The Art of TAO
The story of how one business, The Art of Standing Out (TAOSO) was born out of another business, The Art of Inbound Marketing (TAOIM).
In 2009 I launched my social media marketing agency and named it The Art of Inbound Marketing (TAOIM). I was very pleased with myself when I selected that name because I had always wanted a business with my name in the mast head. Utilizing the Art of, satisfied that itch and yes, I thought I was clever using the play on words – The Art of. However, you’ll learn as you read on serendipity had intervened on my behalf and bestowed that moniker on my business for a reason. TAOIM is focused on helping clients reach, engage and nurture conversations with their ideal prospect by by leveraging the power of words in on and offline conversations. What I mean by leveraging the power of words is, we show our clients how to create content in the proper context to reach their well defined audience of ideal prospects. Reaching your audience then speaking with them in context is how you use your words to create resonance which speeds you toward building credibility as someone that understands their narrative and deserves their trust.
In 2014 I added a second line of business to my practice, in order to provide a more end to end suite of solutions to the customers I serve. The new business employed the same naming convention TAO and ended with SO which denotes Standing Out. In full the new company name would become The Art of Standing Out (TAOSO). The Art of Standing out focuses on using human centered design thinking and brand storytelling to create compelling brand strategies. With a solid brand strategy our clients are able to optimize their marketing efforts to in turn maximize their return on business development efforts and sell more.
In 2015 something almost magical happened. During the early part of 2015 I realized the three characters making up the acronym TAO were not just a clever naming convention. The characters TAO have represented the name of the Chinese philosophy TAO (or DAO) for several millennia The central principle of the TAO philosophy is everything is better when it works in harmony with everything else in the world. Merriam Webster says the TAO is: The art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing. What struck me was the reality that the intention of the word TAO was in fact consistent with the work that I was doing in both TAOIM & TAOSO. My business practices are focused on helping my clients establish alignment (or harmony – you choose) between the following ideas:
- What they do
- Why they do it
- Who they do it for
- How their audience of ideal prospects are changed after the acquire their products, service or solution.
Initially I thought, well that’s nice but you can not inject Chinese philosophy into your brand name. Who aside from me, a person with a decades old Tai Chi practice which is intrinsically connected to Taoist/Daoist thought. I was certain people would not get it, the whole idea would be a bridge too far for my clients to cross, the brand would be rejected as being too frou frou.
Then, one day soon thereafter, I read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert titled Big Magic. In her book she wrote, and I paraphrase – As an artist there are times when you have a great idea, perhaps it’s a great treatment for a book. You work on the book and then one day you set it aside and begin work on something else. Elizabeth says that the MUSE is always watching the artist work. When the work is going well the job of the muse is to inspire. However, when the artist falters and falls into inactivity for far too long, the muse becomes anxious, believing the idea will not come into existence. So as guardian of great inspiration and great ideas the muse moves to take your idea from you and find someone else who is ready to embrace the idea, ready to use your idea to take action. The muse moves to find someone committed to breath life into that great idea.
So it was with TAO, I had a choice. I could embrace the truth of what I do, why I do it and how my mission is to shepherd strategic alignment and harmony of all the discrete pieces of a business in order to help it grow and thrive. TAO would become, for me and my businesses an important piece of my intention puzzle. Allowing TAO to remain central to my brand strategy serves as a great reminder to me and the audiences I serve about what our work is all about.
And so my story goes, once upon a time I was happy because I’d found a clever way to incorporate my name into my brand. Early on adding my name to my brand, was simply my ego talking. I was feeling satisfied with self. Today I own the true intention of the Taoist philosophy and employ the TAO in my name to allow to to serve as my guiding light, my northstar which guides all we do in the business.
So, end the end, The Art of Inbound Marketing – TAOIM & The Art of Standing Out – TAOSO, are two business names I and the proud papa of.
I came close to changing The Art of Inbound Marketing – TAOIM & The Art of Standing Out – TAOSO, to more something more vanilla.
The acronym TAO remains part of my brand name, yet now it holds a esteemed position in our brand lore. TAO is about achieving alignment and harmony in my businesses and for the businesses and business pros in the markets I serve.
Now about the video attached below.
Quite a while ago I enjoyed the pleasure of talking with the host of Jonathan Tripp Live, Mr. Jonathan Tripp. During our conversation we talked about many things yet we always seemed to circle back to my sweet spot, how storytelling empowers Leaders to LEAD.
Jonathan is a great interviewer and asked thoughtful questions. There is a point during the interview where you will hear a long pause as I stop to process how to answer his question. Great questions are a signature of what makes a great interviewer and Jonathan is a great interviewer.
Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed the conversation.
Want to know more about any of the subject matter discussed contact Jonathan or I via the contact pop up at the bottom right part of this page.
We would live to hear from you.
Now get comfortable and listen in to our chat.
Follow the about.me link below and find several of my favorite social platforms. Each platform holds a unique position in either my professional or personal life which in my world are one in the same :). Have a look and gain a fairly complete picture of what makes the brand called Art Jones rock and roll. 🙂
Find the social platform that’s your fav and let’s meetup there too.