February 28, 2010

Questions of Identity: Who Am I and What Do I Stand For?

Lately, I’ve been feeling the need for a shift in my image.  I’ve been writing more and more about green business, green living, all things green.  I even have an article up on Huffington Post, to that effect.  I’ve made strides in my own personal life.  I’ve worked behind the scenes for green companies and small businesses.  I’ve reported at green events, such as Natural Products Expo West.  I’ve been rubbing elbows with some of the foremost leaders in the green business movement.  Ok, many of them, actually.  It’s long since been my desire to be a sustainability expert, and I feel like I can finally own that title.  There’s always more to learn, still, and I find that to be very exciting.

Now, it feels like a critical time to take a look at how I’ve been doing things and decide exactly how I want to proceed forward.  I’ve been known as “the feng shui fairy” for a few years.  It’s something that people, in the green business and spirituality circles, remember, for better or worse.  It makes an impression.  The question is, exactly what kind of impression? 

I’ve heard people say that they would never call “the feng shui fairy” to come in and help them with feng shui.  I’ve heard others exclaim, “oh!  That is so CUTE!”….ok, sure it’s cute, but does it get respect?  Is anyone asking me for assistance with their homes or businesses?  Not as much as I’d like.  

So, the feng shui fairy is CUTE.  Frankly, it does fit me, in some ways.  I have  a quirky personality, a mischevous twinkle in my eye and a tinkly, crystalline laugh that ALWAYS gets attention….sometimes an embarrassing amount of attention : /  And, I do believe in magic.  The kind of magic that happens when people really get in tune with their surroundings and with their choices. 

So, do I keep this moniker that everyone remembers, that feels so much like ME and find a way to WORK IT, or do I go with something more business-like?  I suppose, like my friend Jenny said, it depends on who my market is and what I’m trying to accomplish. 

Here’s another question that I’ve posed to “the universe”…should I put my greenness out there for all to see, or do I get people in the door first and then express how I can help them live a more sustainable life and how great it feels to do so?  Honestly, I’ve been feeling a bit far removed from the green lifestyle, living with my mom, who, despite my urging, is still doing things the same old standard “I don’t really care, it’s what I need” kind of way.  It’s heartbreaking, really.  The thing is, there are so many people out there like my mom, who are just trying to get by, locked in survival mode, with green, and feng shui, honestly, being the farthest things from their minds.  It’s been an enlightening experience, to say the least. 

So, if I tell people, with a snappy new business name, that I stand for sustainability, am I turning them ON or OFF?  Yes, green is trendy, but it’s also something that non-green people on the outside tend to look at and go “ick”…I guess it depends on the client.  Can’t please everybody, right? 

I suppose part of it’s up to me.  There are some questions that I need to look within for the answers.  Who do I want to be working with?  Do I want to help ALL people make more conscious choices in their homes and businesses, or do I only want to work with people that are already there?  In other words, do I only want to stick with my own kind?  How do I want to present myself?  As a feng shui consultant, sustainability expert, or both?  Do I want to live in fear that others will judge me for my business name(s), or trust that they will come to me because of them? 

I do believe that, if I am confident about what I have to offer, I will hold my head up high and show that confidence to anyone that I come accross.  I will draw others to me with that same confidence.  And, therefore, I will have what I need.  And those that might judge me are not the ones I want to be doing business with anyway.  Right?  Right.


Claire Amber, aka The Feng Shui Fairy, author of the forthcoming book, From Burned Out to Fired Up:  Feng Shui for Your Body, Mind and Surroundings, is a writer, feng shui consultant and green business advocate.  She can be found on twitter as dynamic balance and facebook as Claire Melani Amber.

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