I've always been passionate about my work but bothered me enormously the fact that my life revolved around it and not the other way around. I tried to fix the problem always searching for more - more promotions, more courses, more books, more things. But all of this just took me far apart from what I really wanted: to experience life. To be with my family, to see time passing more gently while doing what I love.
I looked around and saw my friends escaping corporate to create businesses, but feeling at the end of the day more exhausted than before. They were creating something not to serve others or even themselves, but to be bought out. They were burning fast in growth hacks and productivity courses, and ironically, not making money. They lack clarity, strategy, foundation. That was definitely not what I wanted (AT ALL).
So, after my second son was born I decided to solve my problem with the opposite of everything that I always did: I decided to do less. I left my perfect job and my perfect house. Donate almost everything and left with my family (including a small kid, a newborn, and some suitcases) to the other side of the world to live a simpler life. Simplicity is always bold.
I was eager to find balance (which I didn't, life is a mess) and a new creative career for myself (which I did). I started a Brand Strategy business purposely and proudly small, not for lack of vision or strategy, but for knowing exactly what I wanted and how.
Brand Strategist with 15+ years of international experience in Branding, Marketing, and Communication Strategy, I'm an Advertising professional with a Business Management MBA, Postgraduate degrees in Marketing and Psychology and Wellness Science, and a specialization in Branding from Future Branding Academy in London, Brand the Change Academy in the Netherlands, and Brand Strategy and Storytelling by Hyper Island in Sweden.
Based in The Netherlands and with clients worldwide, I'm very fortunate to have collaborated on inspiring projects such as heading in-depth brand research and restructuring in Chile and Peru, managing large scale data-driven multi-channel sales incentive programs, and leading the Digital, Advertising, and PR campaigns for one of the most recognizable brands in Brazil, overseeing execution across Latin America and the USA.
Anyone that's up to create their own business is actually creating a philosophy, ruled by a couple of values or principles. We can see them everywhere, in the business model we choose, in the value that we create, in the people we attract, and in the way we decide to build relationships. The three below summarize what I believe deep down in my core and how I want to live my business and my life:
Better, before Bigger: do more is not always the answer, making it simple usually is. It doesn't mean that is easy (it's pretty hard actually), but it's worth it."Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", as Da Vinci said.
There's always a smarter way to do it, and lots of stuff that we thought are fundamental to the business were actually just a way to increase complexity and diminish our profits and happiness at work. Getting free of all of this and keeping it simple is a blessing.
Meaning, before Money: there's no way for every business to grow unlimited. We live in a world with limited resources (including ourselves), so defining our enough it's key.
The direction is more important than the pace, but it's possible to keep it fast and insightful with a clear process and the right compass. Let's not overcomplicate.
Your work is your passion made visible, it should be close to your heart.
It's always possible to be highly personal (it should actually, as we are talking to other humans), it's not just for personal brands.
It's always better when we do it together. We can accomplish really little alone.
We are humans, so absolutely everything is open to adaptation and evolution (please, do not tattoo your brand proposition).
To be brave has nothing to do with fighting a bear (that could be stupidity if we think it right), but could have a lot to do with getting the bed every morning and facing the day.
Being honest about what we offer, having the guts to trust our instincts, and changing whatever we need (even when it seems to move us backward) are the boldest moves ever.
I see work as a source of passion, an important part of our identity that can bring us happiness and meaning, or make us feel miserable. The secret (well... there's no secret actually, just a sequence of trials, errors, and adaptations) is to understand where our sweet spot is. A special little place that combines personal and professional fulfillment with the total amount of money sufficient to sustain your ideal lifestyle. All of this will go through defining and simplifying your business model, the people you want to work with and for, and the kind of work that works for you.
If you also have the feeling that something is broken in the way we run organizations today take a look at those articles. Maybe some of this can make our hearts bit at the same frequency.
Some topics are just too difficult to talk about, or at least to start a conversation. So how about creating a "safe word" for that?
We all learn that a brand should be memorable, but that doesn't mean that the logo should be displayed everywhere.
Brands should be in a never-ending conversation with the zeitgeist, evolving to keep relevant. In that sense, the possibilities to create a brand playbook had grown a lot.
Brand is a gut feeling about a product, a service, or a company. It's a reputation.