A Boost of Brand Confidence

A Boost of Brand Confidence

You probably have an idea of what a brand is that is polished and tweaked into perfection. You might also think of a brand as something that is corporate or created to sell a product.

I want to get you to stop thinking about a brand as something your create and start thinking about it as something authentic, something natural, something that comes from who you already are.

Like all great life lessons, this one begins with the same old same old truth that all answers come from within. Nothing exists outside of YOU.

Sit with this truth and let it ease your fears, cease your striving and dissolve your insecurities.

Next time you see a drool worthy feel or a perfectly polished website that makes you feel inferior, celebrate it! Remember this truth: your brand will be completely you. Your feed will be completely YOU. There is no one, not one single person out there who can do what you do the way you do it.

You are a beacon of light, you are a miracle. Your gifts are an extension of divine love.

Take your envy and let it fuel you into refining the answer to this question:

1. What do I give that makes me come alive?

Take one offering that you already have and make it more inline with this answer. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel just yet, you just need to make a small adjustment towards your joy.

If you don’t have offerings yet, brainstorm how you can give what excites you in a way that will also pay you. Money is just an exchange for the value you offer.

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t perfect it, just move towards joy and share that in your social media, your newsletter or with your clients.

Doing this on a regular basis will make your brand and business stand out because you will give more of you to it.

The foundation of a great ‘brand’ is your passion, your joy and your creativity shining through.

Blossom into a ‘Brand’

Blossom into a ‘Brand’

The word brand kind of bugs me. It has become a catch all for the essence of you, your voice, your aesthetic and your shared gifts. When I hear all of this summarized by the word brand it feels pretty blah.

So let’s throw the word away and focus on the much bigger concepts I just mentioned. Those concepts feel juicy, exciting and expansive!

When I sit down with clients to start our first brainstorming session this is where we start and there is one question that I always include:

What three words describe the impact you want to have?

These words should feel impactful, authentic and you.

Sometimes we start with a list of ten words and then whittle it down to what feel like the top three. You have to go with your gut and choose the words that evoke enthusiasm and excitement. If you’re struggling to choose, you should try describing them all out loud to a friend. When you hit on what’s true for you your voice will sound more certain.

A few examples of how this might sound are:

inspired, uplifted, joyful

energized, clear, confident

peaceful, certain, still

The three words that you distill your essence into can be your filter from now on. These words are like your northern star and will inform your aesthetic and your message. Make sure that from now on anything you put out in the world communicates the feel of these words and your ‘brand’ will start to blossom.

Make friends with social media

Make friends with social media

If you are anything like me, you might occasionally decide to go off-line from posting from time to time. It can feel daunting to pop back out in the world, especially if you tend to be introverted!

Here are some social media truths that you can turn to if you have sunk into hibernation mode, are naturally introverted, or are feeling like it just isn’t ‘you.’

1. Social media is your friend.

You know those days where you feel crummy and then EVERYTHING seems to go wrong or irritate you? If you are honest with yourself, you can likely admit that it is your mood and perspective derailing your day.

You can turn this around by acting as if everything is trying to support you and give you love. How would your day go if you walked through life imagining that every person you meet, every circumstance you encounter and every opportunity that comes your way is a gift from the universe just for you.

Now, take this attitude and apply it to social media! Social media is an enormous web of people who need to hear your voice, who need to benefit from your light and who want to give you love back.

2. Simplicity is your friend.

Stop agonizing over the content and go back to basics. Think of what it is that you offer that gives others joy. Write about one idea related to this now.

Remember, you don’t have to be every where, mastering every platform. Pick the one or two social media channels that you actually enjoy and focus your energy there! Pinterest for example, is a great place for introverts to explore whereas Facebook may feel too busy. It’s okay to embrace what feels good to you.

3. A plan is your friend.

As in other areas of life, anxiety tends to pop up when we don’t feel we know what we are doing or the rules of the game. Do yourself a favour and make a game plan.

Here’s the fastest way to do this:

  • List 8-10 general topics that your ideal client wants to hear about and you want to share about and rotate a post on each of these. Be sure to have fun with them! Topics might be things like this: behind the scenes, tips from a stylist, favourite travel spots, office decorating tips etc.
  • Collect 5-10 images on each topic from above and have a folder on your phone with all of these images.

Now you’ve got four friends that are definitely on your side: social media, simplicity, a plan, and me. Plus there are all of the people out there on social media who want to appreciate your gifts, so do yourself a favour and share something!

I’d love it if you could tag me @lisaborinmiller so I can like your post and applaud you too.

PROJECT 108, 9 (29 269.35 days)

PROJECT 108, 9 (29 269.35 days)

Art IG, Germany, 59 packages of white printer paper (500 pages each for a total of 29 270 + pages), 2012.

Text above read: In the white space of a blank page lies the unlimited potential for creation. The average German life spans 29,269.35 days. What will you create?

This was a fun project to create with an artist friend of mine in Hannover, Germany. Anna was interested in collaborating on a show that she was curating and I had to be able to send her a concept that she could carryout for me from across the world.

Based on my interest in ‘create with intention’ and the idea that life is the BIG masterpiece that we get to create, I thought it would be interesting to look at each day of life as a stack of blank pages.

You could get caught up in what was written on the already used pages, but all that really matters is what you do with the blank page you have each day.

PROJECT 108, 8  (white flag: surrender plain and simple)

PROJECT 108, 8 (white flag: surrender plain and simple)

Raising the white flag is only defeat of the ego and it happens when we are too weary to swim against the current. We resist it often and for as long as possible. The brightest lights always follow the darkest moments. In surrender we see that we are powerful beyond measure when we release ourselves into the flow. Life is the greatest creative outlet imaginable. There is nothing else, no greater masterpiece.

This gesture is all about pause. In the creative process there are times where we must stop, reflect and surrender. Without this step of yielding to the flow of life we risk forcing things or trying too hard to control the outcome. Admitting mistakes and stepping back is nothing to feel ashamed of. Where can you raise the white flag in your life as a sign of surrender and releasing attachment? This moment happened for me on an beautiful Oregon coast.

My greatest lesson from this time is that we can create anything we can imagine, but just because we have the power to do so, does not mean that we should. We must be completely accountable for our desires and what we want to manifest and make. Creativity is often about patience and knowing when to act and when not to.

PROJECT 108, 1 (open heart for art meetings)

PROJECT 108, 1 (open heart for art meetings)

My art practice felt stagnant. There were creatives around, but we weren’t talking about creativity. ‘Non-artists’ seemed hungry for creativity too. I realized that life is a process constructed in each moment, through focus, imagination, creativity, and serendipity. This felt relevant and accessible, like a good place to start awakening creativity. I began with G.I. Gurdijeff’s idea that:“To gain anything real, long practice is necessary. Try to accomplish small things first.” The first step I took was this project of a series of gestures to begin to rethink my relationship with creativity. The first gesture? Open heart for art meetings.

THE FIRST MEETING: Tues. Jul 19, 7-10: 15 pm | 4th Floor Lounge, Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre

Practicing (or trying to practice) artists, lots of yummy snacks, good conversation, and ideas shared. Sometimes we struggle to keep our meetings happening regularly, but overall we have been meeting about once a month. There is still enthusiasm from the group. People come and go from our community and it has been very encouraging to see new faces turning up.

An update from 2018…

I moved away from Banff in 2012 after meeting my future hubby. The meetings stopped when I moved and I focused on other projects and ways of bringing community together. You’ll have to check out the other projects for more on that!

If you are looking for ways to bring people together, open heart for art meetings or any other conscious community meetings are a fantastic way to start.


PROJECT 108, 2 (hopes and fears)

PROJECT 108, 2 (hopes and fears)


Collections & Collaboration | Wed. Jul. 27 11 am 2011 | Other Gallery, Glyde Hall The Banff Centre


Acknowledge some hopes and fears to yourself. With a pencil, mark one envelope with the word ‘hopes’ and the other ‘fears. Place seeds and sticks in your envelopes. Your hopes will be planted and fears burned. You are welcome to take hopes for sending to others or planting on your own. Fears will make good fertilizer.

Thanks to all 58 people who contributed hopes and 45 who contributed fears to project 108, 2.

A NOTE ON FEAR: Lake Minnewanka, Sept. 2011 | a cloudy evening, a good friend, and a lot of fear

I lived with the hopes and fears in my new apartment for a couple of months while I settled into a new job and new surroundings. I wanted to find a sense of calm before I burned the fears. After a weekend of solitude and reflecting on my own heart-felt desires and worries, I went to Lake Minnewanka, or ‘Lake of the Spirits,’ as someone later pointed out. A friend and I sat together under a cloudy late summer night sky. We watched as the envelopes marked ‘fears’ dissolved in flames. That night I dreamt that I was putting out fires. The hopes are in safekeeping for spring planting.

PROJECT 108, 3 (community art committee)

PROJECT 108, 3 (community art committee)

This was a seemingly simpler approach, but when good initiatives are in place I think it is important to join in and support them. There was a call for the Banff Community Art Committee in October. I took it as an opportunity to commit to an important initiative already in place in town. I meet with the committee about once a month to discuss public art in Banff!

PROJECT 108, 4 (memory mobiles)

PROJECT 108, 4 (memory mobiles)

The details: Paper plates, string, drawings and stories by the After School Program students

What a fun day with the After School Program! 18 excited students and talented young storytellers/designers got to work on creating mobiles. First they thought about a memory or story they wanted to share. Next they drew pictures relating to their stories and cut out images and words to hang on the mobile. They wrote about their story on the base of the mobile and strung on the pictures. The results were outstanding! One student wrote about learning to sew with her Grandmother, and another about his father teaching him how to goal tend. I most excited about sending kids home with these demonstrations of their thoughts, feelings, and appreciation for loved ones. Some stories were imagined memories, but very special just the same!

PROJECT 108, 5 (art in every moment)

PROJECT 108, 5 (art in every moment)

A call for miracles.

Project Instructions: Have you ever experienced a miracle (we’ll think about them as being acts of wonder) or what about a memorable coincidence? Send your story to lisa@lisaborin.com. Your submission will become part of a larger collaborative project coming.

An update: People have so many amazing and miraculous stories to share. A few of the incredible submissions are below. If you are reading this, please feel welcome to submit your story. One day, it might make a beautiful book.

My mom always wanted to have a girl. she grew up on a farm and had to do all the woman’s work and always wanted a little sister to play with which never worked out. Instead she had five younger brothers. After having two boys, she was pregnant with me and went to the hospital wearing white socks with pink stripes for good luck, not knowing what the child is going to be. I was born and I am a girl. She had an operation after that so she couldn’t have kids anymore. The first few years of my life I was very spoiled, until… my sister was born. A happy miracle!!!

Its’ a miracle that sun and the moon shine and that the stars exist too and also that we can imagine these things in dreams and that we have dreams and sometimes we get to feel real love

Life is a miracle! Every day is a miracle that we can feel and smell and see and walk and breathe! I grew up in East Germany. I live the place and I love that life can change unexpectedly in a positive way. Watching the wall falling down and the people embracing each other is a beautiful miracle for me. I was too young to understand but when I watch historical footage on the TV or listen to people’s stories, I am getting emotional and think of how much this change of history has impacted my life! I am experiencing many things my parents weren’t able to experience such as travelling, living abroad, studying and creating art, even having and finding a voice… Life is never easy, but full of miracles, coincidences and love!

A week before my mother passed away I had the crazy feeling I just needed to be there with her. I would wake up every night visualizing our last conversation. My intuition lead me back home.

I dropped everything – middle of exams and final paper of my last year of university – and flew across the country. I feel thankful every day that I – without realizing it at the time – had committed to being there for the dying process. Allowing myself the time to say good bye and giving my mom the permission and support needed for that process to begin.