Posts Tagged ‘work’

On Dreams & Hiring

There’s lots to like about this article from Brooke Allen on hiring, but this gem stands out: I won’t get between you and your dreams. If you have a dream, I need to know what it is so we can figure out if this job gets you closer. —How to Hire Good People Instead of […]

On Why

Why are you doing what you’re doing? What do you want to accomplish? What is the win? Why are you moving forward if you can’t answer those questions? There’s nothing more inefficient than doing something more efficiently that shouldn’t be done at all.—Michael Mullikin You are limited. Time. Skill. Attention. Momentum. Money. All limited. But […]

On Systems, Spirit, Process & Perfection

“Nature abhors a paradox,” they say. I abhor a bad system. Or worse, a lack of system. But as a designer who frequently (or at least hopefully) veers into the artful, I’m working in the midst of a paradox. My desires and my roles produce—and sustain—inconsistencies. Artists and systems go to war with one another. […]

On Failure, Forces & The Gentle Way

I found two work-related goals scribbled in the page margins of a pocket notebook from the beginning of 2012. 1) I wanted to primarily focus my design time on getting the hazy-around-edges NewSpring identity system under control (via a thorough brand audit and re-templating project) and 2) I wanted to hire a few designers and […]

On Discipline, Shortcuts & Building Something Worthwhile Over Time

I am seeking a sort of relentless commitment to the task at hand. I’m aiming for discipline. Discipline is remembering what you want. —David Campbell In the past few months I’ve intentionally scuttled many of my own side projects and shunned outside opportunities in an effort to—quite simply—do what I say I’m going to do, […]

How Doing Less Work for More Money Saved Client Work (or) How I Finally Became a Professional Designer

This has been the best year of client work I’ve ever had. Which wasn’t all that difficult, really. I’ve had some abysmal experiences working with clients in the 8+ years I’ve been a designer. But before you amen me (or better yet, write me off) as one of those oh-so-superior young designers bemoaning idiot clients […]

On Human Resources

If HR is simply a support function, interchangeable with something as inane as paying the water bill, you are not a cool place to work. You will not be a magnet for talent or maintain a motivated staff. You’re just minding the store, putting out fires, and waving at people on their way in and […]

On Better Equipment

Spend your time seeking knowledge instead of better equipment. It’s experimenting that’s going to help you develop your craft and develop your own personal style. —Joey L.

The Path of Most Disruption

New ideas can alter the balance of power because they challenge the existing. Most of us are seeking some kind of equilibrium, so we tend toward resistance. If you don’t find the path of least resistance before you try to instigate disruption, prepare for a fight. If you’re not willing to fight, why did you […]

On Knowing Your Limits

We must work on a scale proper to our limited abilities. We must not break things we cannot fix. —Wendell Berry

On Leveraging Luck

I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often. —Brian Tracy

Another Excerpt from The Book I’m Writing

The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe All execution is a matter of navigating priorities, people, and politics. If you can’t prioritize or if people aren’t your thing, you have no business being in business. If you don’t “do politics” you […]

On Slumps

This could be about baseball. Or work. Slumps are like soft beds. They’re easy to get into and hard to get out of. —Johnny Bench

Billing Clients or Building Products?

Well, do we wanna build up this whole thing again and go chase business that we don’t want and get into pitches and win or not win business based on the whims of people who are stupider* than we are? Or is there another way? —Jim Coudal, excerpted from Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud: Coudal That […]

An Excerpt from The Book I’m Writing

If your personal vision doesn’t align with The Mission you’re on, it will meet resistance from The Powers That Be. They will view your vision as short-sighted and narrow. Because it is. In the context of The Mission, submit or exit. There is no middle ground for missionaries. If you can’t kick your own nagging […]

Louis CK on 20-Year Olds

Between his rant about modern conveniences and this quote, I think Louis CK has cemented the fact that he is Utterly Capable of Apt Cultural Commentary. I think you should do your job. I think a lot of people don’t do their job, because they don’t like their job. I don’t get that. You know, […]

What I Learned at Greenville Grok

My friend Matthew Smith organized a small gathering (conference? alt-conference? nonference?) in my proverbial backyard this past weekend. The first Greenville Grok was a blast for a handful of locals and out-of-towners. So, what’s a grok anyway? [grok] — verb 1. to intimately and completely share the same reality or line of thinking with another […]

Dress Like The Boss

If you want to be the boss, dress like the boss. —Anonymous This has nothing to do with clothes.

Design as Veneer (Or as Meaning, Knowledge, Belief & Action)

Some variation of this statement happens in almost every conversation we have with potential vendors, “Wow… you guys really care about design.” And while statement is deadly true, what they typically mean is, “Wow… you guys really care about the way things look.” Veneer. Window dressing. Aesthetics. But we mean what Steve means: Design is […]

When Talented Employees Aren’t Worth Keeping Around

Talent doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Within a team context, employees add or subtract value. You have to determine how much value each employee adds, and what idiosyncrasies are worth tolerating for the good of the mission. A company is a team effort and, no matter how high an employee’s potential, you cannot get value […]

Old Time Music, Sign Painters & Getting Your Inspiration Thirdhand

At some point in my erstwhile post-college semi-career as a musician I had an epiphany: the people I was opening for, the good ones, weren’t filling their headphones with the songs of their peers. They weren’t listening to us. They were devouring Bill Withers melodies, Motown arrangements, Lindsey Buckingham guitar wizardry and any number of […]