Some people are terrified of change. But for me, not changing is scarier.
I’ve spent the last year in a period of transformation, taking the opportunity to reflect, reconnect, re-strategize, and redesign Co.Creative, and truthfully, my entire life.
As we enter into what I’ve dubbed “Co. 2.0”, I want to share the story of this evolution. I know there are so many businesses in the same boat – wanting to do it differently, outgrowing their initial vision, and feeling that sense of urgency to expand. Transformation can be both uncomfortable and exciting, and I hope my experience offers nuggets of wisdom on your journey to bigger and better things.
There are two sides to Co.’s story, just like there are two sides to the work we do: the head and the heart. Let’s start with the head.
I initially created Studio Co.Creative to serve “soulpreneurs” – heart-centered entrepreneurs – but over time our clientele naturally shifted. I was noticing that our soulpreneur-inspired branding, voice, content, and online course didn’t always align with our larger corporate clients. I didn’t want to water down the spiritual, but I also didn’t want to alienate larger clients coming our way.
Here I was, preaching the importance of brand strategy to clients, and yet I didn’t have one of my own. As they say, the painter’s house is never painted.
Thanks to all the long hours of sitting at home in contemplation in 2020 (#covidsilverlining), I took my own branding advice to heart. I mapped, and re-mapped, and finally figured it out. I realized that my business has grown up and has actually become two businesses.
Studio Co.Creative will continue to serve our corporate and non-profit clientele through our strategic & creative services, and our online education & soulpreneur space has become The Soulcademy. Seeing this iteration on my whiteboard felt so clear, simple, and right. So I kept digging, aiming to get clearer and simpler with each layer I uncovered.
Here is the result: Our core focus at Co.Creative is now our signature brand strategy deliverable, The Brand Capsule™, the essential foundation to any branding, web design, or marketing strategy project. This is our unique, proprietary transformation process that uncovers the heart, soul, and psyche of our clients’ businesses, expanding and aligning their inner purpose with all layers of branding & marketing.
Ultimately The Brand Capsule™ is a business strategy through the lens of a brand. This is what we do differently, to help our clients make a difference.
I’ve also opened the doors to our Co.Creators. These are gifted strategists & creatives who, most importantly, embody Co.Creative’s values – to come together as a team and deliver our high-quality services to each unique client that comes through our door.
By focusing primarily on offering The Brand Capsule™, and now with the hearts & minds of our Co.Creators, we are ready to fly and help as many mission-driven businesses as we can.
It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how much I have in common with my “dream clients”. We both started our businesses with a big purpose, and we both bootstrapped our way to some success. Along the way, “busy” took over and our businesses (naturally) evolved. We veered away from our initial purpose & vision, but, a more expanded purpose & vision started to emerge.
Enter a sticky (and inevitable) part of the transformation journey. When I hit this stage, I thought, Now what? What does this mean for all the assets, IP, tools, communications, and reputation I’ve built? Do I throw it all away? And how do I create a new identity based on all I’ve learned and experienced?
If you’re here, and I hope you are, this is a perfect place to be. Enjoy this pause, where you get to reconnect with yourself and take a minute (or a year, in my case) to sit with a blank piece of paper and reimagine your possibilities.
A blank piece of paper can be intimidating, though. It has no rules, no confines, no starting point. And yet that space – that willingness to reimagine – is when our soul speaks to us. This time, though, there are two soul voices speaking: your own soul (as the founder), and now, your business’s soul.
Because the truth is that, along the way, something magical happened to your company.
I realized that as Studio Co.Creative grew from foundation to iteration, from year one to year five, from the 1.0 to the 2.0, it took on a life of its own. Honestly, I see too many founders confuse these two identities (myself included). As I began to notice their similarities and differences, I entered a new layer of clarity.
So the Co.Creative 2.0? It is a recognition that there are, in fact, these two beings that need to be heard and honoured. It’s also a recognition of my own expertise that I have worked so hard to acquire.
My original purpose, to help mission-driven businesses create greater alignment & impact, is still there – but it’s now expanded and more focused. And my core business belief has been proven over time: the best brands truly are built from the soul up.
Change can be difficult to navigate, but it is essential in order to clear space for growth, impact, and abundance. Your brand isn’t an afterthought, or a cherry on top or a splash of fresh paint – if you do it right, it goes straight to the core which can inform your next brilliant step.
I’m so excited about this next phase of my entrepreneurial journey, and I smile knowing that by taking this step into 2.0, I’m already clearing the way for 3.0.