see it really? For those first few months very few people knew my website address! Even so, the knowledge that I was going “live” held me back for a few minutes. It was that uncomfortable feeling that came flooding back over me.
Was I ready to be seen?
So, right now are you wondering what does any of this have to do with design and visual identity?
During my Muse Board™ Discovery process, I SEE how people are hiding in their businesses. Maybe you’ve slapped together a logo and some colors to “get it done” so you could launch your website. Or maybe your husband or your niece created a “brand” for you, because they knew how to use Photoshop.
But you aren’t reaching your ideal clients. People come to your website or read your newsletters, but they aren’t contacting you. There is a disconnect between what your business is—between YOU—and your visual identity. You are hiding.
Many of my clients tell me that once we do a Muse Board™ and a logo, they have an instant connection with their clients. They love handing out business cards and sending emails with their logo signature. It is an extension of themselves and their business. They’ve come out of hiding and are being SEEN in their business. And that’s what creates the right connection with the right clients.
No more baggy jeans.
With Love and beauty,