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Remember Wall Street? Long before Leo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street, in case you’ve been living under a rock), Gordon Gekko, played by a young and suave Michael Douglas, was the banker king. These days the character’s name is a synonym for greed, ruthlessness and all around evil, but when you think about it, Gekko actually had some good tips on how to be successful at business – any business, really. You’d be surprised but this even applies to you, web designer extraordinaire! Being good at what you do is a great start, but to turn in into an income you have to get serious… Real serious. Here’s what GG has to say about it.
#1 “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
Let’s get the obvious out the way, shall we? There’s no shame in wanting material success, and as the Gek puts it, it’s actually the natural thing to want. No greed means no motivation and no motivation means sitting around and passing time. And that’s not where the money is, that you can be sure of. Know what you want and you’re one step closer to getting it.
#2 “Lunch is for wimps.”
Success is talent, yes, but it’s also practice and hard work. Who needs breaks when you can just keep going on and on? Of course, there are ways of making the work itself easier and quicker – tools like Webydo will let you design and create a gorgeous and responsive website with having to code at all. It is equal parts user-friendly and professional, and it gathers together everything you need to make the website amazing (and then maybe you can have some lunch.)
#3 “Every battle is won before it is even fought.”
And in your case that means email correspondence, networking and most importantly: project proposals. Give a bad one and you won’t get so much as a chance to show the client what you’re capable of. Keep that in mind! Your proposals and quotes have to be professional and on point. You have to make the client feel like they’re in good hands – you know what you’re doing, you know how to get them where they need to be, and all they have to do is hand over the keys.
#4 “Money never sleeps.”
It’s always 9AM somewhere, and if you’re looking at success you need to be thinking globally. Even while you’re off the clock there are people out there, near and far, that can use your skills. How can you get to them tomorrow? In other words, there is never a shortage of things that need to be done. It’s up to you to make sure you’re the one who’s doing them, is all.
#5 “What’s worth doing is worth doing for money.”
This is a sensitive subject with web designers, right? You enjoy doing your work, you get a ton of satisfaction… But you’ve still got bills to pay. Don’t let niceness or a promise of future compensation get in the way. You might like to think of yourself as an artist, but you’re also always a businessperson, and a businessperson that works for free is (“for lack of a better word,”) poor. What Would Gekko Do?
#6 “If you’re not inside, you’re outside.”
And that means networking, networking and some more networking. Don’t be afraid to let people know who you are and how you can help them. You’re in this for the long run and relationships with clients, opinion makers and other powerful people go a long way. Get your name out there and help people know how to find you. Do a good enough job at it and your name will spread itself and you’ll need to put a heavy lock on the door just to keep the clients from overcrowding your office.
#7 “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”
Information is key in this business. You have to be up to speed with the latest trends to know what to offer the clients; you need to know all the tools to help you do your job in the best way possible; and you need to know the people, events and opportunities before you stumble upon them in order to utilize them well. Do your research!