I have a simple method for breaking down a design project. And it starts with answering these key questions.
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.
I never intended to become an indie designer, maker and full time freelancer. I quit my job as a Creative Director over 4 years ago. 2014 was meant to be a transitional year for me.
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.
It’s simple do the most important tasks first, but more specifically do the thing that will give us the most amount of impact. It’s about the output of high value activities vs. time. And then try to do that everyday and track it.
Do you ever lay in bed and dream up ideas of fun projects you’d love to work on? Or you’re at work and you like your job but the projects aren’t exactly 100% what you’d love to be making or designing but you tread along as if sleepwalking at times
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.
Recap of the last 3 years as a freelance designer/maker
The power of simply asking.
Invest in your career