Blog : Love Letters

Still Making An Impact

Still Making An Impact

As many of you know, life threw me a curveball this spring in the form of a surgical accident that has slowed me down, to say the least. I am currently recovering in the hospital as I write this – my third stay since the accident occurred in March.

Although I have been doing my best to keep my chin up and to remember this is a temporary setback, occasionally I have to admit that I – like any human – have been known to entertain self defeating thoughts for a moment or two. Last night, my thoughts turned into a small pity party of regret, thinking about the impact I wanted to be making this spring, at a time when “service to the greater good” is so needed.

Like a “call and response” game from the internet, I took a break from the ugly talk track in my brain in order to mindlessly browse social media on my iPhone. While scrolling through my Twitter feed, I caught sight of this little gem, which instantly put a huge smile on my face:

 

If you have peeked through the Bijou portfolio, you might recall that Orchid Project was a client of ours for several years. When I saw this tweet last night, not only was I celebrating the continuing efforts of a client whose work I still wholeheartedly support, but I was touched by what I saw in the foreground of the photo, on the table: several printouts of the infographics that Bijou created for Orchid Project in the summer of 2012!

I’m not writing this post just to toot my own horn – I’m writing it to share a universal message: when you invest yourself into purpose-driven work, you have no idea the amount of impact you will make. In the nearly five years since we created them, Orchid Project has used these infographics in incredibly impactful ways: they were used in a speech to the House of Lords which influenced a major policy shift and financial investment by the British government, they were used in a presentation at SXSW, they were shared on social media by influencers such as UNICEF, and apparently they are still being used today to educate and inspire change.

Even in the times when we cannot predict or measure our impact, we need to show up for our passions and do our best work anyway. We also need to put to bed the thoughts that “we’re not doing enough” – if we can take an honest assessment of ourselves and say we keep showing up in the best way we can, then it’s simply not for us to judge whether we are “enough” – our best is our best, and that’s always enough.

Few of us will make celebrity headlines, but all of us are contributing a crucial thread in the human tapestry. The point isn’t to make a perfect splash right out of the gate, the point is to be pushing up against our own edges, wherever they lie –always to be refining our approach and expanding our capacity for positive action.

Integrity Is A Process

Integrity Is A Process

Yesterday I raised Bijou’s prices.

Yep.

Now, I know that’s not something a client ever wants to hear – but before you get too concerned, let’s take a look at a few of my new rates:

  • 12 pages of writing or editing is no longer $1,497 – it’s now $1,500!
  • A standard five-page WordPress website is no longer $1,997 – it’s a cool $2,000!
  • 20 hours of social media & newsletter support used to cost you $749 per month – but now you’re going to have to shell out a whopping $750 to engage Bijou for your communication needs!

As you can see, my price hike was nothing dramatic, just a little tweak.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “What’s with all those zeros? Doesn’t this fly in the face of all the marketing advice out there saying customers are more likely to buy if you end your prices with a seven or a nine?”

Why yes – yes it does. And I don’t care one whit. In fact, I made these price changes specifically because it flies in the face of “all the marketing advice” – not in spite of that fact.

Wanna know why? Well, I have a couple of reasons.

Firstly, if a client is really so “on the fence” about engaging Bijou that a $3 reduction in price is enough to tip the balance in favor of working with us, frankly I don’t want them as a client.

Our clients are smart (too smart to be swayed by numeric bait), they know what they want, and they’re ready to make an investment. If we have to twist someone’s arm into working with us, how is it serving the highest good for any of us if Bijou pursues that kind of business relationship?

Secondly – and this is directly building on the first reason – I’m just sick to death of marketing gimmicks.

You know what I mean –

  • Signing up for someone’s newsletter, only to receive a sales pitch for some digital product that is almost certainly going to disappear in exactly 16 hours and 37 minutes…
  • Limited quantity “free gifts” that will go out to the first ten people who sign up…
  • Prices that have been purposefully inflated, and then slashed in half with dramatic red font to make it look like you’re getting a super special one-time discount…

I mean, you’re way too smart for these shenanigans, aren’t you?

I know I am… At least, I think I am…

Except, if I’m going to be totally honest with myself here, I wouldn’t be changing my prices right now if I hadn’t fallen prey to gimmicky pricing advice in the first place.

Oh fwack! Isn’t it annoying when the truth smacks you right in the face?

That’s one of the big reasons I am writing this blog post – not to announce the price hikes that almost certainly would have slid right under everyone’s radar, but to point out how insidious “manipulative” thinking is – so much so, that even a person who is specifically building a business to help others develop integrity in their business practices, still managed to be unconscious of how gimmicky one of her own business practices actually was. GAH!

But rather than donning the dunce cap and banishing myself to the corner for the rest of the afternoon, I decided to write this blog post as a love letter to everyone who genuinely wants to build their business with integrity, just to say…

Be gentle with yourself! Unwinding your brain from the perilous net of manipulative business norms is going to take time – and (re)building your business with integrity will always be a process.

If and when you – like me – think you’ve got it dialed, but then you stumble into the discovery that something you’ve been doing is out of alignment with your highest intentions, there’s no need to feel shame. Instead, why not feel excitement? Now that your attention has been drawn to this new discovery, there’s one more area of your business you have the opportunity bring into alignment, one more way you can now be standing in integrity.