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One of my fave quotes?
"You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." ― Dita Von Teese
I’m gonna say this right now: I don’t like peaches.
And to me, Canva is a peach.
So if you’re like me who thinks Canva is a peach (sorry, I’m loving this too much, aren’t I?), here are a few Canva alternatives for you!
Shake things up. It’s ok to be polarising. It’s what separates the gold from the sand.
I came across a Facebook post about how offensive it was to be called “lady boss” or “gorgeous” in a newsletter.
The majority of those who chimed in on the thread found it offensive. Not surprising. ;)
I would usually scroll through and let it slide, as all the others who don’t let tiny things like these get to them probably would.
Except for one woman spoke up. She said she was too busy in her business to get offended by things like these.
I thought in that moment...what if there were new entrepreneurs reading the thread, confused enough by conflicting advice?
Be yourself. Be authentic, is what they say. And yet here we are seeing negativity for when we do.
What if you’re known to call people “Hi, beautiful” or “Hi, babe” in real life?
If I was the confused, overwhelmed entreprenur I was 3 years ago and I came across the thread, it would have discouraged me to be just what I need to be: myself.
Then I’d be just like everyone else.
So I asked myself a few questions:
Apple and Manolo don’t really address me as anything...they just show me images of products with my name on it.
Foursigmatic calls me a “Mushroom Friend”. Frank Body calls me “babe”.
I don’t identify with either but I think they’re fun.
Last but not least, one of my treasured friends and mentor calls her tribe “Gorgeous” in her much-loved newsletters and all her branding materials.
She calls everyone gorgeous in real life. It’s not being patronising.
It’s an endearment, she’s one of the most generous and affectionate souls I know.
I think it’s also partly because she really does see the gorgeous bits in all of us. She didn’t get the “mutant eyes” nickname for nothing.
What’s even more interesting is that her tribe is the most generous and most accepting people I’ve ever met.
Both online and real life.
Everyone is positive, encouraging, supportive, honest and genuine.
They’re smart, brave, inspiring, with quick wit and a great sense of humour.
They don’t get offended easily.
Of course you can expect there’d be the occasional objection. Often, it’s a sign that they won’t be part of the tribe.
So call them the way you normally would call the people you serve, who love you.
If it doesn’t bring you more of them, then keep trying, keep looking for the one that does.
In case you’re wondering, I like being called gorgeous. I don’t take it as being objectified.
I grew up not hearing much terms of endearment so it warms my heart when I do hear it.
In fact I remember a time back in school, a teacher used it and it brought me to tears. It made me feel loved.
But it’s all relative. Maybe if I grew up hearing that in a patronising tone, I’d feel differently.
I know I can’t use “gorgeous” or “babe”, it’s just not me.
Maybe when I’m older, I’ll use darling. I quite like that. I’m sure those who matter won’t mind it either.
For now, I’ll just start my emails with Hi or Hey.
It’s all about finding the one that’s right for you and the people you serve.
The brand that shakes things up separates the gold from the sand.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
Have you heard of the 80/20 Pareto Principle? If you haven’t yet, I’ll have a crack at explaining it in my words (i.e., without Googling. 😉 ).
Basically, it’s a principle that states that 20% of our efforts produce 80% results.
The key is to focus on that 20% instead of the 80% work that hardly produces any results.
That doesn’t mean we don’t give everything our 100%, but for me, it means giving our 100% on the 20% that produces results.
I forget about this rule many times, maybe because of what I’ve been told in school, with the old ways of teaching. Even though my school was great, it was still based on old-school thinking.
I might get in trouble by saying this but this is similar to using Photoshop for graphic design in business.
It’s no wonder people get frustrated in the beginning. It really isn’t designed with the 80/20 principle in mind.
First, it’s not intuitive at all. I’m probably the only professional designer who can’t figure it out! lol I could never understand the layers and why I couldn’t move elements.
(And I don’t think I’m tech-challenged, I learned to love computers since I was 8 and went on to get a degree in IT!)
One thing I really believe in?
To be okay with being imperfect because it will never be perfect. Things will evolve. Stuff we worry about sometimes (the 80%) just stops us from moving forward.
We owe ourselves and those who are waiting for us to help them, to move forward.
And this is why I’d love to invite you to the next live online masterclass where I’ll share with you everything I know to launch a great-looking brand in one weekend.
Will it be complete with your logo, website and ebooks?
No, because they will come later.
Like Lego blocks, let’s start with the core pieces then build on it as we go, as I've learned from years of trial and error and months of helping business owners build their own brands.
Remember that your brand will evolve and so it’s important to focus on the 20%, which is to at least launch your opt-in landing page so that you can start growing a customer base even before you create your website.
Some things that we’ll be covering:
We’ll cover all of this in an action-packed live masterclass where you can also ask me questions while we work through the entire process, completely free!
It's not for everyone, but if you’ve hired designers or outsourced your design and it didn’t work out, or if you have an idea but you still haven’t launched it to the world, then I think you’ll learn cool new methods in this masterclass, that just might work when no other methods have.
Are you in?
Click below to find out the details and register for my next live masterclass where you get to ask me any question or get help with anything you’re struggling with!
Today, I thought I would write a few key lessons I’ve learned in business, not just design.
I want to not only share this with you but to also remind myself of these lessons years from now.
Doing anything Valentine's Day?
Whether or not you celebrate it, let's have fun with it! ;)
Introducing...Colour Matchmaking series.
I spent most of the weekend just taking in lots of inspiration (I find that headspace and lots of eye candy helps the creative mind, and no it's not just caffeine ) and I can't wait to share them with you!
From the wonderful Lunar New Year celebrations here in Melbourne to the unreal yet uber-inspiring Australian Open tennis final with Federer and Nadal. (Two of the top tennis champs in our lifetime!)
I just loved how generous, gracious, and tenacious both legends are.
Most of all, how Federer and Nadal leveraged their own strengths, which they used to conquer the other’s weaknesses.
Nadal used power and spin on his shots, targeting Federer’s weak backhand, and how Federer used wit and persistence to target Nadal’s backhand issues as well.
Which made me think a lot about branding and visual identity.
We all have something in us and in our businesses that separate us from others.
Nadal had power, Federer had tactics. What's yours?
Can't think of any? No worries!
1. What makes you angry and annoyed in your industry? What is it about your industry you’d like to change? (Source: Seth Godin)
2. What are your weaknesses? Can you somehow turn them into strengths? (Source: Daymond John)
3. How can you tie both in to your brand’s visual identity?
As for me, I don’t like how design and creativity is perceived by many as a talent or gift for the select few.
How it sometimes can feel elitist, unattainable, impossible.
My weaknesses? I’m an unknown, self-taught designer with no prestigious awards or degrees from a leading university. I’m not even a veteran yet in any sense of the word.
I’m also an introvert so thinking about PR and video gives me the hives.
But I’ve found ways to get around this by keeping things simple, to get creative every day, and to continually strive for excellence.
That’s why my brand just consists of black (sometimes near-black navy) and white for simplicity, pale gold and silver for excellence, and bright purple to add a hint of creativity and playfulness.
Also, there’s a bit of rebellion against design being commoditised so I added the premium touches. Can’t mistake me from Fiverr now! ;)
Your turn! Let me know what yours are, I'd love to know.
Still stuck picking colours? Got great news for you!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing colours to you in a bit of an unconventional way.
Sure, there’s colour psychology charts out there (just check out Pinterest) that kinda give you an idea, but my problem with them is that they are too general.
For instance, they say blue is for trust, efficiency, intelligence. But there’s so many shades of blue — did you pick the right shade?
What about the right combo?
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my favourite reference for stunning colour combinations? Check it out: The Real Hue: What You Didn’t Know About Colour.)
Excited? I know I am. ;)
Is there a specific colour you want to get to know first?
“ in a world filled with chaos and clutter, clean design stands out.”