Metamorphosis is the process of transforming from an immature state to an adult form in two or more stages. We most commonly think of it as the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
In so many ways, this has been the process of Balanced Is, begun in December of 2011 as an immature life form, changing many times, refining and improving, and yet never truly realizing its destined form under the Balanced Is banner.
We began with a vision of working with companies to help them shift the “HOW” of how they do business—from a purely profit-driven model to embracing more stakeholders (employees, customers, investors, community and environment). And yet, in the early days we were never quite clear on how to accomplish this.
At first we did some event work, as I had so many years of experience producing events this came easy, but it was not the intention of Balanced Is. Then we began with some smaller coaching projects in the area of culture and conflict resolution. We had some early successes, but the process didn’t feel complete. We re-wrote our website time after time, and each time it felt closer, but not quite there.
In 2015 we began taking on an increasing number of branding projects. This was not by design, but more by happenstance, and yet it lead us closer to what felt like a complete vision.
Then one day a friend shared some words of wisdom. She said that receiving a vision is like our higher power giving us a picture of what we need to prepare for, but doesn’t necessarily include an instruction manual. She conveyed that the vision gives us the direction, and then it’s up to us to hash through the process and figure out what it looks like. This hit us strongly and gave us hope that we were on the right path.
In the spring of 2017 we came to the awareness that Balanced Is had changed and evolved so much since December of 2011 that the name and the brand no longer fit what we were doing. We realized that it was time for the cobbler to fix his own shoes—for the company that had become a branding company to re-brand itself, for the company began with a vision of helping others transform to transform itself.
So we entered the pupa phase, as the caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and transforms from the inside out. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past year, and it’s why you haven’t heard from us too much. We haven’t done any marketing, very little networking and not much writing. But we have—to continue with the metaphor—digested our original vision with enzymes and have been using the digested essence of the former incarnation to transform into a new essence with a new name, a new narrative and a more focused approach.
Branding is not only challenging and enjoyable to us, but we’ve also discovered that all our experience and directions have combined to enable our gifts to shine their brightest when we help people shift and strengthen their brands.
And . . . true authentic brands lead to stronger cultures and more meaningful work.
Presently we are in the final pupa stage. The wings are nearly formed, the legs are emerging, and within a few weeks we’ll be launching a new website with a new name and approach.
Both the Heart & Mind blog and the Transcending Single Stories blog will eventually move to their own websites, as the business side of Balanced Is becomes “4 Directions Branding.”
Here’s a short video for a sneak peak of what’s to come.
Thanks for reading this far and we hope you’ll stay with us through this evolving adventure called life.
HT to Rebecca Prien for the notion of vision as a call to preparation.