~ B travels Europe ~

{ Something from the very beginning of B ~ running around Europe in 2013 with a ‘B’ }

Last month marked the 12 month anniversary since my first trip to Europe. Prior to this trip I had only been overseas a handful of times, mostly Bali and once to New Zealand. Prior to my departure my gorgeous Aunty found me a white, wooden letter ‘B’ to take with me. At that stage the ‘seed’ of Studio B and starting my own business had only just been planted, and everything was ‘on hold’ until I returned from my overseas experience. It was so incredible travelling with this intention in my mind, and I know that I saw the other side of the world in completely different eyes than what I would have if that seed had not yet been planted.

 

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My trip began flying over to London and having a few days there on my own ~ travelling alone is something I highly recommend to everyone. It is such an eye-opening experience and I really surprised myself at how well I accomplished and enjoyed it!! Anyway, a couple of days later I was on my flight to Belgium to meet up with some friends, and head to the most insane music festival in the world ~ Tomorrowland!

 

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Words cannot describe the next 5 days. That festival is completely out of this world, has had a significant impact on my life and I will absolutely be going back one day (hopefully 2015). I listen to music differently now, and any sound of dance music throws goosebumps across my entire body and brings tears to my eyes. I know it sounds strange, but until you’ve experience something to that level (250,000 people from different nationalities jumping to the same beat) you can’t really compare or begin to comprehend.

 

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Leaving Belgium was sad, as I had been so relaxed and comfortable spending time with the familiar faces of my friends. I headed back to London, and met up with my gorgeous friend Christie who was exploring the next exciting part of my trip with me.

 

 

 

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We had a couple of days in London exploring and then jumped aboard our Topdeck Tour Bus for a 22 day experience of a lifetime! We possibly would have been slightly more excited at this point if we hadn’t found that incredibly fun cocktail bar the night before and weren’t so god damn hungover. Yep, a churning stomach on a bus for hours = bad idea!! We quickly decided that that would not be happening again ha ha!

Our 22 day tour saw us exploring Paris, Nice, Switzerland, Florence, Rome, Venice, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Amsterdam! Beautiful wine, delicious food, incredible new friends, uncountable laughs, plenty of dancing, too many selfies, and a pretty stylish ‘stack’ on a bike tour later – we had absolutely had the time of our lives!!

It’s just the little things that you see and take in that will hopefully remain embedded in your mind for the rest of your days – the smell of ‘perfect’ in the air at the swiss alps, the feeling of a snow ball hitting you in the face for the first time, the richness of the French Riviera, the staleness of that weird dingy little pub in Prague, the feeling of a pebble ‘beach’ on your feet in Nice, the salty ocean you jumped into in Croatia, the sound of horse shoes on the cobble-stone streets in Ljubljana, the taste of your first beer in Berlin, the reflections of beautiful flowers on the canals in Amsterdam, and the peacefulness, balance and harmony on that incredibly perfect lake in Slovenia (Lake Bled).

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One aspect of my trip that I will never ever forget is carrying that timber white ‘B’ with me everywhere. Even my new friends were helping me setup fun photos with it, and pointing out “B’s” everywhere on signs, logos, flyers, graffiti, menus, trains and boats. It was during that trip when I would introduce myself as a ‘graphic designer about to start my own business’ that my dream developed further and further into a reality that I couldn’t wait to get home to!

 

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The design inspiration over there was absolutely incredible. The shop fronts and displays in the major stores in London, Paris, Rome and Verona were mind blowing! The contrast of such old beautiful buildings displaying modern crisp funky designs made me smile every single time.

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Surprisingly graphic design-wise, Amsterdam was by far the best inspiration ~ even the laundromats had beautifully crafted logos. I even discovered a gorgeous store that had been owned for many years by a lovely (and a little quirky) man who used antique letterpress machines to create prints and greeting cards! I was like a kid in a candy shop! Needless to say, I purchased a print of a beautiful ‘B’ from this inspirational man, and it proudly sits in my studio along with the timber white letter that was very much the Beginning of B!

 

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I can easily say that I reminisce on my adventure every single day, and without a doubt it is by far the best thing I have ever ever done ~ not only personally but also for my business and my creativity. I can’t wait to explore more of this amazing world, to open up my imagination even further, spark new creativity and remind me that anything is possible. Thank You Europe!

xx B xx

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~ Understanding B ~

{How understanding my personality profile has changed my life, and the way I think about my business}

Within the first couple of months of starting my business I actually thought there was something ‘wrong’ with me. Starting a business is a HUGE deal, and a decision that certainly can’t be made lightly.

When ever I reflect on my life, particularly the last 5 years, I notice that things have changed quite dramatically numerous times (without a lot of notice). It’s not to say that I was unhappy in the situations I had changed, infact my life has always been pretty amazing. They just weren’t working for me anymore, and I seem to forever strive for more. Although I don’t make decisions lightly, I am very strong-willed, so once I make a decision my mind is set and no one can change it.

My decision to start my own business was a little while coming (that’s a whole other blog post). But when it actually happened it seemed my whole life had abruptly changed yet again. I have always been one for setting goals and achieving them, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I just couldn’t help but wonder whether I would ever be happy with what I had, seeing as every time I accomplished something I’d move straight onto the next grand idea.

Two months into being a business owner I really felt I had lost the plot. Not only with the confusion around WHY I had to continuously strive for goals, but also due to the stress, anxiety, and adapting to such an enormous change in my life. I had also moved in with my partner around the same time as launching my business, so i’d put almost every ‘stress’ possible onto him which was really upsetting me. Learning how to work from home and find any sort of work/life balance proved to be extremely difficult (and to be completely honest sometimes still is). I felt guilty when I was working in the office as I wasn’t spending quality time in my fresh relationship, yet I would also feel guilty whilst spending time outside the office as I had so much work to do. Feeling quite desperate and honestly feeling like my business, relationship and mindset was soon going to go down the drain I sought help from a business/life coach.

This decision has greatly benefited all aspects of my life, however, one of the best things I got out of it was learning more about my personality profile, and finally understanding WHY I make the decisions I make, think the things I think and take the actions I take. This amazing insight has profoundly helped my business and has changed the way I think, as I now understand ME so much clearer.

Here’s a little summary of the most interesting things I learned from my behavioural report:

• Predominantly a ‘D’ Personality which is: ‘Dominance – competitive, aggressive decisive and results-orientated, but can also be impatient, overbearing even rude. Related job roles to a ‘D’ personality could be: Supervisor, change facilitator, manager, managing director, company developer’ ~ LIGHTBULB ha ha!

• With a little ‘I’ which is: ‘Influence – talkative, sociable, optimistic and friendly, but can also be inattentive to detail, overly talkative and emotional. The ‘I’ personality can best be represented by a ‘peacock’ who loves attention and often is looking for the next shiny thing ~ that’s where instantaneously moving onto the next goal/idea comes into play. Related job roles to a mixture of ‘D’ and ‘I’ are: Sales, general manager, marketing manager, entrepreneur’. ~ Pretty interesting huh!

• Very much a ‘people’ person, however works best when ‘alone’ (music to my ears confirming my decision to work from home).

• Doesn’t like being told what to do (I possibly already knew that one).

• The strengths that come easily and naturally to me with little energy are: keeping up a working spirit, motivated with independence and challenge, inspiring, setting goals, taking risks, generating new ideas, accepting change, persistence to keep up pressure, setting goals high enough, always ready to move forward.

• My attributes are: extroverted, active, inspiring, restless, independent, impatient, results-orientated, decisive, busy, goal orientated, competitive, social, appealing.

• I prefer to avoid: “Brooke is not much of a team worker, and does not easily let people get close. Very strict rules and limitations depress her. She gets bored easily if others considered her too one-dimensional or when things do not proceed fast enough”. ~ I think this one was possibly the biggest ‘wow’ as I had always considered myself as a big team worker, however, the more times I read over this paragraph the more it really did make sense (if I was completely honest with myself).

• Largest causes of stress for me are: inability to make decisions, losing control, losing freedom, losing position in the limelight! ~ interesting and again very accurate.

• Largest signs I am stressed: Becomes impatient, irritated, inflexible, blunt and demanding.

• The best ways I alleviate stress: Agree on an important goal and how to achieve it, solve the problem independently, provide an opportunity to operate independently.

 

There is a lot more, it’s a 17 page document! Mostly I was just so happy to discover I was on the right track with my recent decisions, and it all makes so much sense now.

Learning this information has been absolute magic for me. Not only has it assisted me to understand myself and be happy and content with the decisions I make, it has also offered insight into other people’s personalities and how to work with them. My partner hated this in the beginning – I think he thought I was reading his mind or something ha ha! So I now know how to work with clients better as well, by being able to analyse their personality and knowing whether to be direct and straight to the point or to let them hear information (and costings) slowly with loads of information to back it up.

So now when my mind continuously wanders and starts to construct the next great plan (I think i’m up to stage 4 of Studio B), and I am forever coming up with bigger and better ideas, I know it’s just who I am and not to worry that I am unhappy or ungrateful for what I already have accomplished. It’s just who I am and what I do.

xx B xx

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I cannot recommend learning more about YOU enough ~ especially for fresh entrepreneurs. There are several places and organisations out there that can test you and work out what profile you are (plenty online). Do some research though, the more in-depth the report is the better.