The Mindset That Changed How I Approach My Career

Aiming for perfection used to hold me back from speaking up, sharing what I was thinking, and pursuing what I was interested in. I didn’t want to be wrong, ill-informed, or challenged.

Deep down I had a sense that I was seeking something impossible. But I still rationalized that I had to seek out perfection in order to be successful and, in turn, to find true happiness.

My first business venture in 2012 required a mindset change. What inspired me was a quote I captured in high school and rediscovered in my childhood bedroom the month before I started the new firm:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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6 Job Boards for Social Impact Design Jobs

Looking for a position with a socially-impactful organization? 

The following six job boards have been collected from my research and recommendations from fellow social impact design leaders.

The roles listed aren’t all going to be straightforward, traditional or familiar. Just like the way you approach your projects with creativity and curiosity, look beyond the position title and dig into the responsibilities, expectations, and company’s description and values. That’s where you’ll discover if it’s a role you want to pursue.Continue Reading

Let’s discuss money and design

Design, money and happiness are at the core of any creative professional’s pursuit. Yet one that is the least understood of these three is MONEY. And this what I’m digging into this year.

Starting March 1st, I’m sharing 30 insights and challenges on money, wealth, impact, and work. These prompts are based on conversations, learnings, and observations from developing my business over this past year with colleagues, entrepreneur communities, reading, and lots of personal practice.

Click the link below to receive the emails, sent to your inbox daily for one month.

>  http://www.designaffects.com/design-money-happiness

This project is starting as email only and I may change the format depending on responses I receive along the way.

Also, if you subscribe but find it’s not your cup of tea, you can simply unsubscribe—no hard feelings! (Although I will ask for a bit of feedback to help me improve.)

Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Earlier this week, I wrote about the concept of “fail fast” and how it is being championed in organizations around the world. If you’re not familiar with it, fail fast is about making small mistakes and responding quickly with new iterations and changes while working towards a bigger goal. It’s the antithesis of holing up to create something in isolation and then present it to the world expecting everything to go well.

Companies that create products, like Dyson vacuums, to those that provide consulting, like PwC, use this method with success. By instilling it within the culture of their organization, it allows employees to practice and learn along the way, and in turn produce positive results for their customers and clients.

But what happens when, despite your best efforts and intentions, you still fail big?

How do you recover and overcome a huge mistake? For many of us, our loved ones and confidants receive the brunt of our crushing blows. They stand beside us, helping us through the agony. They create a safe place where we learn to retell the story in a “constructive” way.

Here’s a challenge to that: what if you just said, “I fucked up?”

And, to take it one step further, what if you told this to colleagues, peers, and even complete strangers?

Five well-known designers just did this.

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Facing failure squarely in the face

“Fail fast” has become the motto of modern business practice. We’re told this is the way to design and build a successful project or business rather than planning every intricate detail and then implementing the plan. But putting this into practice is not as easy as the two-word motto makes it out to be.

So let me use a short example to illustrate this concept.

James Dyson, the chairman and chief engineer of his namesake vacuum cleaner company, has used failure to drive the realization of all his products. In the book Black Box Thinking, Dyson recalls the number of prototypes it took him to create the technology for his first bagless vacuum cleaner: a mere 5,127.

Think about that for a second.Continue Reading