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Do not bow to your brand

Every time I attempt to create, I am confronted by two aspects of my self: T.K. the brand and T.K. the creator.

T.K. the brand is the part of me that feels a need to protect my reputation from the fatal possibilities of being seen as incompetent, uncreative, inconsistent, and unintelligent.

This is the P.R. department of my psyche and it never approves of me experimenting with new techniques out in the open.

It always reminds me, with the very best of intentions, of course, that the subtlest miscalculation could result in permanent damage to my image as a writer, a thinker, or an innovator.

T.K. the creator is the part of me that wants to exploit every experience as an opportunity to discover something new.

The creator is not concerned with saving face, protecting the brand, or subjecting creative impulses to quality approval tests.

It just wants to make as many mistakes as possible as part of a game of what Seth Godin calls “poke the box.”

I’m not always sure which voice I should listen to.

Both of them have valid points.

So if you’re experiencing a similar phenomenon, I do not claim to offer the final word of guidance.

But for what it’s worth, I’ve been somewhat of a rebel towards the first voice for over a year and I’ve gotten more creative work done during that time than in my entire life combined.

I’ve discovered that it’s not enough to merely FIND work that’s worth doing. One must also FIGHT for the permission to keep doing the kind of work that turns them on, to avoid the trap of being boxed-in by the demands of the brand.

We each have to find our own ways of negotiating the concerns of our brand while making sure our creative evolution is not stunted in the process.

I leave the details of the process up to you.

My point is philosophical:

A brand is a great asset, but a very poor master.

At all costs, avoid becoming its slave.

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  1. What an amazingly simple explanation of something I think we all experience. It all seems so easy to see the worth of both choices and also the choice we all wish we were brave enough to take. Once we take that step, the ‘brand’ changes rolls and may become more to do with damage control rather than damage prevention. I really like this post TK as usual.. 🙂

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