I’m a person who often struggles with negativity and it’s mixed in with high, highs and low, lows. So if my mind is in a good place and my ducks are in a row, I’m an amazing artist, business woman, friend etc. but those times have been rare lately. I fail often and I feel defeated. The downs have been long and I’ve been digging myself out of that deep hole. It’s not fun to realize you’re not doing your own life right and that you must make changes to be the person you want to be. It’s actually really hard to make changes. You get used to the downs and you get stuck there.
Okay shift gears with me for a minute.
My dad is a business man; something that I don’t quite understand yet and I have to ask for help with. I get branding, I get art, I get design, social media, blogging, networking…. I just don’t get business. I suffer from severely underpricing some of the skills I bring to the table and it ends up hurting me. I’m a person who absolutely wants to do it all and I end up nearly drowning because of my stubborn-ness in that area. I can do a lot of things right but just admitting that I don’t flipping get business really makes me feel amazing because I’m not pretending. I recently needed help with pricing some projects I am working on and that’s fine. I got the help, I priced it right and it was so much less stressful that I didn’t have to handle that portion by myself. Why is asking for help so hard? I don’t know. It’s my weakness though. I have my strengths, we all do. My strengths are so clearly in the creative department and I need to be content with that. I have more ideas than I have time to create and that in itself is a blessing.
Okay so back to my dad. He sat me down a few weeks ago during my birthday brunch. Leave it to my family to throw you the perfect birthday brunch with homemade pink heart cookies, with a pink table-cloth and it turn into total dysfunction that led to an amazing “ah-ha” moment.
It started with something along the lines of him yelling at me because that’s the only way anyone has ever been able to get through to me. I need flashing lights, yelling and a circus sometimes to really get it. I don’t even know if he still remembers the conversation but it will be one that I carry close to my heart for the rest of my life.
It started like this, “YOU’RE DIFFERENT, AND YOU CONTINUE TO BE DIFFERENT. We all know that.” I think I had previously said something to the extent of, “what’s so wrong with being different?! Can’t people be different?” He shouted it from the other room and I really appreciated that he realized that I was talking about myself, per usual. Then the brunch continued like a usual brunch does, small talk and eating, which is why I LOVE brunch by the way. It’s like you talk about nothing that matters and eat and it’s acceptable to drink in the morning. Who doesn’t love that, seriously?
Awkwardly in the middle of the brunch my dad stands up and asks if we can talk about me moving in with my boyfriend. And I proceed to poop my pants because Nick was sitting next to me and it was just a disaster waiting to happen. My dad is a very intimidating person and like any dad, talking about moving in with the boyfriend is not exactly birthday brunch conversation but I listened anyway. I felt the tears well up in my eyes as he lectured to me on why we were making a huge mistake getting a one bedroom. He continued to tell me why we need to get a two bedroom, one for my art studio because if I’m going to do this, then I need to go for it. It was everything. And that was the largest boost of confidence my business will ever get and I needed it.
Since I go over the top with everything I do, on our way home I proceeded to tell Nick that queeni needed a room in our new place. I may or may not have rolled down the window and told everyone driving by. “MY BUSINESS NEEDS A ROOOOOOOM!!!!!!!” I’m really too much.
My dad was right though, if I want to do this, then I need to take it seriously and I need other people to take it seriously too. It began as just an idea that someone else brought to me and it has turned into so much more than that. I think anyone who has watched me work, or truly knows me and my heart, knows that this is what I have chosen to be my life’s work. For the record, my dad had all kinds of business advice he brought to the brunch table that day like why aren’t you doing more art and posting more art? And why aren’t you doing the work that makes you money first thing and then pushing every thing else to the side instead of vice versa? So I have been continuing to introduce those strategies into my day and I have seen nothing but amazing results.
My dad jumping on board and telling me that he thinks I can do it, was and still is everything to me. Since then, I have been trying to encourage others as much as possible whom I believe in. Sometimes you just need one other person, who you look up to, say, “you can do it and here’s what I’m going to do to help you.”
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I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.