I have just completed a four-month process of re-developing my brand from the ground up.
I have done this so many times in my life, I’m not even sure I can count them. Along with brand development, I’ve had a number of different logos and taglines, brand guides, brand colors, and fonts.
Branding work for an entrepreneur is difficult but necessary. I’ve often resisted the process, because it always seems to want to boil me down to one skin—one role, one description, one title. The process of branding has always felt to me like making me hold still and smile pretty. “No!” the restless part of me screams out. “You can’t make me!”
Because my life has not been one of standing still, but rather one of shapeshifting from role to role and identity to identity as endings arise and new beginnings flood in. Right now I am a writer, but that is not all of who I am, so that is not my brand. I am a student and teacher of spiritual studies, but that’s just one piece of many, and not my brand either. I’m a newbie self-publisher, but there’s a long way to go before I would brand myself entirely as a “publisher.”
So I went into the branding process skeptical that I would exit with something truly big enough to hold not only who I am now, but who I am becoming, and all that could still be before me.
This process—a long, comprehensive, dump-out-the-desk-drawers-and-clean-out-the-closets process—was about getting to the root underneath all the branches of who I am.
We weren’t trying to find a label—we were going to search for a direction. For a call. For a reason that could motivate all of my work. This was a soul-searching, value-driven process of diving into the depths of my being for what gives me the most meaning and purpose in my life.
And did we ever find it:
TAGLINE: AWAKEN YOUR POWER
Awaken. It means to rouse, to stimulate, to kindle. Awaken is a call to action. It’s a call to see more clearly. Awakening is a call to grow more consciousness. And that is what all my work is ultimately about.
Power. It’s a word that causes goosebumps to rise along my arm. It’s a word that conjures up equally powerful words: strength, confidence, bravery, courage, boldness, sovereignty, authority.
Power is a word that, when I speak it, I have to tilt my pelvis slightly forward, pull my shoulders back, open up my chest, and speak from my diaphragm. In other words, it’s a word I have to fully embody else the word itself overpowers me.
LOGO: THE OUROBOROS
The image we chose is called the ouroboros—an image of a snake devouring its own tail.
In any position or representation, the snake represents an opportunity for rebirth and renewal through the shedding of old skins. Snakes point to the possibility of transformation and transmutation. Snakes represent creativity, and continuity, and an increased consciousness.
The snake, of course, is well-known for shedding its skin many times throughout its life. This is a process I relate to, admire, and, going forward, seek to emulate, not avoid. Snakes know intuitively when it is time to let go of the old and be reborn. They are not afraid to do so. They do not mourn the old skin—they have simply outgrown it.
The specific image of the ouroboros has even more depth and meaning in addition to that of the regular snake metaphor. The ouroboros represents the creation of life through death, the willingness to “eat off” (leave, release, or move away from) what is behind us so that we can move forward. It represents the eternal cycles of life and death on all levels of existence. Ultimately, the ouroboros represents eternity, and the unity of all things.
In many traditions and religions, especially in Christianity, the snake is viewed as an evil and sneaky tempter. But in ancient and spiritual traditions, the ouroboros is seen as the representation of Kundalini, or the coiled, potent potential that awaits in all of us to give us greater vision. In other words, it appears to us to wake us up.
But, even in many spiritual traditions, the snake is thought to be asleep, waiting to be roused. Not this this snake. Not anymore. This snake is self-aware, and wide awake to its own potent power to create, to shape-shift, to offer new vision and life.
The snake is power.
Together with the logo and tagline, I have the makings of a brand that is not only big enough to last for many years, I will probably spend a number of years just trying to wrap my arms around it. But I’m up for the task. Because in the process of trying to embody this brand, I, too, am called to further awaken my own power.
With this brand reminding me of my own values and direction in life, I will continue on through the cycles of death and rebirth that still await me.
I invite you to join me.