With science and our fast advances in technology we're learning more remarkable ways to do things. Online you're bombarded with strategies on marketing and branding both considered conventional and unconventional. What is the best way to think to that leads to success faster? Conventional thinking is the proven methods and foundations of success. Unconventional thinking is the challenge of conventional thinking. It's new and innovative and sets you apart.
How do you know which is better? Conventional ways or unconventional ways of marketing, branding or designing websites? The answer is neither. Adopt a new way of thinking that will clearly guide you through big business decisions and make you stand apart from colleagues and your competition effortlessly.
“Everything popular is always wrong.” - Oscar Wilde
VALUE OF UNCONVENTIONAL THINKING
What is more valuable Conventional thinking or Unconventional thinking?
You might be inclined to say Unconventional right? We are told to “think outside the box” and that to be valuable we need to be different, and bring something else to the table that no one else is bringing.
We award and praise unconventional thinking in our society. Unconventional is the way we move forward. Challenging our thinking and our ways of doing things is the best way to grow. To be better, to do better. Constant growth is one of the most fulfilling things in our life and in our business.
We diss conventional thinking because we think it’s outdated, or creates clones of similar thinking people, services, products or ads. Conventional might remind us of traditions and ways of thinking that have hurt our humanity in the past. Like our thoughts about women or people of a different skin color. We see our rise in humanity when we challenge conventional thinking. We think of our brightest and strongest leaders as being unconventional so we see conventional in a bad light.
I learned this at a young age from one of the art teachers my freshman year of high school. I took every elective I could as an art class that year. It was amazing and I finally liked school that year.
Except this one art teacher.... Ooooh! She could ruffle my feathers. I respected her but I didn’t love her. I thought she had it out for me. She felt that she gave me a harder time than any other student in my class.
One particular project was to make a miniature shrine. She showed slides of other past students' work and they were all made out of a box with things in them that made a scene or paid tribute to something or someone. We had to get our ideas approved by her before doing our work. So I came to her with one idea. Nope not original enough. The next idea. Nope not creative enough. On the 2nd round of my attempts all the other students had been approved for things that seemed totally stupid to me. So I came up with one more. A tribute to the ocean that I thought was really unique.
A sign escaped her lips and she said. “Monica I really need you think outside to box.”
I was pissed! I was so frustrated. I thought that I couldn’t please her so I drew up a sarcastic idea. I made a box, the top open and butterflies flying out of it. On each side of the box was a way that can constrain or enslave. Representing the lack of freedom I felt from this project. One side was made of rope, the others bars, net and chains. The bottom would be broken glass and shells to show the butterflies couldn’t rest.
I thought she would be mad that I was literally doing a box and putting something outside of it. I am a shy kid and not normally flippant to teachers. That was me being really flippant!
She loved it!
It was put in the window display for the rest of the semester once completed. Then it was put in an art show. When the show was photographed for the newspaper it was on one of the front tables in the shot.
It seemed so stupid and not at all what anyone else was doing. It was like an abstract sculpture not a shine. There was nothing about it that anyone would call a shrine. Yet I won an award and got an A.
I thought this teacher wanted to make my life miserable instead she paraded my work around and got teary at parent teacher conferences. I was confused as a kid but realize now I she was pushing me to be better. That she saw more in me and wouldn’t let me slack off by because she could tell I was more natural at this class and wasn’t really being challenged.
I learned that bringing something unexpected helped you to win.
That thinking outside the box was more valuable.
Unconventional is more valuable right?
Does conventional thinking have any worth?
VALUE OF CONVENTIONAL THINKING
Did you think conventional thinking is more valuable not unconventional? If you said conventional thinking, you're not wrong either. This is what we pay tens of thousands of dollars for and spend years at universities learning. There is nothing wrong with conventional knowledge. It’s what our foundations are built upon.
Once something unconventional is adopted by the masses, it then becomes conventional right? Everything conventional was once unconventional. A marketing strategy like podcasting, or crazy weird attention getting ad, or fire in the cave. All once were unconventional. Now they are everywhere.
If we never valued learning conventional thinking then we would spend our lives reinventing the wheel. And decades relearning what the world has already accepted as common knowledge. Thing like the world is round and that we are made up of cells from our own body and bacteria. What is common knowledge and conventional thinking now was once the biggest discoveries of our humanity and business development. Like growing email lists or social media for businesses!
Running a business as a solopreneur from your computer was also once very unconventional.
Without some or a lot of conventional thinking we wouldn’t know the basics of how our universe works, or how to learn a specialized craft or skill. We are taught how to do these things conventionally to build our skills and catch us up to the advancement of history.
OVERVALUING EITHER CAN LEAD TO DISASTER
In making decisions for our business, our relationships, our homes and our personal development we might be struggling with deciding “What is the one thing I’m missing? What should I do next or buy next?
With this amazing thing called the internet, with dozens of ways to learn and to be bombarded with others thoughts and opinions - we can get confused and may be subconsciously in a never ending hunt of the magic pill. The next best thing, the reason why we are not yet successful or still struggling.
These things can help us grow or greatly hinder us by having us chase butterflies that end up being bees. You spend weeks or years chasing it and then when you catch it, it stings you.
There is a fine art to navigating what conventional or unconventional thinking we adopt in our personal lives and in our businesses. Your first question should be "What about this resonates with me? What do I value most? What is my personality and strengths? What is the lifestyle I want to cultivate?"
If you read my last post on Dharma - I mention how we are mislead from our callings. That we might be mirroring our purpose or just living a shadow of it. (link to this article is below)
THE NEW-OLD WAY OF THINKING
The art of challenging unconventional thinking (or conventional as well) is to be open to learning from others but to think for yourself. Period.
It’s neither unconventional or conventional thinking and yet the very idea of thinking for yourself is both of these at the same time. This concept alone is both conventional and unconventional thinking.
I want to reintroduce you to Intentional Thinking.
Every single book you read, podcast you listen to, video you watch or speaker you see… Practice listening to them with intentional thinking. Ask yourself “What can I learn from this? What do I want to get out of this? What are my current goals and priorities right now?” Write them down. At the end when you're all hyped up about a new concept, new product or strategy ask yourself…. "What did I learn that resonates with me? What (if anything) is aligned to help me with my current goals? Does this take me away from my priorities or help me with my priorities?"
We learn things that can help us understand our past and we learn things that will be of great help to us in the future. Both of these things are ones that don’t need to be added to our lives right now.
Reflect on those things that help you understand your past. Take what is going to help you where you are right now, then bookmark things that you might want to reference in the future and forget about them for now.
When you do this consistently in your life you will effortlessly evolve into to an inventional thinker.
When you think for yourself and practice intentional thinking you then effortlessly create inventional thinking. You invent new ways to see things that only you could come up with because you have not lost your mind in the masses chasing conventional and unconventional thinking. Being lead by algorithms and who pays more for ads creates clones and zombies of same thinkers in our world.
Not letting the media, your peers, friends, family, google or facebook algorithms determine your thinking, your education and information consumption. All the things that influence your actions and create your beliefs for you.
It doesn’t matter if these ideas are bees or butterflies (good or bad for you)… if they are not intentionally needed they are a distraction.
Intentionally seek educators. Intentionally approach all material and ideas. Research others who have a similar seminar, book or course before biting on that ad bait and spending your time down that rabbit hole.
Take what’s aligned and what works with your unique self and unique business.
HOW TO KNOW WHAT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Many of my clients are some level of lost and confused when they come to me. Many chase multiple ideas at the same time. By the time I talk to them next week they think they need to something else, like start vlogging, or need to write a book when it wasn’t on their radar a week ago.
These are some of the best clients. Those who are actively looking to learn and don’t assume they “know it all.” These people are primed to find success fast. Unfortunately their strength of never ending learning and improvement can be their kryponite and they are prone to failure. They became a broken dam and to many unaligned or goof for them ideas flood their time and business.
We can learn fast, we can change fast, but if we are doing it with the masses of conventional thinking or the unconventional, then it will take longer and be more painful because we will be lead astray way more than aligned with our path.
YOUR TYPE IS YOUR GUIDE AND FILTER
I have a specific process of first honing in on a client's root personality type. How they function in the world, how they best work with others and how they process information. How they work to achieve their needs and goals from an authentic and steadfast way.
We look at their strengths: • What naturally comes easy to them? • What draws them and excites them? • What creates natural flow states for them? • What motivates their goals and decisions? • What do people seek them out for. • How do they naturally inspire?
All of these are things that make us - us. When we can look at your venture through this filter we can best decide design and branding. It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what is most important to express and what’s the strongest way to communicate your authentic self. The results from these questions guide us through logo choices, colors, fonts and every element after.
With the knowledge of their strengths and unique selling point we know how to write copy to communicate it. What pages to create, and how to sell and lead generate from a light, fun and meaningful way.
Energy is expressed through words and visuals. If you are one or more years into business and every gain has felt like a struggle but you see people going “viral” it's not because you're not smart enough or work hard enough. It’s not that those with more success than you used a different color, website platform and different strategy from you... It’s because they have created authentic alignment and connection from who they are to their business, and connection from their offering to their ideal customer.
If you were ever once passionate about something and then did it for a few months or years and lost your fire for it you missed the mark in your connection. You need to inject Intentional Thinking and strategy back into that venture so it aligns with you again. You might have created to many things that are not an expression of you or using your personal strengths to run and market it. Or you might have left yourself completely out of your branding and business and were never connected properly to begin with.
I don’t believe that you should ever have to relight your fire for your work everyday. I believe your work should get you out of bed inspired and with clarity. Intentional and Inventional thinking will get you there.
MARKETING FAILURE AND SUCCESS
Give me any specific marketing strategy and we can find one hundred, one thousand or one million successful people that are doing it that way. Give me a completely different strategy and I can again find masses who are successful with it. A strategy is not good or bad, works or doesn’t work until you look deeply at the person or team who is trying to use it.
That’s why “proven” and the “best methods” have failed for you before. You chose a method based off a trusted or strange leader and didn’t filter it through Intentional Thinking.
In order to make clearer decisions for your branding, messaging, websites, and marketing plans… you need to specifically know what makes you tick, where your strengths are and if you need to work on a weakness or just get help in that area and hone in on your amazing talent.
Not one strategy, course or idea will work for everyone. Ever.
My clients are given feedback into understanding themselves and how they can best approach their business by the end of the branding phase.
There are three tests that help them get a specific road map toward implementing intentional and inventional thinking. Making aligned decisions from what color to use in the logo, to which book to read and which podcast to be featured on.
THE PROCESS TO CLARIFY EVERYTHING
All tests are based in science and the study of the human brain and how people function within their personal and work lives.
Test 1 is a personality type. How the world encounters them and they the world. This helps in product development and branding.
Test 2 is a strengths finder test. What will make them and their venture shine, and what will keep the fire lit without cornering them into an unnatural marketing strategy in business. Also assisting in branding and service development.
(Coming soon to the client experience!)
Test 3 helps clarify what drives them. The root of all their goals so that their venture is the definition of success to them. The words you use to describe success to you have an even deeper origin. Without it you might build the business you think you want but still be unfulfilled when you get it. Forever chasing the next best things again and running the gauntlet.
These tests don't change the business the clients bring to me! These tests are guides that help us both have the clarity to make the bigger decisions in everything that follows. They are invaluable insights to their work and home life. They also let me know what the client may need more help with and how it’s best to communicate to them. It’s like learning the 5 love languages of your spouse or kids. When you know what they value and how they tick everything becomes easier to communicate and fulfill their needs.
IF YOU READ ANYTHING AT ALL READ THIS:
Don’t value unconventional thinking or conventional. Just because it’s a new tactic and promises success doesn’t mean it will work for you. Just because we have always one it that way and it works for everyone else doesn't make it right for you either.
What does and doesn’t work in marketing, branding or anything in business depends on if it’s right for you and your team.
Every single book you read, podcast you listen to, video you watch or speaker you see… Listen with intentional thinking.
Ask yourself these questions before your digest the content:
• What can I learn from this?
• What do I want to get out of this?
• What are my current goals and priorities now?
• What is the lifestyle that I want to create?
Then at the end after you are all hyped up about a new concept, new product, new service or strategy ask yourself….
• What did I learn that resonates with me?
• What (if anything) is aligned to help me with my current goals?
• Does this idea fit into my personality, values and strengths?
• Will this fit into the lifestyle I want to live?
We learn things that can help us understand our past and that will be of great help to us in the future - but these things are ones that don’t need to be added to our lives right now.
If you hate speaking (not because you think you’re not good but honestly find no joy in it) then don’t do a podcast or vlog. Does writing take forever and you despise every second? Don’t blog.
Do you hate social media? Use a search engine like Youtube or Pinterest and forget Facebook.
The combinations are endless.
Just be intentional. What you consume is what you become. Don’t chase conventional standards or new shiny unconventional ideas. Deliberately hunt and interview intentional insight.
As an intentional thinker you will naturally become an inventional thinker. A curated educated entrepreneur that is a deliberate mix of the best of the best for you. Allowing you to not sway with the masses. A rock against the waves. Being steadfast in your pursuits and bringing more value to your team, clients and customers. Becoming a unique and highly sought after asset effortlessly.
I am with Oscar Wilde on a lot of things but when he says:
“Everything popular is always wrong.” I have to disagree. Everything consumed without intentional thinking is wrong. Even if it’s “right.”
In my next post we are going to take a deep look at personal branding. I discuss persona and personality, branding, marketing and Mr. Potato Head.
Why Personal Branding makes more money than Profession Branding. Personal Branding is your most powerful tool for success. (Coming soon!)
I'm Monica Fawn. An artist turned brand consultant and website designer. I work with individuals and small teams like you who want the power of psychology and trust evoking custom design in their brand.
I believe that the most overlooked problem with branding and websites is actually your biggest opportunity. I help you creatively and authentically express yourself while marketing your business and sell or book your pants off!
"PERFECTION WILL NEVER REPLACE AUTHENTICITY" - Monica Fawn Orto