defining yourself in a world obsessed with boxes

One of the first questions we typically ask when we meet someone new is “So, what do you do?” This one is always a tough one for me to answer. Like most people, I do a lot of things. I design, create, coordinate, write, manage, communicate, photograph, blog, etc. My day-to-day is never the same and my vision for Alysse Katherine / Designs is always evolving. But in a world obsessed with labels, that doesn’t seem to jive all the time.

As a blogger, everyone is always telling me to “find my niche.” While I do find it vital to find a comfortable position within your business, I don’t want to pigeonhole myself to just one category.  Walking this line is hard for me and is always making me second-guess myself. Do I still not know what I want? If I don’t feel 100% about just one thing, is this really want I want to be doing? I’ve always struggled with being indecisive, so is this just another decision I can’t make? The more and more that I am presented with this idea of “defining myself” – the more unsure I feel. Do I solely focus on interior design? How do I balance my design and my art? Do I start branching out to ‘life-coaching’ and motivation – which is what many of my readers have expressed interest in? Should I take more photography classes or focus that energy into my writing? How do you pick a “niche” when you feel drawn to so many different paths?

On the flip side: Why would I want to cut myself off from other possibilities and passions? Why do I need to be just one thing? If there is anything that I have learned over the past few years it is that nothing ever goes according to plan. Hell, 3 years ago I thought that at 26 I’d be married to my college boyfriend living in Southern Illinois and working in broadcasting. If I had stuck with that definition of myself, I wouldn’t have discovered my love for DC, met S or be writing this blog post.

So, instead of defining “who” I am and “what” I do, I have found that focusing on my overall brand is more helpful. In college, we studied brand association and how companies use this to market themselves and their products against their competitors. Essentially, it is an exercise where a brand focuses on a few keywords, images, or faces that you want your brand to be associated with. Apple is a brand that is often used as an example of good brand association and I have linked a short article here that can help demonstrate this.

I find that doing this “brand association” exercise for Alysse Katherine has given me a vision to strive for without having to put myself in a box. Instead of focusing so much on just what I’m doing, I am instead focusing on how any action, whether it be through design or this blog,  will be perceived and if it aligns with what I want my brand to be.

While I know this will probably be a constant battle for me, I have realized that it truly is all about the journey and not the destination. I’m learning to take every day one step at a time and to give 110% to whatever I am doing that moment. If I can do that, I hope that my path will create itself.

That being said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE input from you all! What do you guys want to see more of? Why do you come to AlysseKatherine.com? Please feel free to share below or DM, email, morse-code me if you ever have any feedback or requests. 

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XOXO,

Alysse Katherine

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