A particularly well-adjusted buddy of mine told me once that every night before he went to sleep growing up, his mom would say to him:
“Goodnight! I love you. Remember: you are perfectly and wonderfully made.”
(I believe it’s a variation on the Bible verse, Psalm 139:14 about being “fearfully and wonderfully made”… but I like his mom’s version better.)
I think about it a lot — and not just because, as much as she loved me equally, the last thing MY mom usually said before I went to sleep growing up was something like: “Hillary I can see you reading that book with a flashlight under your covers. This is the third time, for the love of God — go. to. sleep.”
The “perfectly and wonderfully made” mantra sticks with me because it runs in direct opposition to a world so hell bent on telling us exactly what’s wrong with us, and how to fix it.
Life Points Out the Cracks
So much of life, from the entertainment we consume to the way we’re marketed to, is wrapped up in pointing to the struggles we have, and the cracks within us.
“There it is!” they say, poking a finger into our doubts, bruises, and wounds “See, we caught you — and whew, that one’s a doozy! Hang on, if you just buy this/watch this/read this/listen to this, you’ll be fixed up in no time.”
And it’s no surprise, really.
As our little brain engines drive our meat suit bodies around like anxious Teslas, it’s so much easier to focus on what’s going wrong (because it hurts) and ignore what’s going right (because if the good stuff is just humming along in the background, we often don’t notice it at all).
Why is it so easy to focus on what’s missing?
There’s always a new strategy, a new way of working or not working, a new offer du jour that someone’s going off about in Facebook ads that sends us down another “Do I need this??? Maybe this is the cure…” rabbit hole.
Because yes, while it’s always difficult to “read the label from inside the bottle” around what your focus, customer base, brand, and business can be…
… So many entrepreneurs have internalized so much rhetoric about who they’re supposed to be, or what they’re supposed to do, or what success is supposed to look and feel like, that the stuff they ALWAYS lead with is always what they fear they lack.
The message they’re still working up the courage to own…
The money they’re not quite making…
The dreamy offers they’re still struggling to confidently sell…
The bigger, bolder brand they know is in there, that they want so badly to step into, but feel totally hopeless trying to pull out for themselves…
They come to me with p r o b l e m s… but when we roll up our sleeves and get into it?
Getting Another Perspective Can Point Out Perfection
Like clockwork, as soon as they pop the hood, all I see is possibility and opportunity — and just how damn brilliant the work they’re doing every day is.
Their work is, in so many ways, perfectly and wonderfully made.
Sure, it might need a few adjustments here and there to help them clearly talk about it, package it, and realign the business and brand to match their long-term goals.
But at its core?
The work they do is a thing of beauty, whether they see it yet or not.
Because it comes from their hearts, and is the result of so many years of training and experience, and so much passion and care that forms their story.
The Tools Are Right in Front of You
And time and time again, once we start digging, they start to notice that all the tools they need are already at their disposal, just waiting to be picked up and used (just a little more strategically.)
Sometimes they just need someone to listen to their process, hold up a hand and say “Whoa, wait a second. You’re doing all that?! That’s amazing. Tell me more.”
Sometimes they can’t see it, but their suite of offers just needs one additional bridge, and all of a sudden the ecosystem runs beautifully.
Sometimes, all they need for their messaging to truly stomp off the screen is to focus down juuuust a little more into a clearer client and core framework that works as a foundation for their content, and their audience of potential customers and clients is activated and elevated in a brand new way.
And sometimes, turning their work into a brand that’s unlike anything else out there just requires an outside brain to point out the greatness that already exists, and help them to just own it, damnit.
When I leave those initial “Can you help me?” calls, I often wonder what that reframe would sound like if these phenomenal humans also felt that, at its core, their work was perfectly and wonderfully made?
Reframe Your Focus: “What’s Already Working” vs. “Needed Repairs”
What if they moved through self-and-business improvement cycles thinking less about what needs to be repaired… and more about what’s already working, that can be shaped into an even more powerfully-working thing?
Instead of: “God, I just don’t know, maybe this has all been a fluke?? I get great results but I have NO idea how the heck to talk about. I’m doing this every day, is it really that awesome?!”
What if it could be:
“I’m doing something right in my business, and it’s so exciting! I’m just not sure what, exactly. Clients love me and I have so much opportunity for growth. How can we package everything up so more people can find me?”
Instead of: “Sometimes I worry there’s nothing unique about me, and there’s nothing I do particularly well. What if I’m just one of those people who… exists to fade into the background?”
What if it could be: “I know I can’t read the label from inside the bottle, but by golly there’s something magical in there, I can feel it. I’m so excited to have someone help me pin it down, pull it out and turn it into something awesome.”
Instead of: “My current brand is god awful. It’s so out of date and I’ve been in ‘Don’t look at my website!’ mode for years, because I’ve been too easily distracted to just figure it out.”
You Can Fly, Baby!
What if it could be: “I’ve waited for this rebrand for a long time, and now’s the moment. I’m ready to shed the old skin and emerge a butterfly, baby!”
What if, after all this time…
… Your work itself is, and always will be, perfectly and wonderfully made — and the rest is just logistics?
What if we weren’t fixing a blah, broken plane you’d foolishly built with band-aids and bubblegum as it took off — but rather bringing out and branding the magic that made it fly in the first place?
Think about it.
I know I will.