We are always surrounded by things we like and things we don’t. We would love to get away from the stuff we don’t but this just opens us up to noticing more of it.
So, no point of running. Accept everything for what it is—a clarifying experience.
Things you like help you say: “more of these, please”.
Things you don’t—“less of these, please”.
Thus, everything unwanted helps you clarify what you really want. And that’s its biggest upside.
Every step is a step forward.
We are attracted to the new, to what is fresh, to what is different. The thing that is breaking the norm. Breaking the mold. Or as graphic and type designers say “breaking the grid”.
Your clients and daily practices have helped you create your grid. Your needs, wants, likes and dislikes shaped that grid too. And therein lies the DNA of your career—What clients/practices/projects/ways of communication/work schedules/tools do you like the most? Let these stay.
The things that annoy and overwhelm you? Break the grid and stop doing them.
Or you change your perception about them.
For the past 7 years I haven’t done much visual work. But design is not just how it looks, but also how it works.
So I’ve been focusing on that. Which has been very different from my time in the university or the time I started freelancing.
Oh, wait! 3 years ago I wrote a visual book 🙂 It was about Harmonious Web Design. Well, it was visual, but its essence lied into the perception.
For the past 2 years I’ve been helping Shopify Store Owners improve the design of their stores.
It started with styling (90 visual/10 experiential) and I moved to Speed Optimization(100 experience) and Conversion optimization (100 experience). I’m happy to say that I quite like it.
I like the shift. Working on “experience” compared to just a subset of it (“visuals”) helped me get closer to the site visitors (the customers of my clients). Helping them achieve what they want with less friction helped me male a greater impact on the revenue of my clients.
I had to learn more about their business model, their marketing and the behavior of their customers/clients. Which is good. I feel I’ve grown a lot since my early days of logo designer, web designer and later OpenCart plug-in creator.
Of course, everything stacked in such a way that I’m here now. In a position to grow more than ever before.
What is the next step in your career?
I noticed that I put too high expectations on myself to write something great. Typical “aspiring writer” syndrome. Instead of writing to help myself and as a side-effect helping others, I started thinking how to write so that others benefit. So much so, that I got jammed. Jammed with ideas, jammed with aspirations, jammed with ambition, pulled away by lack of focus. This could easily happen to you when you work online or try to be up to date with all the latest tip, trick and techs of the world.
God forbid you try to make websites. Hell no, then you’ll be paralyzed by all the things you know you don’t know.
Nevertheless, I need a place to vent it all. A place different from the dozens of notebooks I pile everyday, a place which I can search and reference later.
I’m pulling down my expectations for blog posts. It is infinitely better to post, to have something out there, to think out loud (for yourself mostly) than to keep it all inside.
Same is true for you.
Kill your inner perfectionist.
Ship something today!
P.S. Posts on social media don’t count. They look more like a place to brag or unproductively complain about your life instead creating it. Put a shape to your thoughts and ship them. Today.