Those who have exchanged emails with me recently have noticed a different look and feel to my tag line. Yes, I have a new company name, new logo, and new title. We'll get to those in a second. First, let's back up. I have a little story to share.
Almost four years ago, one of my former students approached me with an opportunity to do some leadership training at her company. While I'm an independent consultant, I had been subcontracting to the same company almost exclusively for a couple of years. However, I had not given much thought to branding my own consulting. With this opportunity to do something on my own, I figured I'd better get a logo. After all, that's all brands are, right? Just find a cool logo. (Boy, did I have a lot to learn.) Anyway, Delta Project Solutions was born.
Fast forward a couple of years. I had the opportunity to meet Mike Wagner. We were both friends with Delaney Kirk, and she just knew the two of us would hit it off. She (as always) was right. One day, after Mike and I had become better acquainted, he asked me about how I had arrived at Delta Project Solutions. I sort of hummed and hawed and wasn't really able to articulate a solid answer about it. He then challenged me about some of my passions... what really made me tick as a consultant? That I was able to answer quite easily. I enjoy project management because of the thrill of completing something big and complex. I'm passionate about creativity because of the excitement of seeing somebody create something new and fun and innovative. I'm fascinated by office politics because of their impacts in helping (or hindering) people who are seeking to reach a goal. And I love systems thinking and process improvement because it's rewarding to see my clients evolve into something better, using all the "parts and pieces" at their disposal.
Mike scrutinized me for a minute, as if he were a doctor trying to diagnose a patient. Then he said one of the most profound things I've ever heard in my career, "Tim, you are wasting your time marketing yourself as a project manager." At first I was offended. After all, I'd been consulting in project management for ages. I'd served on the local PMI board. I was certified in project management. Who was this guy to tell me I wasn't a project manager? Before I had a chance to argue with him, he finished his thought, "You're an accomplishment manager. You love accomplishing things and helping other people accomplish things. Sometimes those accomplishments are projects, but not always. Now go think about your story in the context of accomplishment."
Wow. My company was barely two years old, and already it was having an identity crisis. So I played with the idea. I got out my scented markers. I did some mind-mapping. I toyed around with some concepts. Mike's words played around in my head, haunting and taunting me. What was my story?!?! Who said I needed to have a story? I just wanted a cool logo and some customers that could help me earn a living. However, in my gut and in my soul, I knew Mike was right. After all, the projects on which I'd been working up to that point had mostly been cubicle-dwelling. The few projects which had really excited and energized me had encompassed all of my passions... all of which culminated in... well... ACCOMPLISHMENT.
That's when the concept of "Carpe Factum" was born. I was having a conversation with friends about the idea of accomplishment. How it brought life and energy to people. Then somebody made an interesting comment about something in Latin, which another person jumped on to tease him about using a "dead language." As you've read before in this blog, my synapses connected in an odd and unusual way. Living concept. Dead language. What an amazing paradox. To express the idea of pouncing upon an accomplishment in Latin.
Quite a few months have passed. The blog began. My first book was published. My second book is on the way. It became time to let Carpe Factum become the identify of the company. It was time to really give it the overhaul it deserved. After going through all of the paperwork with the state, I worked with a wonderful design company who really gave visual life to my story. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You'll be seeing a few changes to this site over the coming weeks, but I wanted to give you all a glimpse of the story behind the changes. A brand isn't about a logo (if you think it is, then you are "muy logo"). It's about a story. More specifically, your brand is about your story. You're the story-teller, and your customers are your audience. The logo is merely a backdrop. I owe Mike a lot more than he knows in helping me discover my brand. If you find that your career, your professional life, your company, and your brand are lacking something, you might want to attend Mike's workshop on the Branding Imperative this Saturday. Who knows? You might find you have a really cool story to tell as well.