How did you feel when you saw your first gray hair? Not a patch, but a single, lonely gray hair sitting on top of your head.

I remember when my mom noticed hers. I was a teenager—so she obviously blamed it on me—and I watched her spend years of effort covering it up. And for a while, it worked… until it didn’t.

However, one thing you’ll notice about people as they age is that their skin tone changes along with their hair. Suddenly, coloring your hair doesn’t cover up the aging… it makes it more obvious.

It happens in hair coloring, but it also happens with your brand. Sometimes we spend a lot of time touching up our brand or putting some concealer on to hide the places that seem out of place with who we are now.

But eventually we have to face the facts… we might need a makeover. And while it can be uncomfortable, in the end, we walk away feeling upgraded—able to embrace our true selves confidently—instead of hiding.

So how do you know it’s time?

Let me give you a few scenarios that might mean it’s now.

Scenario 1: Your bootstrapped brand has gone as far as it can.

In the beginning of your business, you don’t need a full-on, professionally crafted brand. It’s actually kind of healthy to DIY and bootstrap before investing in a major overhaul so you spend your money where it makes the most sense then.

But now you know that some professional intervention might just help you put your best face forward into the world. You’ve found your legs, and you’ve made your first money. Now you need some guidance to create a brand that makes you feel as confident as you are when you’re working with customers and clients.

Scenario 2: You’re making a change in your business.

Everyone goes through business growth pains, and you’re feeling the need to pivot or expand. This means a major change behind the scenes that needs to be reflected up front too.

Maybe you’re targeting a new audience, launching a new kind of product, or taking on a partner. Whatever it is, your business is evolving, and your brand needs to make a clean break and match the new direction to avoid confusion.

Scenario 3: You’re ready to uplevel like a boss.

You are crystal clear on what your business is here to do and who you serve. In fact, you’ve been doing it. You’ve got traction and you are so ready for more. It’s time to expand your impact.

That means growing your audience, getting higher level opportunities, and scaling your business. The only problem is that your brand still feels like the old you, and you need to uplevel it as you uplevel yourself.

Scenario 4: You’re not attracting the right people.

You keep picturing your dream clients and you feel like you’ve been doing everything right, but somehow the people who keep scheduling calls or contacting you are not the right ones.

It’s keeping you from enjoying your business (if you’re working with these people anyway) or making money (if you’re not). Something has to change because you’re ready to have fun and have consistent income at the same time.

Scenario 5: You’re not sure which ideas to follow in your business.

You’re creative so you’ve got lots of ideas. The only problem is that you don’t know which ones you should keep and which you should pass on. Does that new offer make sense? How do you share the value you bring in a way that people understand?

It’s precisely because you don’t have a solid brand in place that you don’t have a filter to run these decision through… so you’re exhausted, not showing up consistently, and your business is feeling it.

No matter which of these problems you’re facing, there’s one clear solution: focus on creating a brand that positions you for what you most want.

No more clinging to your outdated message, colors, or anything else. It’s time to embrace who you are NOW and how you’re ready to show up in the world for the clients who need your help.

Where should you start?

Step 1. Make the decision.

You can’t make a change without first committing to the work involved in making that change. It requires a lot of digging and getting honest with yourself, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

Step 2. Determine what kind of help you’re ready for

You’ve done amazing so far, but to get to the next version of your business, there’s no shame in getting help. The good news is that you get to choose what level of that you’re ready for—lots of research? Self-paced course? Done-for-you branding? It’s all available for what you need.

Step 3. Find the right guide to help you.

There are a lot of “gurus” out there on the web, so it’s important that you find someone you trust to guide you through the process—whether you’re paying them or not. You need to look for their client feedback, aesthetics you like, and most importantly, that they have a systematic way of approaching it.

Step 4. Do the work.

In many ways, this is the hard part… but it’s also the fun part. You get to dig in to define your audience, solidify your message, and establish a visual design that reflects all that your business stands for.

Step 5. Implement the brand consistently.

It doesn’t actually help you to create a whole brand (or have it created for you) if you don’t use it in a systematic way and across every channel. This elevates your brand recognition and creates trust that builds your business.

You don’t have to be stuck in the cycle of frustration or confusion that you’re in now. You can let go and find yourself with a business you love that fits who you are and the impact you’re here to make in the world. It all starts with a brand that sets you up for the service your clients need and the success you deserve.