How to Not-Murder Your Life (or Your Brand) is the brainchild of creative consultant Phoebe Assenza who specializes in branding, messaging, and content strategy in New York City. She helps businesses of all sizes find their unique voice in the market and special place in the zeitgeist. We spoke with Phoebe about creating this workbook and why she chose Scout Books as the medium for her message.
How did you get the idea for this workbook?
Out of necessity. I was between jobs and about to have my first child, so it was a typical next-chapter-of-life-staring-you-in-the-face-type of crisis. I wanted to think carefully about my next move — the last thing I wanted was to feel like an aimless pinball once I got busy again.
Can you tell us what the premise of the book is? No spoilers though!
How to Not-Murder Your Life (or Your Brand) is a 7-step workbook to help you figure out your deepest values and goals, and how to design your life around those goals and values. It works for people, startups, new brands, old businesses…
Why a Scout Book? I imagine there were a lot of other options on the table for what to do with this concept!
The workbook actually started as a pdf, but the whole point is to close your laptop, hide your phone, sit down with a pen, and focus. So it had to be a printed piece. My friends at Ladies Get Paid make beautiful Scout Books for their events, so I thought of you guys instantly.
In the book, you mention putting yourself through the same brand strategy and consulting that you have given your clients for years. What was it like running yourself through this assessment rather than a client?
The hardest part of this workbook — for me and everyone else I’ve heard from — is carving out the quiet, uninterrupted time required to complete it. I’ve had friends say, “This is brilliant; This is exactly what I need, I just need to find two hours to do it.”
Again, that’s the whole point! To pause and make sure you’re not spinning your wheels on things that aren’t very important to you. You don’t have to rent a cabin in the woods to do two hours of work — do it on your next flight, take the morning off, hide in the bathroom at home if your family won’t leave you alone. Also, my friend Mehgan Iulo did such a great job on the design — she made it feel really light and fun so it’s easy to move through.
What’s something that you’ve discovered in the last year that our audience should check out? (could be music, a website, a recipe, anything!)
I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time going through NYC Municipal Archives. They have a photo collection from the 1940s of every single building in New York City, so it’s like an old-timey Google Maps. It’s cool to look up addresses in my neighborhood and see horses and carriages and old Studebakers in the streets that I walk every day.
How can someone get their hands on a copy?
Sign up for my newsletter! I do a weekly roundup on the topics of women, business, culture, and assorted funny and interesting things I’m compelled to share. If you sign up for the newsletter, I’ll mail you a copy of my Scout Book.