Since 2013, I've been offering strategy as a service.
I originally launched my branding agency in 2008. Over time, we grew to nine-people and, I added strategic services to the agency offerings as a way to get myself more involved in the project side of the business.
See, I've always been the strategist. I've always been the problem-solver, the analytical mind.
But, I've also always been the introverted (over)thinker.
And that resulted in me giving myself a back seat in the early days of our agency. I let the desigers take the client-facing roles and decide the direction of projects.
I thought that was how it was done. I mean, my lead designer literally had the title, Creative Director.
Sadly, that meant we quickly became a heavily commodotized, design-first branding agency that was easy to copy and even easier to undercut.
So, we launched a strategy division dedicated to bringing real business-building value to our clients outside of just the pretty design jobs. And we quickly turned our market on its head.
And, we ran like that, quite successfully, for the next several years.
But, as the strategists, it didn't take long before my wife Joanne and I realized that we were the ones with the most valuable expertise to offer and the other stuff was all fluff, hours padding, and throw-ins.
So we shut down the agency and evolved into a dedicated strategy consultancy.
Strategy consulting was a revelation for me.
In this environment, I could deploy my overthinking as a gift, knowing that I follow every divergent point down the rabbit hole to find the absolute best answer for the client, not just the first answer.
At the same time, I recognized that my introversion made me an incredible observer but not as good as a participant.
The facilitator's role allows me to use my heightened observation and empathy to uncover insights from team members who wouldn't otherwise know how to access them.
Essentially, I recognized that overthinking and introversion were part of who I am at all times and that I couldn't turn them off if I wanted to.
I also recognized that, with the right guide rails, these "shortcomings" were actually gifts that let me perform in a strategic leadership role with more capacity & value than others without the same traits.
Finally, something that my overthinking, introverted, analytical nature made me amazing at.
All too often, I see the exact traits that make for very talented strategic thinkers preventing them from taking the necessary first steps BECAUSE of their overthinking nature. Or anxiety. Or introversion. Or fear. Or just plain overwhelm.
So, let's work on that. Let's find ways to integrate work as one part of the whole fulfilling life you're trying to achieve.
And, instead of trying to 'research' your way to more fulfilment, let's do it with access to answers, support, & guidance from a network of people who understand why.