The freelancer economy and remote work

That laptop beach lifestyle, exotic locations, work from anywhere in the world and have more autonomy and freedom in your life.That’s the lifestyle that’s painted & depicted, if you run your own lifestyle business, am a freelancer or remote worker. Whilst this image can be true, it is only a tiny tiny snapshot in time and the reality is not as pretty as Instagram makes it out to be. A lot the times you are just in your pjs working behind your desk, eating toast as crumbs fall off your plate and onto your keyboard - as you scream “fuck!” with toast in your mouth so more crumbs fall out as you watch YouTube. All the while you wonder whether or not you should wear proper pants for the day. And you decide ‘yes’ you should wear proper pants for the day.

Creating the visual language and art direction for my latest class

3 years ago I had an idea to share all the valuable lessons I’d learnt across my career.​ To build a business model that didn’t revolve around helping just big clients with money but to build my own product that could help and reach many people. My kind of people. A problem that was close to my heart and that is how to forge a great career in the digital design industry. Helping and mentoring other designers with whatever knowledge I’ve acquired over the last 10-12 years. It seemed like something worth doing, thanks to the people who have helped me along the way.

The evolution of my career - from junior designer to founder

Over the last 12 years I’ve seen so many changes in the design industry, my career and what I do as a designer. I guess at the heart of all it I still just make things for a living. And as designers we create things - we look at disparate pieces of data, connect the dots & make “something” within those constraints to solve a particular problem. And at our core we are creators and makers

The joy of designing – back to the beginning

After 12+ years of designing and creating things professionally for businesses of various sizes. From startups to billion dollar companies. Things are beginning to go full circle. Before I even landed my first design job in late 2006, I was always inspired by art, design, film and creativity and would be noodling and making things in paintshop pro, photoshop 6.0, powerpoint and flash. And before that I was drawing and making my own books. From primary school through to high school.

Guiding principles. Why do you do what you do?

I’ve been reading Ray Dalio’s book Principles over the last few days. It talks about Ray’s principles and experiences of building Bridgewater Associates into one of the most successful hedge funds in history. It dissects his life and work principles which is a fascinating read. Rays humility and open mindedness is what makes him interesting. For overachievers I highly recommend picking up his book to get into the deep psyche of someone as extraordinary as Ray and to learn from his wisdom and principles. Both in investing and in life. 

How I almost quit 

11 years ago I was sitting on a tram on my way to work and contemplated whether I was good enough to be a designer. Bright eyed but a complete rookie and unfamiliar with the demands of a studio working environment. The stress was too much, the obstacles too high, I wasn’t doing well on the job and I really struggled to find my footing. If only I was good enough I thought to myself, if only things were easier and I could just go on autopilot. How much better would that be if that was the case? I really felt I wasn’t good enough that day and that maybe I should quit and not step foot off that tram. It seemed to be the easier route.

Reading has been one of the best things I’ve done for my career and life

I try to share as much as I can with you on strategies, experiences and things that have helped me along the way. Both in my life and my career. It’s a way to chronicle my own journey and thoughts and as a way to help you on your own journey. Something you can read weekly to improve and bring value to your life and career.

Your goals and ambitions lie just on the other side of consistently showing up

Nothing special. No incredible lifehack or productivity booster. Just plain old consistent work that eventually snowballs into some incredible results.We are an instant gratification generation. We want things now. We want things to happen fast. But sometimes we need to be patiently impatient to be able reach our highest goals and ambitions.

Mentors = Growth

Mentors I’ve had throughout my career have been instrumental to my growth as a designer. They helped guide the way and gave me that little push that I needed to realise more of my potential. The moments where I was lost and didn’t know if I was good enough to be a designer, or how to improve my work, or whether or not I could quit my job and run my own business. I looked at my mentors who paved the way for so many of these big decisions and actions that I took. Both through their own actions and their advice.