If your business were to dress up this Halloween for a party, what kind of costume would it show up in?
Or a ~sexy~ costume?
The loophole costume takes zero commitment and is basically saying “I’m above Halloween costumes but I’m going to patronizingly participate, for whatever reason.” Think: Three hole punch Jim. Or the year Jim put on a nametag that said Dave. I went out during college just to look at all of the people in their costumes and wore a security jacket from Goodwill. A very drunk frat boy commented, “you are the sexiest cop I have ever seen.” Again, a security jacket with jeans and converse. Not even a convincing security guard uniform. And definitely not a sexy cop outfit. Which brings me to the next category:
The sexy costume. There’s no need to elaborate here. We all know what I’m talking about. This is what you wear when you want attention or to feel attractive.
But there are two categories of this: generic, typically occupational or normally associated with Halloween, i.e. sexy nurse, sexy witch, sexy firefighter, sexy cop, sexy cat, sexy student (i.e. Hit Me Baby One More Time outfit). Maid. Nun. And then there’s secondary identity statement sexy costumes. Think: sexy pikachu (yellow bustier and short skirt with a tail and ears), sexy Hermione Granger, sexy viking. Sailor Moon. These costumes hint at internal conflict, to me. Maybe there’s a coming-of-age struggle to hold onto ideals from childhood while also wanting to be sexy. “I want attention but I also want you to know I am a human with interests and preferences and YES I am demanding sexual attention first and foremost, but don’t think I won’t slap you in the face if you act like that defines me!”
The half-assed costume. Here, you actually made an attempt to participate, you just didn’t go the extra mile to do the things to make it look real. A lot of times, this is because you decided last minute. You didn’t want to spend money or a lot of effort. BUT. You’re not actively against wearing costumes. They’re just a hassle. Like the sexy costume with secondary identity statement component, there’s some internal struggle going on here. Cognitive dissonance. You like the idea of wearing a costume and being a person who wears a costume, but your whole heart isn’t in it. You’re phoning it in. Maybe this is an off year for you. Or maybe this is you every year and Halloween is an obligation and not a priority. Or. Maybe you’re doing a family costume that you’re not that into, but again, obligations are a thing. Examples: Store-bought plastic-y costumes that you wear over regular clothes. Stuff you hodge podge together from home that give you the general look, but something is missing. One time I wore walrus onesie pajamas to the office. Had a walrus face and tusks on the hood and flippers. But still. Onesie pajamas.
The all-in authentic costume. The hairstyle. The make-up. The accessories. The weapons. Exquisite details in the tailoring. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you find a way to make it all happen.There is no question who you are trying to be, as long as the onlooker has ever encountered the character. You. Look. Awesome. And you know it. You can be the most boring person ever, yet you’ll get invited back the next year.*
*Assuming you don’t get too drunk and act like a you-know-what-hole.
When it comes to your business, these categories also apply. There’s no shame in being in any of these categories,
Do you have a loophole business where you’re just participating because you have FOMO? “I can’t say I didn’t try.” but you know you’re not actually trying. Maybe you haven’t fully bought into the idea that you can be successful at it, so you’re keeping your day job and see it as a pipe dream? Maybe you’ve taken some courses but you’re not actually implementing anything. You don’t want anyone to see you as taking it seriously because what if you fail?
Do you have a generic sexy business? You want attention and money. Unapologetically. Whatever tactics you need to use, so be it. You do you!
Do you have a secondary identity sexy business? There’s a further subdivision here:
A) You feel like just wanting the attention and money isn’t enough, so you hide behind a gimmick, like being more ethical than the other marketers, and emphasize things like being a mom or being Christian in ways that may be facts about you, but kinda don’t really relate to your business, inform the way you do your business, or give you the relatability you’re looking for.
B)You’ve really mastered the busine$$ side BY using your charming, gregarious personality and skills… and no one cares if your messaging is all over the place or there’s no uniqueness to your brand because you’re just fun to work with!
Are you a half-ass brand? There’s something missing. Maybe you’re phoning it in this year. Either the work you’re doing isn’t challenging anymore or it was never the perfect fit to begin with. Or maybe you just need a breather. But just like with Halloween, don’t participate out of obligation. You clearly *want* to be all-in, so figure out what needs to change to be all-in next year. Mix up your offers or re-think or make sure your client avatar is your ideal client avatar, and not just the average of every person with a wallet who lands at your website.
Or are you an all-in authentic biz? You’ve integrated your work and life so you never feel like you’re putting on a show or copying other brands… Though of course, you borrow ideas and spit them out in your own unique way, you wild creature you! Sure, you can be afraid of other people’s judgment, you’re only human, but you don’t let that stop you from dancing full out whenever TF you feel like it. Good on ya!