Insignia as a Mandala [Day 32/365]

Sheralyn Pratt Day 32/365
Flower Mandala

I literally don’t know what my post of the day is going to be when I wake up in the morning. Maybe I’ll get to the point where they’re planned out but, for the moment, I’m still brainstorming a lot everyday.

So I roll with what I get.

Today, I was working on something else and a little thought kept looping in my head: Go turn the insignia into a flower.

So I did. And I love it.

Maybe I can make a coloring book of mandalas, because these are fun!

Quick Thot on Gaslights [Day 31/365]

I wanted a perkier thought for today, but this one wants to be said.

If you backtrack a bit, you’ll see Day 2/365 is my movie poster for the year: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gaslit World. It was supposed to be funny, but I think it’s a bit #toosoon for it to really land as humor.

Gaslights are funny because we most often see them as nonsensical behavior in other people, but rarely spot the same dynamics in ourselves. This results in a bit of a wandering definition/understanding of the word itself.

To some, a gaslight is a clever lie. To others, it is a bit of marketing that doesn’t fulfill its promise. But a gaslight is not so small as either of those things. It is an externally installed belief causing a person to distrust their own judgment and defer to someone else — usually a tyrant in their life — to be considered competent or sane.

Gaslights and the people who instill them are quite insidious.

And I’m guessing anyone reading this right knows this, but this really wanted to be the thought for the day, so I share it now.

May we all find and remove them from our lives.

Finding a Fresh Outlook [Day 30/365]

Sheralyn Pratt 30/365
Few things re more convincing than a delusion.

Today’s thought is brought to you by a moment of self-awareness.

We humans like to pretend we are ruled by logic and rationale, but there is no evidence to support this because we base our “logic” and “rationale” on our emotional responses to previous experiences.

And once we “know” how things are? Well, then, that’s when life says, “Oh, really? You’ve figured things out? Prove it.”

When you think about it, it’s quite easy to develop false beliefs about correlations between actions and consequences. We all have such a limited view of things when we’re first exposed to them and it’s our mind’s job to respond to the new information on a primitive/safety level first. This makes one of the hardest parts about weeding out delusions finding the misapplied logic that turned the false belief into a fortified “truth” in the first place.

After all, misapplied logic usually results in us feeling empowered, comfortable, or good. And how can something that feels empowering, comfortable, or good be bad?

Right?

Delusions are tricky like that. So it’s just good to remember: Few things are more convincing than a delusion and don’t judge yourself too harshly when you uproot them and see their tangled roots.

Just let them go so you can move closer to a truth.

Pruning Weak Links and Other Best Practices [Days 26-29]

I’m cheating a bit by posting multiple days on the same day, I know. But it was kind of an intense weekend because I decided to cut one of my favorite projects currently on the docket. It was just taking too much energy and had limited interest in its market. So, on Day 26, I cut it.

This resulted in a change of my color palette — one I’m fairly certain most will consider an upgrade. I know I do. I’m trading out the smoky black for a great green.

It’s a strong change and I’m excited to see what will become of it.

For now, however, here are the posts for each day, in descending order:

Sheralyn Pratt 29/365
Mint leaves

Here’s the new green and me toying with how I might use it on a future product.

Sheralyn Pratt. 28/365.
Color palette

Here’s the new color palette. I picked the colors out of paint sample colors since I’m pretty sure I might be doing some painting in the future.

Sheralyn Pratt 27/365.
The think about killing darlings before they see the light of day is that no one gets to mourn them but their creator... and some darlings really deserve more than a funeral for one.

This is me being melodramatic about shelving my idea after 2 weeks of putting gas in the tank and not getting much movement.

Timing isn’t everything but it can definitely make or break how well something is received. And, sometimes, you’ve just got to read the tea leaves on how things are being received and pluck things when they’re ripe.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Sheralyn Pratt 26/365
The funny thing about stories is they're all impossible whether they're true or not.

This was just looping in my head on this day. So I share it with you. Feel free to share an exception to me, but the more I think on it the more it seems accurate.

A Composite of a Great Idea [Day 25/365]

Day 25/365 Sheralyn Pratt

I’m a sucker for a great idea. (I even made a fun journal to write them in!) Give me enough for a concept and I go into nerd mode and down the rabbit hole.

Today’s post is a composite of iterations I made while exploring a concept. It kind of looks like a Rorschach Test out of context, so I offer it to you in that spirit as a bit of modern art.

What do you see when you look at this picture?

How to Be Yourself in a Vacuum [Day 24/365]

Sheralyn Pratt 24/365
JUST BE YOURSELF
No matter who doesn't care

This little thot has a little built-in pouty intent, but I promise you that when I say the words above, I am smiling from ear-to-ear.

Sometimes, some of the greatest barbs we feel were not thrown at us by anyone, but rather acquired by falling on our swords of disappointment after we shine as bright as we can on a stage and are serenaded by crickets in response.

That sucks. And, over time and repetition, it can lead to not doing things you love because it makes you feel stupid to perform without applause.

But perform anyway. You do you. Brightly.

No matter who doesn’t care … until they do 😉

Simple =/= Easy [Day 23/365]

Sheralyn Pratt 23/365
SIMPLE is not the same as EASY. Simple things are often the most difficult things you'll ever do.

I was talking with a client today about the difference between simple and easy when it came to workflow systems. It got me thinking…

We often use the words “simple” and “easy” interchangeably, but they have different meanings.

For example, keeping a house clean is simple but that does not mean it is easy. Conversely, asking to clean their rooms is easy but might not be that simple.

Systems are amazing tools (in the workplace and anywhere else) because they work whether the people operating them know what they’re accomplishing, or not. All everyone has to do is play their part and the end-goal is achieved.

To this end, you need to simplify things to create a working system. This is not to say you are asking people to do things that are easy along the way, simply things that need to be done.

I know there is a lot that can be said on this topic, but I just wanted to make a note of this aspect as something that played a part in my day: Seeking ease to get things going in a moment is not always what your business needs.

Then again, sometimes a little momentum is what you need — especially when first starting out. There are all sorts of things to learn while finding easy ways to do things 😉

But, as a rule, simple is better than easy. Especially, if you have a system.

Finding Your Branding “I am” Statement [Day 21/365]

Insignia flower

A brand is more than a label. It’s a promise to everyone who invests in you. This is why it’s important to be clear about what you stand for as a company, and what people get every time they deal with you.

Some people are very good at defining themselves on this core level, while others find stepping into bold claims a little more slippery. (Hint: If you’re one of these people, chances are you’re smart and using your intelligence to engage in “what if”-isms that leave you paralyzed and uncertain, while people who are less thoughtful zoom past you with confidence. It takes the time that it takes to define yourself, but don’t “what if” yourself out of your own truth.)

Building a brand requires an “I am” statement on behalf of your company. When you put your uniform on, who are you? What do you do? How can people count on you?

If you can infuse all that into a symbol people remember, then you are on your way to leaving your mark in this world.

Finding Your Vintage [Day 20/365]

Day 20/365. Sheralyn Pratt
All who hang a shingle
bring a vintage to
their hometown

This post is going up a day late because yesterday was more of a Behind the Scenes day where there’s really nothing to share with the class … yet.

But I was thinking about all the towns I’ve driven into across the years and how many of them are just strip malls anymore. I’m always a little bummed when a small town turns out to be a franchise outpost, and more than a little amped when I find some quirky spot with well-loved stores.

So that’s where this thought comes from, along with a shout out to all of you who have ever hung a shingle out in this world.

Anyone who’s built a business can tell you that it is an emotional rollercoaster. Until you master the fine art of turning idealistic visions into budgeted business decisions, even small decisions can feel like a mountain of a molehill.

It takes a while to get your business legs and, truth be told, not everyone is built to turn their passion into a sustainable business. Most of us much prefer to deliver on an amateur’s schedule — choosing when and how we show up and limiting deliveries to audiences we are comfortable with.

This is one of the reasons banks prefer to provide business loans to people who are rather dispassionate about their product. Because they want to invest in businesses that are positioned to capitalize and profit, not passion projects with motivations that can cool based on mood.

Yet if you are truly hanging out a shingle and putting your name out there, it’s because you feel you can fill a niche in a market that currently isn’t hitting its mark. You can do it better, which makes you wonder if you can compete with what big business is churning out.

To compete, you’ll need to do new things at uncomfortable speeds and terrifying heights, while sharing a stage with polished professionals who don’t miss a trick. It’s intimidating. And it’s easy to buy into imposter syndrome — especially when learning how to deliver what you do on a scale when everyone around already seems to have everything nailed down.

You’ve always got to learn, observe, adjust, repeat — improving every day.

Building a brand a process of curation, as much so as making cheese or wine or developing a crop. It takes some time and the novice tries to invest too much up-front.

But to all those who make it through this daunting gauntlet to build your brand and establish your reputation, I salute you.

Keep being you and keep leaving your mark.