Have you ever thought about how combining technologies can be applied to the best future for humanity? The key to a more sustainable world lies in a better understanding of how we can contribute positively to the wellbeing of the planet. And I think I found one of many keys for that, through extensive reading and rearranging my creative curls.
I have been getting more and more into astrology as a pathfinding tool for myself. The reason is that I am going through some personal massive changes, where everything is ending and everything is up for grabs. It’s massively liberating but at the same time, it’s a bit scary and intimidating. Some of my favorite people to consult with when it comes to astrology is Mystic Medusa and Hare In the moon Astrology- they both have some amazing input and very unique ways of doing astrology.
Ancient as well as cutting edge
They have both been writing about the bridge between ancient and new. Two years ago I began a huge self-development process. I have been on my own path to find out what ancient technologies I had to integrate into my life. One of the most ancient technologies I have been working a lot with is creativity as well as nature. There’s a part of me that constantly wants to make a bonfire or climb a mountain. I constantly want to create art. I want to use some of these ancient technologies with new technologies. This could be anything from the internet, business skills, and community building as a way of creating.
The combination of technologies, the combination of ancient and new makes me stand more firmly in myself. It makes me more idealistic and raises my ideas (aka my livelihood) into new spheres. It makes me trust myself for more impact on the world, for new paths. How about you? How are you going to be combining ancient and new?
We’re in times that are both challenging but also filled with opportunities. I am grateful for this global time-out because there’s something in it that has to teach us something bigger as humanity.
It’s a horrible horrible way for us to learn though. So many lives lost, so many numbers thrown at us daily and behind each number is a person, with a family, with a legacy and with a contribution to the planet.
We are in emergency operations now as part of my work at CARE. Most of the country offices have closed down their operations and are focusing on preparing for #Covid-19. What will happen when and if it hits Africa and what I am particularly concerned about is the refugee camps. How can it become within or under control in places where people live very close to each other and there might not be clean water and everything spreads faster? But instead of me looking at it from a place of fear, I will not only look at it from a place of hope – I want to look at it from a place of action and creativity.
How to rise up to opportunities
When I was working at the biggest sustainability Think Tank in the Nordics as a Brand Director, my mission was to create a whole corner in the sustainability movement that we could work from and build more content and ideas into – huge opportunities that we could execute on, on the daily.
I have a couple of key principles when it comes to building movements and rising up as a person and a brand:
Showing the World who you are by DOING instead of TALKING
INCLUDE – Don’t see yourself as separate, and don’t act like others are separate either. You’re united for world dominion, rockers! Yes you need to participate and share stuff for others too. These are like important relationships rockers! – you have to give some to earn some.
PARTICIPATE: There are so many virtual calls for everything out there these days. So many ‘us vs COVID’ digital hackathons and programs. Instead of watching Netflix – become a part of those. Contribute. Share your skills and create magic.
TELL EVERYONE: Pitch your ideas. Not just to potential clients – pitch them to anyone. Are you passionate about technology? Tell everyone. Ideas around sustainability need to be bolder than life. Challenges we want to rise up to, and find possibilities in such as Covid19 can have Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
It’s one of the greatest things about working for a planet that’s fucked up environmentally and healthwise: The sky is the limit when it comes to how bold and audacious the ideas needed can be. The opportunities are there – but the question is: will you rise up and take them?
You know sometimes things don’t turn out the way they used to. I could use some hugs right now and fill that 2nd person in on Snapchat filters. It’s hard to do with a 3-meter distance, rockers. I am totally telling you it’s a challenge. It’s almost undoable.
So I used this article to take a walk down a nostalgic memory lane of mine. Thinking about the tiniest rockin’ things you can do that adds up to (TADA) a brand where you show who you really are… or dare I say.. a ‘cool’ brand? We all want to be a rockband still, right?
So in these times of crisis, illness, and worry around this lovely green planet of ours, I wanted to add some positive fairy sprinkles everywhere that showed that we are still working together for common goals ( or missions and visions of rocking businesses if you would like ) through Unity, sharing, caring and love.
Teamwork makes the dream work
And what is a better way to show who’s behind a Big Hairy Audacious Mission and Vision? Team photos. I love team photos. Some of them are stronger than others, but it personally leaves me feeling nostalgic and brings me back to these feelings I had when I was working hard on achieving these goals together with these people – as a part of a larger group.
It’s an amazing way of creating joy and hope and memories. Right now we are all struggling to get our everyday work-life together. At the same time, managing teenagers who want to be with their friends, but can’t. And pets who are having the time of their life, because everybody is at home hanging out. It must be a pet paradise!
I am totally becoming nostalgic for the free life I lived 2 months ago. But there’s only one way we are getting through this, and that is well… getting through this.
Bringing back unity to what it used to be.
One of the things that makes me really sad is that they canceled all the music festivals in Denmark this summer so no Copenhell or Roskilde Festival for me. However, I get it. And with my crazy-ass lungs and chronic lung decease, I am in this for the longest haul. In fact, I was joking with a friend of mine yesterday who I run my danish gardening Instagram with (if you’re interested) – about that if the world is going to be opening up slowly, then I might be out of isolation in a year or two.
Let’s see how long this is going to take, and let’s have the biggest global sustainable party when it’s over. Then we can also focus on climate change=) But humans in unity are what gives me joy and sparks my creativity: Teams. I know how much effort a hardworking team can do in a short amount of time if the right conditions are set.
A brand tip from yours truly:
When I worked as a brand director of the largest sustainability Think Tank in the Nordics, team photos were the content that got the most attention on social media. We did some pretty crazy ones at the Think Tank. If you want you can check some of them out on the now-deceased Instagram account here.
I want to show you this one – which is one of my personal – favorites:
Team photos are a wonderful way of showing another face to a business. Whether it is a serious team photo, or it’s a bunch of goofballs acting out at a running event. It brings views behind the scenes of a business. And get this- it’s actually showing who are the nuts and bolts inside the engine, working in unity. Who is behind the facade, who is working to make these visions happen. It can be stronger than 10,000 words and normally it doesn’t take a lot to set it up. So my recommendation from here is to get some team photos set up and have fun with them, Show the faces behind the brand (because we all know that people want to deal with other people and not huge monstrous choreographed cyborgs) and show the world who you really are in this uncertain future where we just have to take it day by day – or musings by musings.
During my work with CARE, I have recently become aware that when you start using a tone of voice that’s more defining and bolder, as well as adding a visual identity that’s edgier, then something happens externally for sure. But something also happens internally with the office space and your colleagues. At CARE I feel inclined to say that we all are highly skilled geeks within our field, but to have climate and justice geeks unite under a new cool identity and a new cool tone of voice (and soon a new cool website) is a definite surplus. And it’s something that’s so well in line with the UN’s call for making this decade the ‘decade of action’.
How are your colleagues receiving the new initiatives?
ALL my colleagues are happy about it. It’s like that we, by lifting the brand, also lifts my colleagues pride in their work. All these wonderful people, that I pride myself on working with are also working towards a common goal of real impact for the most climate-vulnerable people in the world. Most of the time, they are women and children.
If you have problems figuring out how much you can do in the world, look at the startups. They execute on new ideas all the time. There’s nobody questioning what they usually do in some setting, because ‘what they usually do’ doesn’t exist. Everything is new, everything is trial and error. Everything is ‘fail fast and break things’. And we can all do something. But are we willing to do what we can? Is there an alternative by now? Not really.
Are we willing to do what we can for the decade of action?
Every human, family business, cyborg, corporation, you name it, need to commit to doing what they can for the world. It’s like humanity huddling together and saying ‘a’right, let’s turn this titanic around’.
Every partnership needs to have social good aspects. They need to be aligned with the SDGs – every startup needs to be impactful, otherwise, I throughout don’t believe they will succeed (not if they start now at least).
We all need to do what we can to make this planet heal and well function again. It’s going to take a long time before we get there – but we can all do our share to make this the decade of action something and most of us can do more than others.
What would happen to the disruptive business model, if we saw business models for cutting-edge companies such as Airbnb and Uber as old school?
There are ideas for creating apps like “tinder for xx” or the “next Facebook”. But what if we decided to start from a clean slate? Not being inspired by case studies or what other people in the field we’re in, are doing? What if we didn’t focus on short- term marketing stuff but rather on longterm business models?
Is that even possible? Can we innovate a new business model without looking at what’s already out there?
There’s a lot of pointers going towards that redeveloping business models is a part of the ‘new’ black. I in particular enjoy the concept of ‘holacracy’ and ‘sociocracy’.
It’s needed. Particularly since the models that most companies they use today, are often the same as business models that were used 40 years ago (sometimes even more).
The business world is in dire need of diversification. Every brand has a need to stand out these days. Enter stage: disruptive trends. Think about what Patagonia has done with their ‘buy less’ strategy. Standing out has become one of the primary reasons for selling your products. If you’re good at spotting disruptive trends, you can get ahead of the competition. But if you’re great at implementing these trends you can hit a home run with your branding. You can save a gazillion dollars in marketing because you’ve already claimed the mind space of your clients and potential clients within that niche.
This means that businesses are becoming more creative and making more state-of-the-art/ cutting-edge products – in order to gain market share.
If you can define disruptive trends and show the business world what it will look like in 3 years there a good chance that you can get ahead of the game.
I love good marketing hustle, but I also love Eurythmics. At the beginning of the 00s, I started out in Marketing in London. At the time, their budget was a big zero. The startup I was working for didn’t have much money, and the first thing to be eliminated from the budget was the marketing and branding. I was told that they could afford my wages, but they couldn’t afford anything more than that.
What’s a girl to do? Hustle. I hustled myself larger. There came to a point where I almost begged to be invited to “invite-only” industry parties. I was super active in forums and that is when I discovered a gem: Blogs.
Through blogging, you can build relationships online without having to meet for coffee all the time. You can make your brand larger and express everything about your company. Even if it is remotely interesting to people, there’s a better chance of getting comments this way. This would then motivate you to write even more. Eventually, the people you met in the industry will know what you are up to. It is a big hustle but it can all suddenly become real. Then you don’t have to hustle anymore.
We can all hustle. Things don’t always have to be built from the ground up. You can find a freelancer on odesk or fiverr or even hire a virtual assistant who can help you grow. Reach more people and build an empire. Just like Eurythmics.
One of my constant go-to’s for inspiration in my work has been SlideShare or LinkedIn or a combination of both. It’s an amazing resource that can be used not only as a way to inspire you and your work but also to get your creative ideas out there.
Slideshare has an embed function so you can share it across the Internet the same way you would a youtube video. But one of the smart things that I often talk about with people who want to turn their professional profile up a notch is that you can embed your SlideShare presentations directly on your LinkedIn profile.
That’s great for 2 things:
First, people who are interested in working with you will get a behind-the-scenes not “static LinkedIn summary” peek into who you are and what you’re passionate about enough to make a Slideshare presentation about.
Second, you will get to work on your idea if you put it into a presentation. For me, I had one of my presentations featured on SlideShare, and it made a huge traffic increase to my site.
I want to propose something to you. Something radical. Something that could shift your brand purpose and how others view you. I want us to help each other’s creativity.
I want you to see every friend connection as a mutual pact. A pact where you not only sign up to see what’s going on in each other’s lives on social media but also to help each other’s creativity grow.
I think I speak for every entrepreneur on the planet when I say there’s one question we get a lot. The infamous “So what do you do?” question. It’s also something that we all try to answer to our best ability, depending on who we’re talking to. I vary my “what is it you really do” every time. To some people, I do “cutting-edge marketing PR and branding projects for companies”. To other people, I am “awriter looking into the latest tendencies around influencer marketing and content marketing”. Next year, it will be some other buzzwords and basically what I do stays the same.
Keeping it contemporary
There’s going to be a ton of new people getting into these terms and trying to “coin” them so they can make a big business around it, but in 6 months they need to use the next buzzword in their description or company name, and it goes on and on. It’s just a part of the game. And you can’t help but sit and smile a bit in a laid back sort of way and think to yourself: “Great new word, but that’s what some people have been doing for ages”.
So what is it I really do? We have really busted our chops to explain it over on Toothless Tiger. The image you see on top of this article is the Toothless Tiger Palette, where we’ve really spelled it out and we’re evolving it accordingly.
But here’s what I really do:
I listen a lot. I write that down including my own input and use that on my blog, in my books, in my client projects, and in my 1-on-1 sessions about branding/PR and marketing. There are over 3000 blogs that I follow daily as well as seeing what’s going on, in my network. I speak about what I’ve heard at events. I create things and models about it. And I add those things I’ve heard to my own experience that has been built up for years and years.
I boil that down to “cutting-edge PR, Marketing and Branding for companies”.
So how should you answer the “what do you do” question?
Having a couple of different solutions in your head is a great idea. I base mine on how much they know about my subject already.
If I am at a shipping conference (what on earth would I do there), then I would do “Marketing, PR, and branding for companies”.
If I am at a marketing conference, I would probably do “cutting-edge marketing, PR, and branding with a thumbprint of digital”.
And if I am among the digital marketers, I would be “creating the best projects and writings on the latest tendencies in our field”.
So I think you should be as specific as possible and also as targeted towards the people around you as much as possible.