There are so many business books out there and whenever you ask for book recommendations you get overwhelmed and yes so many have an opinion on what branding is and isn’t how can you know which to buy. Personally, I am one of those people who looks for reviews for most of my purchases, especially if I am buying books for personal and business development. As a coach I decided I would love to recommend only the most valuable and impactful books to my clients.
The first book review is Brand Brilliance from Fiona Humberstone of @thebrand_stylist
At first glance this book is elegant, beautifully laid out
and truly an immersive experience into how truly visual a brand can be. This
book isn’t just a book on branding your business it is an asset for your
business to treasure and to continue to refer to as you evolve and grow.
Who is it suitable for?
Whether you are brand new and just trying to shape your
business or you are established and want a refresh this book covers both types
of business owners.
The photography is intentional and crisp.
Layout is clean and clear.
Insider Tips throughout the book assumedly from clients but these are valuable extra touches that I think add further credibility.
Case Studies articulate what good looks like for each topic covered.
Create a company that plays to your strengths, feeds your ambition and enables you to live the life you want.
The book is split into two parts. Part 1 Brand Clarity covering topics from the philosophy around a brand to understanding your strategy and finally delving into the look of the brand.
Each of these parts does take you through both a journey of information and experience when you consider the guidance plus the examples of each topic.
Part two takes the concepts journaled or shaped in part one and excels them to the next level which is about bringing your brand to life – Brand Brilliance.
The author talks through essentials as well as how to have a website that wins you work which takes the reader on a natural evolution of their thinking.
You’re in control to create a business on your terms, define your own versions of success and shoot for the stars.
As a coach my focus is on helping purpose led entrepreneurs to go from aspiring or new to launched and confident. The great part of this specific niche is that as a coach you watch the magic go from a random thought to a real business. This book is a perfect compliment to that process.
So I have a secret, I hate goal setting. Not sure why but I do. It’s not that I doubt my ability to reach a goal to anything like that but goal setting feels transactional and I don’t want a transactional life.
I found myself yesterday sat in front an array of big boxes each filled with the parts to build 5 different pieces of bathroom furniture. I had been ordering them over last few weeks for my mum who wanted to change her 2 bathrooms.
I don’t get excited at the thought of building for pack anything so I had been avoiding going to my mums in the hope that she would get someone else to build them. (joke)
Tools and courage at the ready we started to unpack the parts to our first cabinet. Mum tried to help but with fibromyalgia and arthritis she couldn’t hold a normal screw driver and the electric one didn’t last long before it gave up.
First one completed
After 30 minutes the first one was complete! What a success. Not as awkward as I thought it would be. Mum and auntie keep saying how I learnt from my dad how to be patient and how to build things. This is very true, as an engineer if you ever wanted something dad would say don’t but he will build. And he did. Always.
We continued on and after a few more hours we had all 5 cabinets built. The last one, that was the hardest. The fixtures didn’t fit as well and some of them would literally just pop out if you weren’t touching it. It was a struggle to get that last piece right, like a jigsaw puzzle but someone chewed the final pieces so they don’t quite fit but they are meant too.
Goal Setting v Delivering Value
Goal setting can become more of a to-do list. A tick box action. Yes it takes hard work but when you have big goals it can often feel overwhelming. If I had set goals to build all cabinets at the start I would have felt overwhelmed. Seeing all the boxes was enough.
However I chose instead to focus on why I was doing this. It wasn’t about the transaction of building a cabinet, I’m not a factory. It was the value my mum would gain from starting to see and feel her bathroom changes moving along. I would be successful if I make my mum happy by having at least some new furniture built today. Make a start at least. If I only built one she would still be better off than before.
Why is this different?
If you focus on just hitting a goal or delivering stuff to your customer then your sense of achievement isn’t around whether you delivered the right stuff or how much value it brings. If you focus instead on value, and providing value in increments then your customer will be happier, quicker. Putting the customer value at the heart of your action instead of the action of completing the goal. Doing stuff.
Plus you get a greater sense of achievement from delivering increments of value as it provides motivation to keep going when your customer is happy.
After completing the first cabinet, I was motivated. I knew because I had my dad’s logical approach it was easier than I expected.
Another cabinet down, then another. Then a refuel and break ( with cheese and crackers, yum).
2 more to go, I told mum I was getting tired so maybe only one more today. Which she was fine with. So the second to last was an easy one, just a box basically for a laundry hamper. Done. Simples.
And then just one left. It was dark outside and I was getting tired. My arms were aching now.
Should I stop or should I carry on. I was 80% through all of the building and 80% delivery is great value. However, I am a ‘completer/finisher’ by nature so not finishing the last 20% would have bugged me. So, swig of coffee and back to it. The last one was the most challenging. The fixtures didn’t seem to want to stay put. The screws no longer wanted to be screwed. We got there though. Finally finished the last piece 4 hours after I started.
Don’t set out to do stuff, set out to deliver value first and foremost. It’s not a course you are creating or a workshop, it’s a transformation or a solution to your clients pain.
Be aware of the bigger picture but focus on breaking that down into achievable chunks. It’s far easier to focus on building one cabinet than 2 bathrooms worth of cabinets. So focus on one video, one module and make that valuable and high quality.
Don’t let obstacles be the reason for not delivering. Figure out how to remove a blocker or decide it’s not a blocker. My electric screwdriver gave up and so I used different normal screwdrivers to get each bit done. I was offered the option to give up but my dad never used electric so I knew I didn’t need to either. Sometimes going ‘old skool’ is best. Post it notes on a wall or big sheets of paper to map out ideas or outlines to courses are much better than using new software or fancy tools. Both equally have a place. Always focus on the solution not the problem!
Take a break. All work and no play makes anyone feel dull. Breaks allow us to reboot and refresh.
Remember your why! Seeing my mum happy at her new bathroom furniture coming to life is why I started. Out with the old and in with the new. Keeping your why in mind will help when the journey gets tough, when obstacles get in your way and you wanna give in.
Focus on the value behind the goal, not the goal itself.
As I sit here today in a newly discovered ‘health cafe’ I find out that they have only been open for 2 weeks and I am kinda blown away.
The consistency in
branding is spot on, from the menu’s, to cutlery jars, bespoke art work and
food. All gives an earthy, back to nature nourished kind of feel. I love that
it’s not full on ‘vegan’ but embraces both meat lovers and veggie (me) and
vegans alike with chicken on a menu next to the jackfruit (totally my new fave
Whilst it’s on a busy
road it’s still got a great little view of the hills a few doors either way and
you would lose that.
Test and Learn
The menu is simple
which is what you need when just starting out. Something that is easy to manage
and deliver whilst being evolutionary so you can shape and evolve as you learn
more about your clientele or customers.
It’s standalone so not
competing for attention but is on a busy road and therefore even without any
big launch this little diamond of a new business is getting new customers
Some people choose to
soft launch a business so that they can get used to being a business owner,
they can test and learn themselves without fearing judgement. Being your own
boss nowadays sounds like an easy way out of something. We all see loads of
‘ditch your 9-5’ or ‘don’t work for a boss, be your own boss’ and it all sounds
so magical and fairy tale like.
Ok one of my courses I
am developing is from ‘business dream to dream business’ because it is possible
but no one said it was easy. Simple possibly.
It can be fairytale
like, but it also takes courage, let me say that again. It takes a bucket full
of courage, a shed load of resilience and even more patience.
Overnight Success is a myth
No business is an
overnight success, yes success can come easily but there is a lot of work
behind the scenes before you press publish on your website or turn over the
‘open’ sign for the first time.
I am sitting here so
super impressed with this business so much that I am writing a blog about it on
my phone because I’m inspired right now.
I’m not a food critic
(well not a published one anyway) but I am passionate about people who don’t
just dream but go for it! Well done to Hannah for going for that dream and
total admiration for such a great job too!