The story of the cobbler’s shoes is a real phenomenon. It means we tend to teach, assist and facilitate for others what we have a hard time doing for ourselves. A web design company that struggles to find the time to refine its own website. The therapist who helps people heal from emotional trauma while overlooking their own unresolved trauma. The mechanic whose own vehicle is in a state of disrepair. And so on.
I’ve been witnessing this phenomenon with others of late, and most importantly, I’ve been observing it in myself—specifically with the Balanced Is brand. The brand work I do with my clients is challenging for them, as I invite them to go deep into their vision and purpose. Many times this process can become emotional, and even a bit gut wrenching for some, as it drives to the core of what people and companies are truly passionate about, and what unique gifts they bring to the world (individually and collectively).
I truly love this work, particularly when I see people light up at the awareness of the business they’re really in, the unique gifts they didn’t previously realize were so unique, and with my invitation for them to own their gifts and express themselves authentically in the world.
And yet, deepening the narrative around my own brand, Balanced Is, has been nothing short of gut wrenching. Mostly because this brand is so personal to me and speaks to life-long challenges I’ve overcome, and some I continue to work through. It’s requiring me to do for myself what I invite, prod and challenge my clients to do for themselves—to get really honest about who they are, what they bring to the table, and what drives them.
The key to this process is to be willing to step away from known conventions and to envision a business or career evolving in unique ways. It means giving up the shoulda-coulda-woulda-blues that issues edicts of how we’re supposed to do it, and instead embrace an unknown path with our vision serving as the headlamp, and our intuition as the navigation system.
Engaging in this process means that we recognize that we most often tell others what we need to hear ourselves, and that we tend to do for others what we most need to do for ourselves—the cobbler’s shoes phenomena. It means we need to take our own medicine, hear our own words, and give to ourselves the precious gifts we bring to the world.