First, congratulations to you. You’ve discovered the work that’s behind you is not the work that’s in front of you.

It’s not your life’s work.

It’s not what lies at the center of your heart.

It is not the impact you want to make.

And now you’ve decided the time has come to redress the balance and spend your resources on realizing a new direction.

It took a lot of work to get here. Welcome.

It’s a good place to be. Also it’s a half-terrifying, half-thrilling, overwhelming place to be.

So, where do you begin?

Here are four initial ideas to wrestle with:

  1. Realize your new rulebook is drastically different than the one that got you here. Sneak peak into the new rules: You don’t need to work a 40-plus hour week or earn a six-figure salary tomorrow to prove your value. You don’t need to fill your calendar with meaningless meetings. You can do less and actually get more. Self-care will become a daily habit. Being a well-rounded person will be more indicative of your success than the hours you put in. Adaptability will be your best friend. There will be no one strategy that will work. A flexible mindset and diverse approach will be more lucrative. Repeated failure (also known as lessons or early efforts at success) is the new success.
  2. Realize the worlds of marketing, communication and branding have drastically changed and to be successful, you’re going to have to Opt-In to it. There’s not much room, time or tolerance to cast a dismissive or suspicious eye on the tools of new marketing — social media conversations, consistent original content, spiritual connection with a defined audience. You must engage – now – and leave the comfort of the old world behind. Here’s the upside: What you share, post, create or write will continue to work for you even after you’ve forgotten all about it.
  3. Re-examine your relationships. Nobody accomplishes anything alone. Especially not something incredibly difficult to achieve, a bit nebulous and counter to what most people do. You are going to need to understand how your dearest relationships will – or won’t support you on your quest to become this next evolution of you. Some may fall away – some may sing your praises and fill your emotional sails on bad days. Either of these are preferable to those near to you who want to stick around and criticize, undermine or stifle your endeavor. Their intentions aside, the last thing you need are uninformed opinions. The best method here: have a deeply honest conversation about where you are heading and who you need surrounding you. Then let the relationship cards fall where they might.
  4. Get clear on your message. This is one of your very first steps as a brand and as a business. That’s why it is the heart of what we uncover during our Root Sessions. Without a message, you have nothing to say. And word of mouth is still the most effective way to attract people to you. It is the root of your story, the carrier of your ideas and an invitation to believe what you believe. It can’t be good enough. It has to be rock solid and feel like the most important thing you say all day. Your message is a bridge to the real you. It’s the first way people will experience what you are becoming and where you are going.

These are heady moments and you should enjoy them. But there will be moments when you ask, “What have I done!?”

We would say, “Keep going!”

Fear is a fog you must pass through to reach your destination. It’s not a reason to stop.

The biggest pitfall to avoid is the idea that you are alone in this. You’re not.

We’re here.

Part of our practice is guiding people along the journey to uncover the foundations of their brands so they can enjoy the benefits that come along with that — clarity of message, audience attraction and solid positions. If you’re curious to learn more, we conduct exploration calls weekly. If you’d like to chat, go here.

Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster are cofounders of the intrinsic branding practice known as Root + River. Together with their defiantly different clients, they uncover then articulate the foundational elements of the brand. Then, they provide brand strategy and brand coaching as the brand is rolled out internally and externally. Obsessive about language and differentiation, Emily + Justin are also authors and speakers. Follow @rootandriver @fosterthinking and @emilyatlarge.

Let’s Talk!