Anatomy of a Rebrand, part 6. Almost over now!

Anatomy of a Rebrand, part 6. Part the last.

Time (soon!) to move on to transformations of a different sort.

The rebrand is almost over. Once I can lift my head up from the pixels, and the colors, and the words, and the illustrations, I’ll be turning my attention to and unrolling some really deep, resonant, substantial, and juicy new content, programs, and offers. Yes, the Magnolias West rebrand is pretty (pretty gorgeous, IMHO!), but the visual brand components are the container — but it’s what’s inside that counts. I’ll be introducing three new ways to work with me: Priestess Your Brand, Priestess Your Website, and Priestess Your Life. (Links coming soon, I promise.)

A sneak peek at the Magnolias West rebrandThe items on the checklist and to-do lists are getting handled, one at a time, but even so I can guarantee that MagnoliasWest 3.0 is going to launch with flaws. Hopefully not too many. Hopefully not too terrible. The blog pages are still looking rough at this point, but I have ten more days to try to whip them into shape.

It’s WordPress. Everything can be fixed. Or made better. Or both.

I’ve taken a radically different approach to page construction for the new site, with modular content areas. This new structure will make edits and additions much easier going forward than ever before. It’s very exciting to have made these changes. While these things make no difference to the reader, they make a ton of difference to me when I am working with my content, and for my clients too, when I implement tools and structures like this for them.

May this beautiful new website I’m midwifing into existence be useful, inviting, and of massive service to you!

Hey! I’m excited to share this: I got interviewed by Reba Linker!

We talked about the Divine Feminine in business, and there’s some good stuff in this conversation.


Please share with your tribe if you think it’s useful! xoxox

Posted on August 24th, 2016. Posted in these categories: branding. 16 Comments

New logo — parting the curtains for a peek

Anatomy of a Rebrand, part 5

That squeal-y sound you hear is my excitement at showing this new logo to you!
MagnoliasWest logo

What’s different about this new logo (above, version 3.0)?

Let’s compare, okay? Here are the previous logos:

Magnolias West logos 1 and 2
The new logo — Magnolias West version 3.0 — may or may not be more beautiful. I know beauty is a matter of opinion. I think the new one is far and away the best one ever, but I love the two previous iterations. (It’s really fun and illuminating to look at them all at once, and see the unfolding and development of my brand’s visual components.) I still think using the blossom as the dot of the “i” in Magnolias in v1.0 was brilliant!

But something happened with this rebrand that brought my logo and my relationship to it to a whole new level. It became more personal. My new logo is homegrown and handmade in a deeper way than ever before.

Ask yourself:

How well does my brand reflect my self (my values, my passion, my wisdom, my experience, my transcendence)?

In my branding work with healers and wise women over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a shift from branding with abstract illustrative logomarks. Instead, my clients have chosen a handwritten or beautiful font treatment for their word marks. Each of the women I’m thinking of (Della, Eva, and Josephine, for example) felt strongly that the best way to get their message across, and their wisdom and passion well communicated, was to make their brands very very personal.

And then I began my own rebrand…

When I started to review my visual brand elements, I was called to go the handmade and homegrown route. You may know this about me: I’m a DIY-er. I make my own remedies and cosmetics. I make medicine. I brew kombucha, make sauerkraut, and ghee. I’m a maker, yo. I’m also an iPhone-ographer, and I’ve been taking (as you may also know) pictures of magnolias in bloom with my daughter since she was a year old. She’s nearly 30 now, and we are both committed to this project that will last as long as both of us are alive and living close enough together to make it happen.

Are you curious about why the Magnolias West name has remained the same? Read that part of the rebrand journey here.

Have a look at this handmade and homegrown creation — the new logo for Magnolias West.

MagnoliasWest logo

  • The photo is one of mine, with a little editing done to give it a watercolor, painterly look.
  • I wrote those words “Magnolias West.” For eight hours over two days. About 800 times. (Believe me, I learned a ton about my handwriting.)
  • I have never felt that “I” am in my “brand” more than I do now.

Personal branding. Business branding.

You are a priestess in your business. A beautiful badass priestess. You are in charge.

Choose how you appear, how you will be remembered, and what people will associate with your name and your visuals.

Priestess every branding decision you make.

Bring ritual and intention into the question, into the process. Breathe into it. Ask to be guided and pay attention to what you are shown.

When you focus your kickass sovereign lens on your brand and visuals, you are no longer at the mercy of a designer, or guessing at what your brand should look like. Instead, in an organic unfolding, you can bring your awesome to your brand, and reveal visuals that reflect your best and highest values. Made up of all of you: the grit, the grace, the ease, the way you walk through challenges.

How a priestess rocks her personal brand in life, for example:

  • You decide that you won’t yell at the driver who just cut you off because he or she just might turn out to be your next client.
  • You decide to put on clean clothes even just to run one errand, because you never know who you will encounter.
  • You find the way to smile, and be gracious, even in the most tedious imaginable tech-support call.

And when that kickass priestess brands her business, this could happen (and wouldn’t that be, and feel, amazing!):

  • You bring more and more of yourself to light in your brand. There is no need to feel like your business identity must be something apart from you.
  • You rock your uniqueness. In your marketing. At networking events. In social media. The more your individual amazing shines through, the more your ideal clients will see themselves in you, and magnetize themselves to you.

Listen: Your brand is that thing that sticks in people’s minds. It’s how they remember you. How do you want to be remembered? I want my personal brand to make me memorable as a woman who walks her talk, who carries herself proudly, who is kind and generous and smart and of service. Not to mention quirky, brave, and an amazing cook and maker. And I want my Magnolias West brand to make the people I am meant to serve feel the pull to lean in, find out more, and happily pay me for my work.

Thanks for letting me show you the new logo. Tell me what you think; let’s talk in the comments!

Save

Save

Posted on August 9th, 2016. Posted in these categories: branding, Priestess Your Brand. 31 Comments

Resilience and love in the face of fear

You’re hardwired for resilience.

Which is a huge comfort.

Trusting your innate resilience means you don’t have to struggle to change external circumstances in order to be happy, content, motivated, productive, and fulfilled.

Because life is hard sometimes. Life is hard often. Challenges. Obstacles. They keep coming.

How are you handling challenges and obstacles?

Life gets hard. Life gets scary.

  • I look at the seemingly endless stream of tragedies all over the globe and I despair.
  • I look at my currently shrinking client base and I get overwhelmed by my financial insecurities.
  • I wonder what I have to change, do, or overcome to have romance in my life.

innate resilience

And then I remember my true nature.

My true nature is love — juicy, meaningful, and fulfilling — and luckily, I live in a body that’s wired to return to love, again and again and again. You’re wired that way too. What a relief to know this!

“The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears”
― David Whyte

I’ve been studying the Three Principles with a brilliant teacher, and soaking up this freeing knowledge. Today I came across a post about returning to love that reminded me of my own resilience and that I don’t have to do anything at all (except maybe to loosen my death grip on fear a little) to create the opening that allows me to return to love.

I like the idea that love and fear cannot coexist.

It’s true. When I reground and return to love, when I let my hardwired resilience do its thing, I can act instead of react.

  • I can finish my imperfect and incomplete new website and launch it (yup, I even have a launch date now!)
  • I can approach friends and colleagues and ask them to help me promote my new work.
  • I can even tell you that if you’ve been thinking about working with me, now is a wonderful time to begin — I have some openings in my schedule!

Resilience: you can think of it as returning to love, or you can think of it as remembering your true nature (as Mark Silver teaches — check out his free remembrance challenge).

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

When you remember and return to love, to your true nature, you’re making changes from the inside, and every change you make inside yourself affects your external reality. This is a much more peaceful and productive way to move through challenges and problems than sitting in fear waiting for external circumstances to change. That’s painful and doesn’t work very well because there are always circumstances!

Posted on July 26th, 2016. Posted in these categories: love, resilience. 26 Comments

Rebrand insights — they just keep coming!

Anatomy of a Rebrand part 4

Since the insights keep coming, let’s look at them together.

I’m in the phase of the rebrand now where many things are happening at once. I’m working on the website in WordPress. Developing the look, the feel, the many images, the content, the offers. Many of these focus areas have come with insights — uninvited, unanticipated, and in many cases pretty ouch-y.

Rebranding insights

  • Testing your new unannounced high-end program on an existing client is dangerous.

    First insight: Stealth beta testing is not for the faint of heart. You don’t know your new content well (you’re still creating it), so you may find yourself paying more attention to the content than to your client. I’m here to tell you she’ll notice. She won’t like it; she probably won’t feel like you’re focused on her (because you’re not, at least not as much as she deserves). It’s a dumb move, I won’t be repeating it, and I don’t recommend it.

  • Working on the visual components and your marketing copy at the same time is challenging!

    Second insight: Make sure you have good support and a good team. Unless you are a brand whisperer and designer like me you’ll probably never be in this position. Managing pixels, images, and words at the same time can really stretch your ability to get the job done. I could have DIY’ed this whole thing, but luckily for me, I listened to my coach. I have hired one of my team members to do a big chunk of the coding on the new site. Even if you’re DIY-ing your website, don’t do it alone. Do the parts that come easy to you (maybe it’s the copy writing, maybe it’s the images, maybe it’s creating the content for the pages) and invest in really good support for the rest.

  • Make sure your website is easy to edit.

    Third insight: Lower the bar, get the content good enough, and launch. You don’t have to have anything perfect in order to share it with your tribe. Dynamic content is queen, yo. Give great thanks for WordPress (or any other easy-to–content-manage platform), and if your site is not on WordPress yet, talk to me. and find out what you need to do to make the change.

    Once your site is on WordPress and launched, you can keep refining your copy, and your offers, and your fees as you go. If you still have a static website that forces you to do anything more complicated than log in, edit the page, and hit Update, you’ll find yourself making changes less frequently than you can (or must) to stay on top of changes in your business. There’s another big reason to keep your content dynamic: Google is favoring fresh content more and more. You’re doing yourself a search-rankings favor every time you add or change copy on your site.

What did I leave out?

It’s been quite a day! I’m sure I didn’t list all the good (ouch!) insights. If you have any other (re-)branding insights to share, let me know in the comments.

Blessed be.

Posted on July 12th, 2016. Posted in these categories: branding. 34 Comments

Keeping it simple, sister

Simplified strategies for your spiritual wisdom business.

True confessions from the rebrand wars battlefield that doesn’t seem to have an end.

I don’t want to call it a war. Or a battlefield. Because it doesn’t feel like that. (Mostly.) Instead it feels more like an endless series of details in which I can lose myself, and that’s a big part of why my new website, my new upleveled brand, my new offers haven’t launched yet, and worse, haven’t been seen by anyone but me and my mastermind buddies. Time to come back to keeping it simple.

Ugh.

KISS — keeping it simple, sister.

I am mindful that I’ve taken too long to get this done – the new website, the new brand, the new offers. The time is right — right now! — to lovingly lower the frickin’ bar and move on.

Keeping it simple with business strategies.

Here are the questions I’ve been dealing with and resolving, some of which you may have also run across:

  • How do you step out of the weeds (those endless details!) and declare the work good enough? Where do you draw the line? For me, since a good portion of what I offer is brand development and design of visuals, how perfect and stunning and unique and breathtaking and on-target does my own design need to be in order to resonate in the heart (and spending plan) of the women I’m here to serve? Can lowering the bar and getting it out in the world — even if it’s not perfect — be useful? I think maybe so.

    Lesson learned: I think that there’s just as much value (or more!) to knowing when to call it good, launch it, and move on as there is in taking pains over every word and every pixel.

  • How do you get your offers seen by the people you are meant to serve? I’ve begun doing research and I’ll tell you, I am daunted! There are many (younger, fitter, and stronger, I’m sure) in the wisdom- and spiritual-biz field who are doing launches and A/B testing and list-building at a level that exhausts me to contemplate. So after swooning and moaning to my Mastermind that I need simple strategies, I came up with some.

    I am keeping it simple with strategies for my own launch that will be scalable and evergreen and — hoping they work(!) — will become part of what I teach my clients.

    1. I’m going to personally invite around 20 business colleagues and friends to help spread the word. However they like. Interviews. Guest posts. Social shares. In their own words or in copy written by me that they can cut and paste.

    2. I’m going to run a Challenge in my Facebook group (for wise and passionate business women, come join us here) to increase engagement, grow my list, and add revenue.

    3. I am going to increase my visibility — my steady loving presence in the marketplace, as Paul Zelizer says — and tie my work and my writing to my social media interactions in a more holistic way.

  • My Keeping It Simple pledge for the new upleveled Magnolias West website:

    I will review the content one more time per my coach’s input and try to balance the spiritual Divine Feminine language with an increased infusion of down-to-earth business smarts.

    I will get this child theme I’m developing good enough so I can pull the trigger and launch it. Even though that means some of the design features I had in mind (and spent a ton of time dreaming up) don’t get to be seen yet.

    I will get those personal invitations out by mid-July for an end of July launch, with the Facebook challenge right behind.

How are you keeping it simple with your own business strategies?

Let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on June 29th, 2016. Posted in these categories: business development, keep it simple. 26 Comments

Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

I have a blogging schedule. I have a marketing plan. Today’s regularly scheduled programming post was planned to be about engagement and marketing and choosing the right words (from the billion-plus we have in our language) that speak to the heart of the people I am here to serve and support.

Then Orlando happened. With a heavy heart I marched candle in hand on Sunday night with other grieving friends and community members. On that day, and since then, I’ve noticed my reaction to the normal sort of marketing emails and posts that have landed up in my inbox and feeds — they feel dissonant to me and haven’t held my attention as usual. The emails and posts that I read and responded to were the ones that were speaking to and about this tragedy.

Sometimes it’s good to step off the regular agenda and take time to stand in and speak to the moment. Today I know in my heart that it’s the right time for me to talk to you from my heart about gratitude even if, and gratitude no matter what.

Which I’m doing with you today.

I will resume talking about engagement, marketing, and business copy writing next time. Today let’s just get grateful together. Please.

Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what.

I’ve had a gratitude practice for a long time. It’s a key part of my spiritual practice. I started writing fifteen items for which I was grateful every day in a journal almost fifteen years ago. Then I started sending my gratitude list in an email to my coach each morning. The circle expanded and I was sending that email to six or seven people every day.

When I started this blog, 800-ish posts ago, it began as a gratitude journal. I shared my daily gratitudes with the world. The blog has evolved in the nearly ten years of its life to be much more about living and being of service in a fully expressed way — integrating your passion, purpose, and prosperity into a seamless, sacred wholeness. But my gratitude practice has never stopped.

gratitude jarThe practice has circled around again to a private one. I write my gratitudes on a piece of paper (varieties of brightly colored origami paper these days) and crumple it up into a little ball and put it in my seemingly bottomless gratitude vase. Today I’m sharing my gratitude with you.

It’s easy to be grateful when things are easy, less challenging, less tragic. When you can tap into your gratitude no matter what is happening to and around you and your business, when you can tap into your gratitude through your tears and your grief, you’ll find a new ability to experience and act from a place of radical acceptance and love.

I am grateful today.

  • I am grateful that so many are safe.
  • I am grateful for the outpouring of love, solidarity, and support that fills my community and the world.
  • I  am grateful to know that grief and compassion are healing emotions.
  • I am grateful even for the anger and that feeling of being done, done, and done! with this violence because that anger spurs me to commitment and to action.
  • [and here come the hard ones] I am grateful that my daughter, who loves guns, and shooting them, does not have an assault weapon (that I know of).
  • I am grateful that my daughter and her partner are alive and safe.
  • I am grateful to know in my heart that my daughter’s path is her own, and that my work is to be a source of unconditional love for her every day.
  • I am grateful even if. I am grateful no matter what.

What prompts your gratitude today, even when grief is present?

What gratitude can you find in your heart? Let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on June 14th, 2016. Posted in these categories: business, compassion, gratitude. 31 Comments

Make and use a Goddess Box — it will hold your wishes and worries

There are many ways to bring the sacred and add ease to your life and your work.

Which is a really good thing because life can be busy and hectic and challenging, making a big toolbag a very nice thing to have.

As I develop the new and upleveled brand for Magnolias West (coming soon!), I’m finding myself stepping over, around, and through any perceived barriers between my spiritual practices and my work. I am refining my offers, as you will soon see, and bringing every Priestess quality I manifest in my life and work to the forefront.

[Inserting a slight side-note here] Just like what happened to the Wizard in the movie, Toto seems to be pulling the curtains back for me as well — more is being revealed to me and through me to you. It’s a bit scary (makes me feel even more tender and vulnerable than usual), and completely the next right thing for me to do in my work, in my being of service. More on this coming soon. Stick around, won’t you? [end of side-note]
Goddess box. It will hold your wishes and your worries.

I teach this in my work, as it’s been taught to me:

You can bring your best and highest — even if it may appear to some to be offbeat and weird — to your business, your work, and every part of your life.

One really good way to Priestess Your Life — to imbue every action with sacred intention — is to make and use a Goddess Box.

What’s a Goddess Box?

The Goddess Box is a container that will hold your wishes and your worries. It’s a way of handing those wishes and worries — could be anything you can’t resolve in this now moment — to the Divine. Doesn’t matter at all what name you use for the Divine — for me it’s Goddess. You might use God, or Allah, or Nature, or Source. Power tip: You don’t even have to believe in any particular kind of spiritual force. Really, just knowing that there’s something else besides you is all the opening you need for the Goddess Box to do its magic.

What this action of naming and then tucking away your wishes and worries gives you is a way to let go of that tortured idea that you have to solve this now — whatever this might be.

This releasing and surrendering idea is central to many spiritual techniques and practices.

  • Eckhardt Tolle calls it “living in the now.”
  • Meher Baba said, “do what you can and then don’t worry, be happy.”
  • Lindsay Wagner said “give what you have to give…and you let God handle the rest.”

Here are some wishes and worries you can put in your Goddess Box and let go of for now.

  • Thoughts about possible future outcomes of all sorts, including money, employment, and health
  • Anxiety about your children (or any family member) and the choices they make (probably accounts for more than 50% of anything I’ve ever given to the Goddess — “Here! you take her; I can’t solve this and I’m scared!”
  • Desire to improve your emotional vocabulary and balance, to be more positive and more loving even if/no matter what.

I’ve used my Goddess Box to:

  • Hold a draft of an angry email or text for three days. Each time I tried this, one of two things happened. Either the anger would dissipate and drift away and I’d forget the whole thing, or I’d take a look three days later and there would be an opening for me to reframe the communication in a more loving way — an opening that absolutely did not exist when I was in the heat of the anger.
  • Hold my desire to take a big trip or buy a big-ticket item when I didn’t have the money to do so. I could relax into that middle place between knowing that the wish wouldn’t be forgotten and trusting that a higher intelligence was sorting out the how and the when.

The Goddess Box is magical.

Your mind rests into the solidity of the gesture of writing down your wish or your worry on a sip of paper and tucking it into your Goddess Box. The restful ease comes from knowing that you don’t have to keep obsessing, that the Divine has got your back on this one.

You’ve written it down, whatever it is. You’ve given it structure. You’ve created sacred space for outcomes to unfold as they are meant to be.

When you add a Goddess Box to your sacred ritualized spiritual practice you add more even more quiet ease and peace to your mind and heart. More easy and peaceful because you won’t be so hung up in your worries; you’ll be more present, and more available to the magic of this now moment and the next.

Of course, you still take actions. You and the Divine, you’re a team. Take the actions, and rest in letting go of the results.

How to make a Goddess Box.

Couldn’t be easier. And it’s fun! Grab a box (I’ve used a shoe box, and I like the little pressboard boxes I can get for $1.99 at the local crafts stores too). Grab decorative bits. I’ve used images from magazines, paints, glitter (of course glitter!), markers, feathers, beads, and more. Set some intention to be shown what this box needs, and go to town. Make it beautiful. And you’re done!
Goddess box info

Or… if you’re going to be in the Bay Area on June 19th, join me for a Goddess Box Creativity Salon in my beautiful backyard on the harbor in Marina Bay.

No more than ten women, I supply all the materials, it will be so much fun. And hella sacred.

Sunday, June 19th, 1:30–5pm, $89 includes materials, $79 early-bird if registered and paid by 6/5/16. Download the info flyer here, or click or tap on the image to the right.

Have you made a Goddess Box? Does you feel called to create one? Tell me…let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on May 31st, 2016. Posted in these categories: Goddess box, Priestess Your Life, ritual, sacred intention. 28 Comments