How would you define growth in your business? Many of us might think along the lines of abundance. More customers, more income. More products, more services. More space, more staff. More. But as anyone with a great affinity for gardening will tell you, the growing process occurs in seasons, and we must sometimes go through seasons of less in order to break through to the seasons of more; to trim the dead branches so the healthy ones can bear more fruit, and to prune what isn’t conducive to growth in order to allow what’s remaining to thrive.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ In my business, this meant doing away with certain things so I could better focus others. I took on less clients and became more vigilant about qualifying my leads to ensure I would only work with the right people and would only take on the right projects. It meant less income, but more time and focus to create better quality work and provide an even richer client experience. I stopped trying to casually practice many design disciplines simultaneously, and instead focused in on mastering typography, which was starting to become a foundation in my branding projects. I pared down my services and offerings, opting to farm out web development and photography to professionals far more skilled than I, and focused instead on the strategy facilitation and design aspects of each project that truly filled my cup. It’s been a season of less, but still a season of growth. Not the kind that has me generating that coveted six-figure salary, or has my docket list all queued up months in advance just yet. But the kind I know will take me from where I was to where I need to be.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ What are some things in your business that you need to pare down in order for better things to grow in it’s place? What can you prune so that what is remaining can flourish? How can you grow from where you currently are, to where you need to be?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #risingtidesociety #risingtideyyz #communityovercompetition #torontodesigner #torontodesign #torontographicdesign #torontosmallbusiness #torontoentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #theeverygirl #freelancewisdom #mondaymotivation
Sometimes, I get to channel my (aspirational) inner lettering artist and work on some hand lettering pieces for special, one-off projects, and I'm hoping to incorporate more and more of it in my branding projects with clients. Lately, I've been practicing beautiful letterforms for monoline scripts, working on my point plots and bezier curves and learning more about lettering compositions in general. This little number was for an event that ended up being postponed indefinitely, so it never saw the light of day, but it shall live here and serve as my reminder that with growth, progress, learning and development, better things are ahead- both in work and in life.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #jenellesantosdesign #risingtidesociety #risingtideyyz #communityovercompetition #torontodesigner #torontodesign #torontographicdesign #torontosmallbusiness #torontoentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #theeverygirl #freelancewisdom #fwportfolio #whitespacemagazine #whitespacespring #handlettering #lettering #goodtype #typspire #ipadpro #applepencil #procreate #digitallettering #typism
I had this photo queued up in my scheduler from last fall, but never got to post. He's so much bigger now, so energetic and inquisitive and just super eager to learn about the world around him. He's in part time daycare now, which forces me to maximize my work days while he's there, so I can focus on my Chase days when he's here with me. It's been a tremendous equalizer in my work-life balance, which got a little hairy for awhile. By God's grace, we're learning and adjusting and growing as we go.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ I struggle a lot with how often to (or if I even should) post photos of my son and my family, since I somewhat decided to use IG for business only, moving forward. But as a self-employed mama, I'd also love to connect and engage with others in positions similar to mine. I know that some entrepreneurs keep their biz accounts and personal accounts separate, but truth be told I hardly have enough time to manage one social handle as it is, lol. I'd love to know what you guys think! Biz owners and entrepreneurs with families/kids, how do you handle balancing work-related and personal posts on social media? A totally integrated approach, or separation of church and state? Sound off below!⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #risingtidesociety #risingtideyyz #communityovercompetition #torontodesigner #torontodesign #torontographicdesign #torontosmallbusiness #torontoentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #theeverygirl #freelancewisdom #chasehonor
As a designer, it's not often I get to work with clients who have business coaches or focus groups at their disposal, so it was a great learning experience for me as I worked on the branding for Toronto-based photographer, artist and educator @elainechandow. Though I pride myself on designing brand identities derived from a process of deep discovery, alignment and strategy, it was so helpful to get creative concepts in front of discerning and objective eyes like Elaine's business coach and a focus group of individuals that represented what we defined her ideal client to be. We gained tremendous insight in the process, allowing us to further refine her marks to better articulate her brand message, attract her ideal clients, and align her business objectives. We included this monogram lockup in her final suite of marks after resounding affirmation from her coach and focus group. This was one of my favourite marks from Elaine's project- so effective in its simplicity.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ While many entrepreneurs won't have the luxury of a business coach or focus group to help them deliberate creative concepts with, one piece of advice that I like to give my clients during the earliest creative phase is to be as objective as possible, before dwelling on your preferences. Starting from an I like this or I don't like this perspective is a sign that subjective opinions are to follow, which doesn't really help in aligning the key areas established in your Brand Strategy.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Whether you're in the process of deliberating over creative concepts with your own designer, or looking at potential styles for a brand design, it might be helpful to consider the following first:⠀ - Does this accomplish my visual goals?⠀ - Does this resemble my brand personality?⠀ - Will this appeal to my ideal client?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #jenellesantosdesign #risingtidesociety #risingtideyyz #communityovercompetition #torontodesigner #torontodesign #torontographicdesign #torontosmallbusiness #torontoentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #theeverygirl #freelancewisdom #brandingdesign #brandidentity #designspiration #logodesign #whitespacespring ⠀
Back again after a 4-month hiatus of Instagram posts (Stories not included). The truth is, I grew to have a love-hate relationship with IG for business, which, at its best, led me to some pretty amazing clients and projects, but at its worst became a huge time suck and comparison trap. I obsessed over things like analytics, engagement, hashtags, the algorithm, thinking that if I could just get my content in front of the right eyes, I'd be able to fill up my project queue better. Then I'd become discouraged when my results didn't match those of my peers who had been doing this far longer (and probably far better) than I was. The lesson? Social media for business can be a double-edged sword, and while it's important to utilize tools like this to grow your business, nothing replaces the magnitude of building your brand on authenticity, keeping your head down and doing the work, and reminding yourself of your value when your path doesn't look like someone else's. In truth, the last 4 months have been decidedly steady with great work and great clients, that it just seemed right to take a rest from the social media rat race. I'm slowly working towards pushing out more content intended to empower and educate other creative entrepreneurs, so stay tuned :)⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Online biz owners, what are your thoughts on social media for growing your brands? What methods have you found worked best for you? How do you safeguard against the comparison trap? I'd love to know- sound off below!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 📸: @nordwood via @unsplash⠀ ⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #risingtidesociety #risingtideyyz #communityovercompetition #torontodesigner #torontodesign #torontographicdesign #torontosmallbusiness #torontoentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #theeverygirl #freelancewisdom
The Christmas story is one of hope, redemption, peace and love, that began with a baby born in a manger, and continues through today. Wishing you all the hope, redemption, peace and love that this season brings. From our little family to yours... Merriest Christmas!
OUT OF OFFICE ALERT! Wrapped up my 2017 work, onboarded my first 2018 clients, and the studio will be closed until the new year for a short, sweet and timely #staycation with my family! My instagram game has been non-existent for the past few months while I've been working hard behind the scenes, but I'll be back in January hopefully with a new website and more content designed to help entrepreneurs thrive! See you in 2018! . . . . . #jenellesantosdesign #risingtidesociety #communityovercompetition #risingtideyyz #madeintoronto #madeincanada #torontodesigner #beingboss #creativeentrepreneur
That feeling you get when you've been working insanely hard behind the scenes and a launch date is finally in sight. #makingwavesmonday on a Tuesday, y'all! I'm can't wait to share what I've been working on with you guys. Anyone else been a busy little beaver lately? Let me know what you're working on in the comments below- I'd love to cheer you on!