Be Authentic – Be YOU

A simple little card was causing me a whole lot of grief. I’ve never really had a great need for a business card. Well, other than my children drawing on them, or playing memory or snap or something. They have just never been a necessity in my life. Until, now it would seem. Twice in the past few weeks I’ve been asked for my business card! What? It sound’s all very official really and had quite a nice ring to it. Yes, I think it was time to get myself organised and get myself some business cards.

Sounds easy, right? No. After a week of evenings spent looking at the computer screen, I finally admitted defeat. My strengths quite obviously don’t lie in graphic design. In fact just uploading the photos I wanted to use was a big enough struggle last week.

So I phoned my sister - the one who is blessed with design and style and seems to find this kind of thing quite easy. So I asked her advice, a good thing after such a long time of frustration – yes.

Her response probably wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought she would like what I had finally put together and say, ‘go ahead and get them printed’. But no. She wasn’t all that thrilled with the design aspect. Thought they were ‘nice’ but that’s all. Oh. ‘Nice’. I wanted something more than just ‘nice’.

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Then she very diplomatically suggested I should do something that was authentically ‘ME’. Yes, of course. I’m writing about such things all the time. I try to live my life intentionally and with authenticity. Yet here I was trying to create some great, professional looking business cards. Oh it felt important, but really wasn’t authentically me at this point in my life.

So I got to work, dreaming up all the things that I love at the moment – fabric, sewing, bright colours (those five colours of flowers at the top of this page, they seem to follow me everywhere – my bed quilt is stripes of those colours, the children’s school folders, the table cloth I made years ago, a quilt I made about 13 years ago, the 5 coloured glass candle holders etc. All those same colours – Me in a nutshell I suppose).

So I got out my trusty cardboard, cutter, sewing machine and the most gorgeous stash of fabric which has been sitting on my sewing desk for the past few weeks. And created my own fabric ‘business cards’. And I LOVE them. I didn’t find it at all stressful to make them, all the work happened in amongst ‘life’ – while chatting to my husband and watching some tv, while hearing spelling words, while playing cards with my son (yes I can cut fabric and play cards at the same time).

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The lesson I learnt through this process isn’t anything at all about business cards. I really don’t think it matters in the least what my cards look like – the printed ones with photos would have been lovely as well. It isn’t anything to do with whether you like to design on paper, computer and just go for it without a design.

The key is working to your own rhythm, flowing and seeming ‘easy’ rather than just all hard work… It’s all about being authentic to yourself. I was trying to do something for no good reason other than because I thought I should and getting frustrated and stressed in the process. Instead I thought outside the box and made something that may not be totally professional looking but it is a reflection of me, my life and this blog at this point in my life.

So I encourage you to BE AUTHENTIC in your life. Don’t try to impress, don’t do  things just because you think you need to, instead do things which are a reflection of YOU.

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