It’s been kind of a crazy year, this year. I took a lot of risks, learned a lot of things and really made an effort to put myself out there and get a handle on business development and business planning. Fun fact, creating a plan and sticking to it works.
Here are 12 little lessons I learned this year.
- I learned who my ideal clients are, and have worked on marketing my services in small business graphic design and corporate graphic design to them in a really relaxed way. Take the time to learn who your people are, it will save time, money and a lot of emotions.
- I jumped into business with someone that came out of nowhere. While it failed, I learned more about myself from that experience than any other. I learned that I can rely on myself, and that I’m actually really good at project/budget management and client communication. I was too afraid to do them before.
- Getting it out there and iterating, is more profitable than making sure it’s perfect before it launches.
- I learned how to work with contractors, and that good contractors, and excellent communication are the backbone of any successful business. There is no such thing as a business of only 1. Don’t believe this illusion. It takes lots of skilled people to pull off great things.
- Working with music and art students (for cheap, or free) is an amazing way to keep your portfolio fresh and the artistic side of your graphic design alive.
- Business card designs are the most profitable exposure/time ratio of freebie to give, just an FYI.
- Bitching about clients with other graphic designers feels shitty. Stop client shaming. Everything exists on a bell curve, get over it.
- I learned that you have to like who you’re working with. Contractors, clients, and most importantly, yourself. If you don’t like something, take responsibility and change it.
- Don’t be a wuss, if you want something, figure out who has it, who is doing it, or involved with it, call them on the phone and ask them about it. Passion loves curiosity. You’ll never regret doing this.
- More in the “don’t be a wuss” category: Make actual phone calls. Stop fucking texting and emailing creative communication. You need emotion to convey creative ideas.
- Even if you don’t think you have time, find a side project to let of creative steam. I design coloring books for adults with my Mom. I make time for this because, even when I’m exhausted and pissed, working on my side projects makes me happy.
- Math is actually your friend. Make it work for you, and do your accounting, find joy in tending to your money garden.
These are some of the lessons that I’ve learned this year regarding personal and business development. What are some of yours? I love learning more about other peoples’ journeys!