Colour Analysis, Now and Tomorrow
Once upon a time, there was a society that had food and shelter. For the most part, the people did what they wanted when they wanted.
Of course, there were cracks. Their world was buckling under the strain. The weather and the water had been turning for some time. Because some started life with a 10 mile handicap for no particular reason and were expected to catch up somehow, the society made its own poverty. Everyone being very busy, one day turned into the next and life went on.
And then came a virus and raging injustice. It was decided that life should move underground until things settled back down.
The people were irritated and suffered with those who had lost more than they had. They still had Wi-Fi and they found things to do.
The news channels wouldn’t back off the panic button or print numbers that meant something. (Who could blame them?) They had the people where they wanted them, so addicted to their own dopamine that news was being consumed faster than they could churn it out. What’s a government to do but pour money on it?
Every day, the folks heard dire new predictions that would never come to pass. They discussed how the future should be, but nobody knew how it would be. Some decided to throw in the towel. Some couldn’t sign up for change fast enough.
As born storytellers, we recognize our collective story.
On the face of a clock, we were around 3 o’clock.
On a calendar…. Hey!!! It was March. Spooky.
The story wasn’t turning around. We were heading into the forest at night.
In April and May, the momentum picked up, sucking us deeper into the pit of our vulnerabilities. The world kept going because the world always does.
Learn about the story circle in this excellent video (also here on YouTube):
Agents for change
I veered from pleasantly chilling to exhausted with fangs. In chill mode, it crossed my mind how amazingly The Forces That Are Bigger Than Us chose to tell this story.
They didn’t pick global infertility. That would have solved a lot. Fini, The End, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye, in one generation. Painless even. Can you picture the animals, they’d be saying, “Finally! O.M.G! May they stay gone.”
The Forces might bring us back in 10, 000 years. V.2.0, one colour, one gender. One Season!
But this story doesn’t go that way. They went with a flu from which most people recover without going to hospital. It appears Nature’s not giving up on us yet. We mustn’t give up on ourselves.
The flu and the injustice were not the foes. They were the agents for change. Every story has one (at least).
AMAZING to me is this series by Dan Harmon about story structure. (Warning: If you take offence at off-colour language and situation, don’t read it.)
Story Structure Basics
Story structure is as old as humans, built into our conscious and subconscious.
The reason for a story is change. We enter a seemingly happy world but by page 4, we know for a fact that all is not well. We can’t pretend the tapping at the window is just a branch. Biting our lip, we already know we’re headed for a cliff.
The protagonist (the thing that could change) must now enter the dark depths of the subconscious to wrestle its demons, and thereby be stripped of egos and vices. In the second and third acts, previous values assimilate with new skills, the foe is conquered, and life carries on in an improved version of its former order.
The story can change. James Bond leaves the same as he arrived. The world becomes cleaner, kinder, stronger, and more just. Paddington Bear doesn’t change, yet we relate to a world we know and care about.
The video is also here on YouTube.
The character can change. By saving her marriage, she masters her demons and emerges cleaner, kinder, stronger, and more just.
Both can change. Harry Potter.
We drive home from the theater feeling good for having been through trials, grown with the story or character, and emerged victorious. How deeply satisfying when our money and time are spent on a good story.
For the character to change, by their own choice defines the turning point, or pointS as the stakes get higher. Because our subconscious understand stories, we the audience subconsciously compare the stakes and say, “This list is longer than the last one. The character has decided to keep going. Therefore, they have grown.”
Saying that I like a good story is barely the half of it. I am a person who LOVEs structure. I obsess about it. All the pretty cedar shingles in the world won’t hold up an unframed house. Who do you know is going to live there?
My daughter tells me that I look like this. Even the colours are right. I would like to mention right now that I’m more than one inch tall.
But if we’re talking structure, I look like this (in my own mind). All activated and intense and possibly annoying.
(Photo here and post header by Richard Lee on Unsplash)
Our Now and Future Colour Analysts
A blog post: The Hero’s Journey.
The podcast by Jorunn and I at Chrysalis Colour.
The post by Beatrice Chestnut.
Ducks, Newburyport, by Lucy Ellman, at Amazon.
The New Yorker review of Ducks.
Ideas for your consideration
- Wait. Right now, it’s not about most of us, except indirectly.
If you do nothing while you wait, fine. Being down is part of coming back up changed, master of both worlds. If you do something, excellent, the work while nobody’s watching counts and you’ll be ready for a new client who cares about different things and shops in a new way. Every mile we put in will come back to us.
2. Careful making decisions just now. The winds of change and other people’s choices are molding us. Don’t try to get out too fast. Great things are happening but we’re still in the underground half of the story.
3. Gather ideas without actions. Trust that your new strengths will distill with your solid values. Let your subconscious decide how and when, it knows what to do.
4. Gently move forward. Don’t be fussy about how and don’t wait for perfect. Walk through open doors towards a life and a world you want to inhabit. The future is always looking for people who look at the resources available and make a move without needing all the answers. The world wants people who don’t cave or buckle, who don’t put energy into every reason why things might go wrong, who keep going when it’s dark up ahead, and come back with new ideas.
5. Educate. Girls and women especially. Boys and men too, the ingredients of testosterone and lack of education known to make gunpowder, though Lord knows, there are other destruction recipes. Read to kids and get them hooked on stories.
6. Give what’s easy. The natural parts of us, the things that come easily, are never the ones we see as remarkable. We think it’s in the work and the struggles and the achievements, and those matter, but we all have free gifts. Others are drawn to the things we do that are easy for us and hard for them. It’s enough. Bake. Find a friend a lipstick.
To the neighbour who cuts my lawn, I sent links for T-shirt colours. He keeps them on his phone. To the client who finds this in her Inbox, someone has said, “I see you, you’re still there, and I want to give you something.” A gift of time freely offered, of unique generosity that only colour analysts can share so personally, reaching out while providing value and building your brand.
7. Tell a story. Lorraine is a well-trained colour analyst with accurate, beautiful drapes and gorgeous makeup, waiting for a client to come along. Her need to help others find beauty is profound but the phone doesn’t ring. Enter stage right, Grandma June, who is famous for seeing the forest instead of the trunk of each tree through the lens of a microscope.
Grandma June says, “Well, my dear, maybe they don’t know you exist.” Grandma is also famous for not making you guess what she’s thinking. “If I were you, I’d forget about Facebook and get busy on LinkedIn.”
Lorraine now has a choice.
Myself, I’m with June. I no longer see private clients but if I did, I’d be on LI and Pinterest. I think of FB as a giant static-y intercom, although a good vehicle for groups.
If LinkedIn is the new eBay of our clientele, poised and waiting for your story, what are you gonna do?
Why, tell your story!! Reel them in with good story structure. The pleasant beginning, the walk in the woods, what is that rustling noise, oh gosh, now it’s right behind me, the time you pulled out your sword, how you shop now (don’t talk about yourself for too long), how your clients shop now (expand this section and let clients say a few words). The Results you get for clients. The Results.
This and other ideas in How To Get a Job, the great Ann Handley’s June 21 newsletter.
8. Look in a mirror. The woman you see, have her appearance values change from a year ago?
Mine have. Status, hierarchy, or class always turn me off and I’m more committed than ever to looking away from plastic fashion, trends, and any headline that reads, “What you have to wear now.”
Stores are not as relaxing as they once were. I’d love to see smaller parking lots and more urban agriculture so the next time this situation rolls around, cities have practiced securing their food supplies. Convert malls into the resident-friendliest facilities for senior living. Could there be half as many stores?
Will the client who books her PCA for March 15, 2021 want the same service as the 2019 client?
9. Ask. How will you engage future clients to target their needs? A suggestion: Ask them. We figure others want what we would want. We figure they’re pleased or ticked-off for the same reasons we would be. The only true parts are that they want something and are displaying emotion. Guessing what and why feels safer but it wastes time. As a business, the place to be is with your clients, inside their reality.
10. Vote. Or don’t complain.
Colour analysts of the future, and by future, I mean next year, will be part of the solutions that a new consumer seeks out, one with new appearance priorities and access to new shopping options.
Keep your lighthouse in view. You love colour, you love people, and you have great value to give the world. Give now, get later.