Last week, I posted an unfiltered photo of my desk in a light-hearted and playful attempt to ‘keep things real’ on Instagram. My friend Donají noticed three little toy cars on the edge of the photo and asked me about them. I tried for a few minutes to send her a simple response but couldn’t come up with one. For me, those little cars have deep emotional resonance and a little story to go along with them.
The trimmer I was holding started buzzing loudly, sending little shivers across my palm and down my arm, the vibrations surely reaching my heart as it was beating rapidly. I felt exhilarated. I was ready.
Another deep breath.
Then, reaching over to my forehead, I ran the clipper up into my hair for the first time. There was no going back.
“If I teach you nothing else over the next two years but this, I’ll have done my job: Always ask, ‘But, why?'” That’s what Dr. Schneider, my social policy professor, said to us many years ago on our first day of class.
When it comes to branding and the running of your business, asking why is at the heart of everything. How you answer the question every step of the way determines the quality of what you put out into the world.
Over the past year, I’ve spent a great deal of time asking big questions regarding the future of my business. Who do I want to work with? What do I want to keep offering and what services do I wish to discard? How do I want to shape my business? How do I want to define success? The list goes on. Though some questions were easier to answer than others, it has taken me all year to get the clarity I was after (and the answers are still forming). But there is one foundational question that I kept going back to: Why am I doing this work in the first place?
The Borg are a cyborg race with one ultimate goal: to achieve perfection.
I found myself greatly interested in their qualities as a species and saw an overlap with the design principles I use every day.