Feeling Stuck? Need Clarity? Me too!

In this Thursday Thoughts Episode of The Second Phase Podcast I share how I had to become vulnerable and have courage to address the fact that my business was not thriving during the pandemic. The podcast graphic is of my sitting with my cup of coffee on my white fluffy rug under the window in my studio.

I’m trying to be like “Life is better than perfect! Kind of like finished is better than perfect.” But right now, business stinks!

Do you know what I mean?

Perfectionism vs. Doing Your Best

I’m trying to spend time thinking about a great quote from Brene Brown, “perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best.”

So, friends, let me tell you about something I realized this week and had to use courage to address.

The Pandemic is Hitting Home

Since the advent of Covid 19 my photography business has been non-existent.   I can’t see clients and without being face to face I simply can’t take pictures of people and…as much as I’d like to think professional headshots and personal branding photography are essential, my business is not essential the way food and medical treatment are essential.

As a personal branding expert, things have also been super quiet.  Yes, I have had great success with The Brand Insider Program and successfully branded and launched several businesses.   But people aren’t willing to invest in themselves and businesses right now with all of the unknowns.

Feeling Lost

As a result, I’ve been feeling a bit lost.   Questioning my messaging, questioning the direction of my business and brand.   And questioning how I can best communicate what I do and how I can serve people when Covid 19 passes.

My messaging needed to be redirected so that people fully understand what I can help them with, how I can serve them and how I can make a difference for them by solving a problem they have.

I felt a nudge to ask questions and seek advice and I prayed about it.  Several people presented themselves to me that I could have hired or worked with, but something just didn’t feel right.   I had doubts.

A God Wink

I prayed about it some more.   Being patient (which is not my strength) and trying to decide what to do.   Then, I felt a nudge to reach out to a friend I met on Instagram who is a podcast host and coach and who has inspired me immensely over the past couple of years.   I asked her if she was doing private c coaching.  She got back to me almost immediately and said yes.  Not only was her answer yes, but she had availability the following day for a clarity coaching session!

Look at it as a coincidence or a God wink, whichever you prefer, but to me it was divine intervention.   Stefanie Gass and I spent one hour on Zoom and I had all of my answers.

Yes, I know personal branding!   I truly have become an expert in personal branding.   But the reality is, my experience and what I am really great at is brand marketing strategy.  I love to teach and I love to strategize.   My knowledge and skills include marketing and how to create a brand.

My Messaging was Off

Stefanie opened my eyes to the fact that my messaging wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t even close.   I wasn’t communicating the right message to get the right audience.   What I was really doing was so much more than personal branding…which has become a buzz word and is not seen as valuable as it really is.


Remember in episode 4 I talked about being vulnerable?  Well, I had to get really vulnerable and get on a call and admit that I wasn’t feeling “it” in my business.  That something was askew.   That for the first time in a few years I wasn’t thriving and making the numbers I had the goal of making.

I accepted the fact that my business is not perfect, and I needed help to get back on the right track.

Asking for help is not something I like to do!   In fact, it’s been a real struggle for me in the past.   But the reality is that sometimes, we simply have to follow our gut when things feel off.  Especially when the numbers are proving it, right?

Darn numbers!

Anyway, I faced reality this week and found the clarity I needed all because I was willing to be vulnerable, have courage and ask for help.

So here it is!

Let Me Tell You Exactly What I Do!

I help businesswomen and entrepreneurs connect and grow your audience and attract more clients using brand marketing strategies.

There are six pillars to the brand marketing strategies I provide.

  1. On-line marketing
  2. Story telling
  3. Differentiation
  4. Visual Branding
  5. Genuine networking
  6. Relationship building

Business is Slow for Everyone

Business is slow right now.  But, without a doubt, all of the people I am hearing say they were laid off by their full-time job are going to need to create work if they don’t find another 9 to 5.

It may be that more people have part time jobs and create a side gig.  More people will become entrepreneurs.

My brand marketing strategies can help people moving into their second phase, maybe before they were ready.

Why Am I Telling You This?

Why do I tell you all of this?   Because unless you are a medical professional, no matter what field you are in, Covid 19 is changing the landscape of your career or business.

If you aren’t busy with work right now, take a deep dive into your business.   Use my brand equation from episode 2 and identify your values, visions and passions.   Create a personal brand and set yourself up to help and serve others when things shift back to whatever the new normal will be.

Start telling people now about the problem you can solve for them.   Be present.

The Controversy

There is controversy over whether or not to sell right now.  But what I believe, and I may catch flack for this, but business is business and if you can solve a problem for people, they need to know you are there for them.

Don’t gift up and hide, you will be doing your potential clients a disservice.

If you don’t attempt to make money and make money, you can’t put money back into the economy to support other small business owners.

Your audience needs to know you are there for them now and will be there for them when the pandemic has resolved.

Do It Right

Don’t be in your face salsey but be present.

Continue to showcase your business, your skills, and increase the awareness of the problem you solve for others.

Dive into your PR and communication strategies.

Build out your email list.

Create and build relationships.

Learn how you can improve your business and your messaging.

Build the know, like and trust factor while the opportunity exists.

People buy personality and emotions, not products and services.   Look inside and see how you can differentiate yourself and stand out as the go to for the problem you solve.  People will need you when this is over.


I leave you with this quote from the movie, “We Bought a Zoo”.   “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.  Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery.  And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Forget about being perfect, do your best, and use courage to find the answers you need to do just that.

Learn More

Learn more about me, your host, Robyn Graham, HERE.

To learn about The Brand Insider by Robyn Graham, click HERE.

Schedule a brand marketing strategy session with Robyn HERE.

Join the Mini Brand Mastermind HERE.

Connect with me, Robyn Graham:

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