September 7th, 2015 - Brand

A time for ambitious thinking

Summer is brilliant.

Long languid days on sunny lakes. Car trips, sunscreen, and campfires. The smells of freedom.

Yes, there’s something magical about Canadian summers, our payback for enduring the long cold winters.

So is it wrong of me to say I’m ready to say good-bye to summer and embrace September, my personal favourite?

September – as crisp and fresh as new school clothes – is special. When our ninth month arrives on the scene our tanks are full from summer, filled with the energy and creative juices we need to get back at it.

We go to bed a bit earlier, get up a bit brighter and tackle the projects that have been simmering on the back burner during vacation season.

For me September, not January, is the true beginning of the year. The time for resolve, for plans, for ambitious thinking.

And so this September I’m taking all of my brilliant lake energy and resolving to find more time in my life. Time to do more of the important stuff.

I’m finding time to a) be better at what I love to do, AND b) to do more with those I love.

Finding time isn’t easy, but it’s essential if we want to be good at what we do and who we are.

I love my work. I lose myself in the creative process dreaming up remarkable brands that uniquely tell the stories of my clients. My challenge is to find the time to fully commit to the creative process and to give myself the luxury to research more and better ways to tell the stories … how to best articulate the ideas and bring them to life.

So I’ll find time for getting better at what I love to do by turning down those jobs that don’t fit and turning down the clients that are interested in the expedient and the ordinary.

Finding time seems to get even harder when it’s not about work. Odd isn’t it? Because our life outside of work is our everything.

One of my loves received some difficult news a few weeks ago. Like a glass of ice water thrown in my face, it was a shocking reminder that our time here on earth is a gift. So I’m finding time to hold my people closer, to tell them I love them, to do and say the things I’ll regret if I don’t make that time now.

I’ll go on more dates with my husband, schedule lunches instead of carpools for my girl, and I’ll learn to say NO to the unimportant, the over-scheduled, the well-intentioned and the energy suckers.

Yep it’s September and I’m making my New Year’s resolutions while I’m buoyed with all of that summer energy. What about you?

Are you looking to take all of that summer goodness and use it to breathe new life into your business? OR maybe you are just starting out and need support in how to get the goods rolling.

I can help. At Blackcoffee we are rolling out new coaching services. We’ve been supporting businesses for 15 years and know what it takes to stay in the black day after day, month after month, year after year. Quite simply, we get business because we’ve lived the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and continue to grow and thrive after all this time.

Shoot me a note and ask about Blackcoffee’s coaching for business. Whether you need help with the basics or a full on refresh, we can help. I’m over here at Let’s pour a coffee, jump on a call and see what you need.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Inspired by a little blackcoffee

Some of my favourite moments are spent in search of something beautiful while I drink my first cup of coffee and hear the house wake up. From there I move on to the paper and the news of the day. In this space, I’ll share some of those inspirations.


Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.