Uncomfortable Changes For The Win
It's been a while because I've been going through some major transformations. They are good transformations, and the reasons are also good, but no matter what, I’m embracing my uncomfortable changes.
Woman in The Mirror
Maybe it is because I grew up at a time when Micheal Jackson’s “Man in The Mirror” was constantly on the radio, but I do a ton of self-reflection. I talk to a friend when I feel like I’m being too biased because of my own desires or strong feelings. If I feel like a friend knows too much to give me an unbiased perspective, I get a reading from someone who isn’t emotionally invested in my personal life.
I want to make sure I’m seeing myself clearly, and if I’m too emotionally charged - positively or negatively, I need to make sure my Windex is on deck. We’ve all done it - interact with people, make critical decisions based on emotion and when we calm down or get to a neutral state, have a wave of WTF wash over us.
People benefit from this. Great salespeople and marketers are masters of leading people by their emotions without them feeling what is going on. Exceptional salespeople sell the right products and services that create wins for everyone involved, most importantly the client.
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Self-Awareness is a Catalyst for Change
As of this year, I’ve been on Earth for four decades. Like most, I’ve had my share of highs and lows. I have close friends, family, and clients who come to me for guidance, and I’ve listened to all their highs and lows. Some people are so distracted by work, trauma, and their lifestyle that they don’t realize how they impact the people around them. The hard pill to swallow is knowing that some people are aware and don’t care. The people around them tell them, write emails and letters and even seek the help of neutral parties, and they could give a damn about how their actions and words impact the ones who love them the most. For some, this is a passing phase associated with depression, but for others, this is just who they are.
Self-Awareness leads you to the improvement stage, but sometimes self-awareness is the most challenging stage to process. Having the ability to receive feedback is groundbreaking. I first noticed this when American Idol came out almost 20 years ago. There were people in the auditions who received the feedback graciously. Others took the feedback as a personal attack. Receiving feedback requires the ability to “listen to hear” instead of listening to get your point across.
Change comes after you figure out what you will do with the feedback. Will you receive it and retort it with an immediate explanation? You can, but sometimes it takes a few minutes to process what is being said and then ask questions to ensure you understood where the other person was coming from. Even though everyone can speak the same language, people’s life experiences, tones, and inflections will create a whole new meaning to what started in their heads and went to their mouths to your ears.
Lets’s go over a lighter, real-life example of seeing myself clearly, listening to feedback, and making changes.
The Transformation Process
This process was uncomfortable but necessary for my growth. We could go deep with this topic, but for now, let’s look at it from a business owner's perspective.
I created Cloud 9.5 in 2015. It is a metaphysical business that evolved over time because it reflects me and my evolution. The services and products changed, but one thing remained the same - it wasn’t growing in the way I wanted it to grow. This was self-awareness - being aware that something wasn't quite right.
In 2020, I decided I wanted to work with someone who specialized in business, not just metaphysics. I was directed to a company that helps small businesses grow and met with a mentor. She gave me two pieces of advice. One I knew, and the other I did not know.
I needed to become more visible by writing more and doing more interviews.
I needed to change the name of the business.
#2 was hard for me to receive. The name Cloud 9.5 meant so much to me. In my life, I’ve had people who I expected to love and care for me because of their position in my life, hurt me deeply. I had no choice in their position in my life. This is what I was born into. No matter how much stronger I got, they worked harder to break me. This went on from when I was a child into my adult years. It was normal for them to go out of their way to make me or to make anyone associated with me feel unwelcome, even my children. Cloud 9.5 stood for having power over one’s happiness. Cloud 9 means happiness in American culture, and for me, the additional .5 represented the hard work to get there. It reflected all the therapies, readings, rituals, ceremonies, and mentors I had applied to my life to heal and just be happy. I didn’t want to provide every single service to people, but I at least wanted to be the company that could point them in the right direction.
The mentor’s reasoning for why I needed to change the name of my business sounded like something I have said to my marketing company clients in the past. The domain name was not easy to say to people. If someone asked for my website, I had to say, “The word cloud the number nine pt the number 5 dot com.” There were other variations of that explanation, and she was not wrong. My left brain knew what was up. My right brain couldn’t get out of its feelings to move forward. I processed what she said and told her I would think about how to move forward with this change.
For the past few years, I have thought about this change for Cloud 9.5. I thought about keeping the name the same but having a domain name attached to the company that was mainly used to get people there without the long weird spelling explanation. I couldn’t come up with anything.
During my weekly meeting with Lauren Manicke, one of the other partners of Coven Cloud - a social network for spiritual explorers, we started to cancel because we were both busy, but we ended up being on the call for hours. I showed her something I was working on for Inbound Concepts, my marketing company, and explained my new niche. She held a figurative mirror up to me and showed me how Inbound Concepts was showing up to the new niche.
Inbound Concepts, my personal brand, and Cloud 9.5 all shared the same brand colors. I did this on purpose for the sake of my convenience. I hadn’t updated the Inbound Concepts logo since 2012 or the Cloud 9.5 logo since 2015. This is strange because in the corporate world and when working with my clients, it has always been easy for me to help people see themselves and update their company's existence. But turning that mirror on myself…it wasn’t happening. I always claimed I was too busy. Lauren had the Windex for the mirror on hand, broke out some tarot cards, and helped me free myself from what I’ve been clinging to with my businesses.
I niched Inbound Concepts a few years ago and only accept clients outside of my niche through referral. My outdated logo did not reflect the niche I was working with. Lauren made a valid point. New clients would not look at my logo and feel like my company was opening and accepting of them.
I told her about how the metaphysical company name change was nagging me, and I couldn’t find a direction for it or even a domain name that could direct people to the current domain. She said, “If it keeps coming up. You know it’s time.” At that moment, I set the intention for guidance on the name, and by the next morning, it came to me. Just like that, Cloud 9.5 turned into Soul Trine. It has a deep meaning that I will explain in an upcoming Soul Trine blog post(subscribe), but the meaning is not tied to my personal trauma. It is connected to ways my company can serve others. That morning, receiving the name of the business was an emotional experience - I cried tears of release, relief, and gratitude and even more so when I finished designing the logo.
Taking the time to look at me was uncomfortable. It’s so easy to be too busy to care for yourself and your business. It is even more convenient to lack self-awareness to fully understand how you impact yourself and others, but convenience does not always align with growth. Convenience holds hands with complacency. Complacency is a road to the rabbit hole of problems.
Changing company branding is a big deal. Changing a company name is an even bigger deal, but both were necessary for growth for Cloud 9.5, aka Soul Trine.
The rebrand for Inbound Concepts is still in process. I’m not changing the name. It works for marketing, no matter the niche.