Very often, when I sit down with business owners in transition or crisis, I hear the same story:

“Business just isn’t as robust as we hoped. No one seems to *quite* understand what we do, or what makes us the best choice in our market. Can you help us tell our story?”

Of course, technically for these stated issues, they’ve come to the right place. My specialty is helping entrepreneurs figure out they story and communicate it effectively across all media. It’s my joy and my passion.

But let’s get really, really honest here.

No external story can fix a business model that’s broken internally.

Did you hear me on that?

If your business isn’t designed to make money substantively, or if you’re trying to fit the round peg of your soul into a square hole, the best message in the world isn’t going to transform all your red ink into black.

We strategist/storyteller types can work magic, sure.

But not THAT kind of magic.

Very often in business, when we sense something isn’t working, we go to the most obvious, surface-level issues for a quick fix. We often don’t even realize we’re doing it. (I surely don’t!) But the signs are unmistakable.

Can you identify with any of the following statements?

  • “Maybe if we redid our website, we’d get more traffic.”
  • “What if we added another product?”
  • “I think I need a new tagline.”

All of these are valid statements, and certainly routes to explore. But here’s what they share in common:

Tactics.

What all of these statements (and others like them) share in common is a fundamental orientation toward a singular action to fix what is actually a pervasive, systemic issue. If you’re struggling with an aspect of your business, and you find yourself immediately running to a particular tactical solution, just stop. Check yourself, and ask, “What does this response tell me?”

Because tactics aren’t going to solve anything. Especially not when the real issues goes much deeper.

Put simply: tactics are the bandaid we place on a wound that really needs sutures or even surgery.

To really heal our business problems, we’ve got to go deeper.

But deeper is uncomfortable. Deeper takes us down to questions we’d rather not face, because the answers aren’t easy. Deeper requires us to push into the territory where our personality, hopes, dreams and emotional wounds *just might* bleed over into the cut-and-dried world of finance.

What could feel more scary, or more (possibly) ridiculous?

For example, in a business cash flow crisis, the real cause of our challenges might be:

  • A business model that’s not sufficiently focused on profit because we don’t believe we’re worthy of money or that there’s actually enough in the universe to go around.
  • Misalignment between your soul’s intention and the practical actions you’re taking, because you’re afraid to go full throttle.
  • Ongoing self-sabotage based on long-held beliefs about yourself, your work or the state of the market that prevent you from reaching your goals.

Maybe—just maybe—when tactics feel like the safest place to run, the universe is calling your switch up your game.

As in, turn the board over and start all over again.

Yes.

I know that’s scary to hear . . .

But I’m actually there with you right now in my own work, and I can say from hard-won experience:

It’s much easier (and feels much safer) chasing external fixes to problems that aren’t really external at all.

Because the reality is, websites don’t sell services. Brands and messages don’t fully convince people. The most powerful story, told in a misaligned voice, isn’t going to have the effect you’re looking for.

In a crowded world with many voices, branding can be a very powerful tool for standing out. But that only happens when we have a real, solid foundation to stand ON.

Foundations start inside: with your true intentions, your true gifts and alignments, and the business model you design to take those intentions and gifts out into the world.

If the foundation you’re working from isn’t really solid to begin with, nothing you (or we) build on top of it is going to last.

Going back to Ground Zero may feel discouraging, but it could ultimately be what *finally* gets you from red to black. (You know, magic.)

So if you’re feeling today like something’s just plain “off,” something probably is.

Maybe I can help you fix it by getting clear on what you’re really trying to say to your audience, and saying it more effectively.

And maybe—just maybe—we ought to have a much, much deeper conversation about where your business is really headed, where your hopes and fears cross your behaviors, and what changes you need to make to your direction to get where you really want to go.

That has certainly been the case for me.

Over the past twelve months, I’ve been facing these same issues in my own business. Sure, the work has been steady and I love getting up every morning to help great people and companies find their audience and get their story out there in a way that resonates.

But I’ve always known there was something more.

So many times, when an entrepreneur sits across from me, wanting message services, I can see and feel that there’s so much more.

The conversation should be deeper. It should get more "woo woo." More spiritual. More about what’s going on internally with them and their work, before we ever get to their message.

That kind of transparency doesn’t come easily in a culture that tries to keep everything surface-level. But surface isn’t my thing. Never has been.

I’ve been afraid to own that, to speak up and be more of the archetype I most embody: the shaman. It’s taken a massive life shake-up, the kindness of good friends, and a heck of a lot of self-confrontation to get me to the point where I finally understand that I’ve been hiding out and holding back from my true work because it seemed just too “way out there.”

That ends today.

I can’t totally promise you the exact contours of what’s coming next, but while I continue to figure out the emerging direction, I’ll be excited to unroll some brand-new content this fall to share with you. And challenge you to do the same.

Because branding is about so much more than what you say, or how you look. It always goes back to what’s happening underneath.

Let’s start on a strong foundation together.

Until next time, speak freely.

Are you relying on a beautiful brand to hide a confusing business plan? What aspect of your business do you most need clarity about? Comment below.

Ready to expand your brand and your audience by crafting a more powerful message? Schedule your FREE 1:1 consultation here.