I just launched a new website for my consulting practice, called Epiphany at Work. And while it is surely my business, and not my personal website space (although I don’t Facebook anymore, my kids hating me lurking there)… I knew it needed to fully represent me and who I am. Any of you who are entrepreneurs know that the company that is your company is also you. I also knew that to attract the right clients I needed to represent myself as honestly and realistically as possible.
Did I get it right? I think the website is as close to depicting me – the professional me – that I can get. The words are all mine. The illustrations of my choice. The designer – a super genius named Ben Hagon (check him out at www.hagondesign.com) spent time talking with me and listening to me – and then tested several designs until we settled on this one. I even made the risky choice to not “market test” the design options but to choose the one that spoke most resonately to me. When I look at it I feel content somehow.
But here’s the rub: In the few months it has taken to get this baby up and running, I have changed! Not a whole lot, I’ll admit. And not because of some catastrophic life-changing event that has popped me up a notch. Rather, my small daily does of integral practices – sitting practice, hot yoga, journaling, coaching – have continued to shape me. Each day I find myself facing myself differently. Topics that I once knew my opinion on, I’m not so sure of. Responses that feel instinctive to me are not always my choice of action. Luckily Ben must have sensed this in me. We’ve designed the site so I can add to it and keep it more up to date. We even have a section called “Latest Buzz.”
I got inspired to change the site after attending a workshop on personal branding. They are all the rage right now, for students, for job seekers and especially for business people who want to stand out from the crowd. I have a feeling that trying to “brand” a human being is not really a good thing. As I write it, I see the pun: branding a human as though branding a calf. Ouch! If we are evolving, growing, changing, then our “brand” would have to change too. And brand recognition, forget it.
I read recently that in Japan they actually name some cherry trees in their public parks – the ones that are hundreds of years old and that people come to see in bloom. The Japanese believe they get energy from sitting with the trees. I think so too. Naming a tree. I like it. It’s different than branding, naming is. I have a name. And it has stayed with me from birth as I evolve. That feels right.