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Life is a game. The way you choose to play is completely up to you. Our free will, essentially leads us to take specific decisions. Decisions are like opening closed doors, some will lead to a trap while others create new opportunities. So what does this whole wisdom talk have to do with this article? Today we will focus on self help for designers.

Whenever you are faced with a problem, always ask questions. Why, why, why? Using this sort of common sense, leads to answering the most challenging queries. A common thing most people do is write down their problems on a piece of paper. After, they brainstorm the causes for that problem. Once you find the cause, the next obvious thing is to come up with solutions.

As designers we practice creative thinking on a daily basis. We throw knowledge and inspiration into a huge pot and stir it to create a whole new medicine. Like a chemist, we simply develop potions for our clients. With the right amount of creativity and ingredients visual success is born.

Note: Don’t let the title fool you, these kinds of tips are bound to be useful to almost anybody(regardless the industry.) Enjoy!

1. Comparison

Most designers browse the web and peek at what others are doing. When we stumble-upon (no pun intended) something incredible, we start to question our own skills. Wondering why you’re not as good as them melts the motivation away. Whenever you compare yourself to other people, you are hurting your self pride. Wanna hear some truth? In life they will always be somebody better, stronger, or faster than you. Lusting over their talent won’t get you anywhere. Continue to practice, work hard and success will cross lines with you in the future.

2. Your mistakes

History has a way of repeating itself. Now I know that I sound like an old college professor, so please don’t fall asleep on me. It’s very important to remind yourself of your previous mistakes. Continue to run all the choices, mistakes and missed opportunities that you’ve had in your life. Now that you comprehend the past, what would you do differently in the future? Just like a basketball player, you have to actually shoot the ball in order to try to make it. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

3. Saying No

This is a big one. I’m sure you have received quite a few emails asking for spec work. “Hey I’m starting this brand new business and I need a professional logo, can you make one for me? I can’t really pay you but I will:

  • Tell my friends and family
  • Remember you
  • Appreciate you
  • Give you money once the business is successful”

Seriously? How about I go to the dentist and ask him to fix my teeth for free? He will do it for sure! This kind of treatment is exactly what’s killing the industry we are in. The respect people have for designers is low. “That is way too much, I can design it myself!” Ok, go for it. I’ll even help youFree Clip Art. Now at this point and time you are probably nodding. Do not be afraid to say NO!

4. Losing perspective

Furthering your design reputation and your work is top priority. Practice make perfect, but someday that practice needs to be applied to a project. Got a sweet idea? Implement it and learn as you go. Ask yourself what you need to do in order to reach your goal. Messing around in Photoshop, just to get a few likes on Dribbble is meaningless. Continue focusing on what you need to do, and don’t lose your perspective.

5. Designing only when you have to

If you are truly fed up with designing, then find a new profession. If you don’t wake up in the morning with a smile on your face, then stop. Wasting your life on something you are not passionate about it like going to a movie theater and talking to your friend the whole time. You have to focus on what you love. Work should not feel like punishment, it should feel like a hobby. “Damn, am I really getting payed to do this?”

6. Be impatient

Don’t just sit around and hope that pigs will fly. If you want something, you go and take it.  Anything worth having or accomplishing should come your way immediately. Forget all the lessons you’ve learned about patience. YOLO (You Only Live Once.) Will, should, could, might, planning are all word you need to throw in the trash. Today is the day, just do it. (Nike please don’t sue me.)

7. Staying in touch

There are hundreds of incredible tools that can help you track your fans, followers, and users. Utilize those tool and stay ahead of the game. Stay in touch with the people who like or maybe even love you. When I was little, I was told to always be myself. Sometime in life it can be helpful to forget what you like and figure out what everybody else likes. This comes into play whenever you are selling a product to the general public. Unless you are focusing on a specif niche that you can relate to, understanding  that everybody is unique should be your top priority.

8. Keeping the pressure on

Competition is normal in life. We always constantly try to outdo the “other guy/girl,” and create a better product. Talent is strong in the design community, there’s so much great stuff out there, if you don’t keep producing, people will forget about you. Always remember to pressure yourself to be making something new. Just like songs fade away in a few month, musicians are pressured to create new material. This kind of competition is present in design as well.

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I hope you enjoyed this article, my hands literally fell off after writing this. We would love to hear your opinion and feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment below. For more awesome articles don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS-feed and follow Inspirationfeed on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook! If you enjoyed the following article we humbly ask you to comment, and help us spread the word!

Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos for Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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