I met Max on our porch on a hot, sunny summer day. The sun was shining bright, I was drinking a glass of lemonade… my hand wet with its condensation.
He had a scar on his forehead. And was somewhat disheveled, like he had been out all night. Maybe even got in a fight. He was THE definition of sly l’il tomcat. But he was more than that. He was a goof, that craved loved, and really just liked hanging out. This weird little mix of rough around the edges but SO sweet was his brand so to speak.
Over time, we became good friends. He’d visit and we’d hang out on the porch under the hanging vines, watching the sun go down. Other times, he’d walk with me towards the local coffee shop.
This went on for a year or more. Quietly hanging out, walking, eating together… Winter, summer, and all the seasons in between.
Then one day the stars aligned and it was the right time to invite him in.
We spent a lot of time together in my little back room. Cuddling, playing….
Then one day, he was gone. My life, and me, changed forever.
Max, was my neighbours cat. He became my foster when his family abandoned him a year or so after we met.
He was playful. Full of trust. And bursting with love, joy, and …. a desire to nap 😉
His ability to trust, to assume that people would help him, and love him for who is was, was such an amazing thing to see.
I thought to myself…. If a cat (hardwired to fear humans, and the victim of a pretty shitty life) could be like this, I could be too!
Now, when I leap through life, and dive into one business goal after another I think of Max.
It might sound crazy but he has helped me brand myself as “me”. And doing so has helped me meet more and more people who genuinely like me (and my own brand of kooky).
I meet a lot of Max’s in my life. People who seem to glide through life – confident, secure, loved – even despite experiencing the exact opposite early in life.
To be honest though, I still struggle. But my memory of him is always an inspiration.
What about you… Are you a Max? Or, do you still struggle to believe that clients will flock to you for being you?
If so, I toootaly get what that’s like.
Branding yourself can feel terrifying. “What if people don’t like me” is something that some of us are more afraid of than others.
But, authenticity is so important. People can feel it. They sense when you’re not comfortable (which most of us aren’t when we’re wearing a mask).
Make a commitment to take off that mask and be proud of who are!
Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about branding, being authentic, and making that all come together on your website.
Like I’ve said before, start small if you’re afraid. Ya, I believe in taking the plunge but if you’re just not up for it then that’s fine too.
Start out with a minor change to your text, a new image, or maybe one new color in your brand. Just start! That’s all that matters.