Are you ready to get an insider’s view into how you can transform your personal or small business brand? Below is my interview with Rikki Ayers, an entrepreneur who has transformed her brand and started a business through a method she describes as having made everything about her life easier since encountering. Read on for some excellent advice you can implement for improving your own brand or business…
Q: Rikki, you created a company called Be Rad Media, which you describe as offering branding, design, and social media content services for creative, purpose-driven entrepreneurs. When did you start Be Rad Media and what are some of the struggles but also successes you’ve had since then?
A: The biggest struggle for me so far has been managing my time between actual work and marketing my business. There is so much to do!
2015 was a transformative year for me, and that reflected in my business. I did an overhaul of my brand this fall and immediately started to see results. After spending too much time making my business and brand into what I thought it should be, I let go, and let it shine. Now, I love my business. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m seeing a lot of evidence that what I’m doing is working!
Q: During our previous conversation you said something interesting. You mentioned that you started your business after having a personal journey with uncovering and becoming comfortable with your own authenticity, your unique message and way of being in the world. Could you describe what triggered this journey and what it has looked like?
A: Around the middle of this year, I was feeling burnt out. I felt frustrated, tired, and helpless. I wasn’t seeing the results I’d hoped. I had a nagging feeling that somehow I was holding myself back, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. So, I started a rigorous self-development process, and through that uncovered some deeply ingrained conditioning regarding self-worth, my money mindset, and work. I’ve become much more aware of how this conditioning plays out in my life and work, and I’ve let go of a lot.
A big part of this whole process was learning how to stop apologizing for who I am, which, in talking to other women about this, is really common. I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”, which was really cathartic for me, being a perfectionist creative. I realized I was putting way too much pressure on myself and my work, instead of enjoying and being patient with the process. I actually got fed up with myself at one point, and just said, “F- it!” and decided to just be who I am and see how it goes. It feels pretty amazing to stop caring so much about what other people think.
Q: How can others come to understand what their authentic self consists of and what their unique message is?
A: It’s interesting. I’ve always known who I am, but reflecting that into a business I was comfortable sharing with the world was a challenge. You are made up of all your experiences, influences, values, and beliefs – your life experience is unlike anyone else’s. And you have quirks. Everyone has quirks. Don’t hide those, because they’re what make you interesting!
A really good exercise that I went through was looking back on the stages of my life (childhood, teenage years, my early 20s, etc.) and pulling out the memorable experiences and feelings that came up. I wrote it all down, whether it was good or bad. Let go emotionally, and experience it. I shed a few tears. And then I started to see connections between everything, and I started to recognize how I got to be present day me. I always knew who I was, but now it was in words and I could articulate it.
You also need to check-in with your values and your mission. They are key to building your brand and message. What really makes you angry or frustrated about the world? What do you want to change (don’t worry whether you think you actually can or not)? As Simon Sinek says, start with your why. Once you tap into that, and uncover your purpose, everything else gets easier.
Q: How has your personal journey led to the creation of Be Rad Media, and how does it inform the services you provide?
A: I’m fascinated by the creative process and creativity. I believe that by uncovering your own creativity, you unleash really special things that make life and the world a better place. Things like vulnerability, self-expression, enthusiasm, and awareness. Branding is an essential part of building a purpose-driven business, and it’s more than just developing a look and feel for your business. It’s about building a powerful, consistent message that empowers you to live out your why.
Q: Could you give us an interesting fun fact about the research or development process you went through to start your company?
A: I have a biz buddy. We started the entrepreneur journey around the same time. We meet up for coffee, plan, complain, and help each other out. I swear I would have given up were it not for this person.
Q: When you were first starting out, what is one piece of advice you wish you would have had? Did you encounter any unanticipated difficult obstacles?
A: Get clear on your mission, vision, values, and branding before you jump into building a website or social media. I would have saved a lot of time if I had done the hard personal work first.
Q: How have you grown your business knowledge? Are their specific websites, books, groups of people, or methods you have found most helpful?
A: I LOVE books. I’m always reading two or three. I’ve mentioned a couple authors already. I also recommend Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath, and anything by Brene Brown and Anthony Robbins. I’m also part of about four different Facebook groups that support women in branding and heart-centered businesses. And I highly recommend Amy Porterfield’s podcast and Marie Forleo’s Youtube videos.
Q: Where can people find out more about your company or personal website? What can a potential customer expect to gain from working with Be Rad Media?
A: It is so important to me that people get brands that reflect who they are, but also that they feel empowered to share and talk about. Expect to have a lot of fun and answer some big questions!
Check out my website and work at www.beradmedia.com and be sure to follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thisisberadmedia.com and Twitter at www.twitter.com/beradmedia. And keep an eye out for my new ebook coming out soon!
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