Last week I released a video sharing my experience in agencies to help start-ups and SMEs to 'save money, move faster and have fun with design'. I received an insightful piece of feedback from a dear friend and old colleague who knows me really well. She noticed that when I said 'Turned out Bright' I had a tendency to fall off in my tone and sound almost apologetic. Wow! That really made me think. When I named my business, that was the opposite of how it felt. I clearly had to remind myself what it meant to me and sing it with pride!
I have 20 years experience in the workplace: five client-side at John Lewis and 15 in design and branding agencies. In between I spent a year working and travelling around Australia. I left a great job, my friends and family, the flat I had lived in and a mediocre boyfriend! At the airport I froze, wondering what on earth I was doing.
Those were the best 365 consecutive days of my life, I don't regret a moment... not the boat trip over the Great Barrier Reef when the entire crew and guests were being sick over the sides. Not the outrageous sunburned backside after snorkeling all day without re-applying sunscreen. Not even the time I lost 14 hours of memory after an over-enthusiastic wine tour in the Barossa Valley. That was an incredible year and I returned home with a new confidence to meet people and chat to strangers with less concern over what they might think of me.
I may no longer be that fresh, freckle-faced 20-something, but my spirit has grown in tune ever since. I found the Australian mentality to be 'Realistic Optimists'. Appreciating the important things in life: time outdoors, the simplicity of sitting on a houseboat with friends or family times round the BBQ. "She'll be right" isn't quite the equivalent of the UK 'everything will be ok in the end', there is a sense that things will be good enough. The pressure for over-achievement just wasn't there like it was in London and they were a happier nation for it.
From my return in 2006, Australia has been my 'happy place'. I love to think and talk about my time there. It has the power to reset me if I start to feel dimmed down and it reminds me that sometimes you actually can make brilliant things happen on purpose. Going into 2019 I had lost some of that shine and I set out on a mission to make a brilliant year just like my time in Australia: a curated series of events and connections. I called it my year to 'Live Bright'. 2019 was awesome, I went into it feeling down but driven and came out of it on a high, despite some pretty shitty stuff in the interim. I had created a year with enough strong positives to outweigh the negatives that came along. What a powerful feeling!
2020 was meant to be created in the same way; a year of trips, events and connections. I named this year 'Do it on Purpose'. Obviously the pandemic had different plans and like everyone else I have had to constantly adapt and work to find new positives.
When I decided to set up my own business and needed a name, I knew I wanted it to be something that encapsulates my mission to find the brightness in life. But not without acknowledging that things are not always bright and that many of the greatest things come by conscious and purposeful change. 'Turned out Bright' came to me on a walk across the South Downs, one of my favourite places. It felt right: it sounded like a brand that could do both brand consultancy and coaching, it was authentic to me (something I think is essential when you make yourself a company) and it stands for positive change. There is as much importance in the 'Turned' journey as the 'Bright' destination.
So, here I am, owner of a company that embodies my own beliefs and gives me the opportunity to share my realistic optimism with start-ups, SMEs and coaching clients. And if you ever see me apologising for it then please feel free to remind me who I am!