I am asked all the time how I knew to take the "leap" into full-time design. How I knew I could quit my day job. How I was sure we'd make it. Cue blatant honesty: I counted my dollars, that's how.
I wish I could say it was an "ah-ha" moment on a Monday morning where I slammed the door on my job in stick-it-to-the-man fashion and sat down blissfully at my computer to make pretty things for lots of money. Instead, it was long, loooooong nights and weekends spent juggling three jobs, hoarding pennies, and praying. Lots of praying.
Let's face it: as passionate and talented as we are, at some point it's about the money, at least a little bit. I know, I know. It's not about the money - and maybe most days it's not. But. When rent is due, it's about dollars.
I stumbled across this fantastic article today on Design*Sponge and thought I'd share. I love its transparency and truth. I'm especially connected to this snippet about competitors.
There’s enough work for all of us — no one is reinventing the wheel here, do your share and do that work! Send positive energy to those who you feel are your competitors, there’s something in their work that you aspire and connect to, the good vibes will come back around. Comparative thoughts are so draining and do not help you access your own creativity.
So often we are bombarded by others' work and, instead of inspiring or driving us to be better and refine our craft, we're bogged down in not being that person. Which - guys - is super silly. We're ourselves, that's it. It's enough and it's good.
These Golden Rules work for Leela Cyd, a crazy-talented photographer of all things. Some of my favorite photos of hers are below. Take a moment to read Leela's advice. It's a balance of gentle nudges and hop-to-it honesty. Two things we creatives really need, I think.
That, and coffee.