It’s an inspiring tale of losing everything and starting from scratch to build a burgeoning design practice, of connecting with new people, and doing what you are meant to do. He has this cool list of repeatable steps that has contributed to his amazing year:
- find a subject you care passionately about (really, wildly passionate)
- learn everything you can about it
- find a way to apply your passion to a narrow field. For example, rather than saying “I’m a web designer”, I said “I’m a blog designer”. While in theory this shrinks the pool of potential clients by a huge margin, the reality is that my market is global. There may be only a tiny percentage of people looking for blog design, but it’s a tiny percentage of a HUGE number. Make it your business to become the default go to person in your field. (here’s a secret that they don’t usually tell you: you can be an expert in more than one field)
- network, network, network. Use email, IM and skype to connect with people. I’ve met the most amazing people this year. Most of whom I’ve never “met”.
- above all, be honest and forthright
- treat your clients, suppliers, and everyone you meet as well as you can
- work your ass off. I work a stupid number of hours per week. But I’m doing something I love. So most of the time it doesn’t actually feel like work.
Just awesome. So true.
I was particularly struck by his advice on “applying passion to a narrow field”. I’ll have to think about what field(s) that could be. I recently figured out what I was passionate about, but haven’t been able to come up with a nice easy-to-understand niche.
On a side note: I’ve been stumbling upon lots of interesting blogs from Canada lately, particularly from the Toronto and Vancouver areas. What’s going on up there? How can I get some of that down here in New Hampshire?