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.

UX Design – Storyboards, User Epics, User stories, User Research

The best designers I believe are the ones that are capable of thinking and executing across the spectrum of the design process. To look at things from a macro level – How does this product fit into a businesses product offering, brand and overall bottom line? And how does this product fit into the lives of the users and customers we are servicing? To also having the ability and the chops to execute on this information – implemented through sketches, wires, prototypes, visual design, testing, iterating, collaborating and launching. To get that balance of researcher, thinker vs craftsman and visual designer. 

Launching a product as a designer, maker and founder

Launching a product as a designer, maker and founder

You might be thinking of starting a side project/startup/side hustle or your own business one day and this posts for you. And even if you aren’t, there are still invaluable lessons in today’s post on how to think like designer, along with practical know-how tips that you can use. I’ve found the best posts I’ve written are the ones where you can step into my mind and thought process so to speak. Just to peer over my shoulder and go “oh shit so that’s how you got from there to there”.