Why Beauty Matters (in Business and in Life)
(Originally published on the blog for my design business, Root & Blossom Design.)
Let’s be real: sometimes living in a society structured around late-stage capitalism sucks. Driving around the outskirts of most major cities and suburbs, through a desolate terrain of identical big box stores and giant parking lots, is depressing as hell. I used to have anxiety dreams at night that I was in an enormous Walmart and would get so overwhelmed that I would jump up on top of one of the end-caps of those vast aisles and start screaming, throwing products on the ground, until the security guards pulled me off and sent me away to get locked up. Seriously, this happened more than once. For those of us who are thin-skinned and sensitive to the pulse of the earth, big business and its entrails spilled across the landscape or the internet can make us ill. We have never been any good at being numb.
For us, beauty is necessary. Beauty is hope and wonder and energy. It is a message against despair. It is heart and blood and complexity and miracle. It makes us want to keep going. It connects us to spirit. It is in the eyes of our children and the first leaves of our seedlings. It is resistance against the corporate death machine. It is real.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur who spends time on social media, I am constantly assaulted by the same Facebook ads under many different names. Ads with the same colors, the same fonts, the same urgency and smiling white people and promises of tripling your email list or filling your webinar. At first, I am lured by the click-bait. I want those results, I want economic security, I want all of the promises to be true. But I also want a business bigger than a formula and a life with soul. I suspect you do too. We are not only in this to win the war against scarcity and claim our tiny piece of the pie. We are in this to live and inspire and connect. Beauty is alive. Beauty inspires and connects. Beauty makes people trust us and it makes them curious. It makes them want to be our clients, customers, and friends. This is why beauty is essential to my design practice. It is a gift with its own particular kind of magic. It is my contribution to the economy I wish we had. It is a bringer of abundance and an antidote to the giant machine. It makes me want to wake up in the morning – and it connects me with other people I would actually want to know, like you.