Every year I count down the days until I am reunited with my crew. My people. My homeslice designers. Or more commonly known, my count down to the HOW Design Live Conference. But this year, I was watching from afar. I decided to take the year off due to the fact that I switched jobs and moved to a new city.
Remember what momma said, play nice
Its been a month since day 1 of the conference and I was able to soak up all the knowledge possible via Twitter. The main thing I took away from the stellar tweets: be nice to one another. Its amazing how many businesses have employees that feel like they need to throw their co-workers under the bus just to stay ahead. Or, employers that treat their employees as if they are only there to make sure the line on the profit chart continues to point north. When did the world get this way? Has it always been and we’re just now realizing how awful it really is? Yikes, guys.
After being a HOW Live attendee for 6 conferences, and experiencing the genuineness of everyone, it makes me wonder…if everyone there is so awesome, where are all the people they complain about? Why are they not there learning? Why are there so many designers that struggle at their jobs? I realize not every attendee hates their job or has beef with their boss, but there are some that do. Anyone that has gone, knows that there are countless sessions that advise you to leave your job if you’re unhappy. Or change the environment. Of course, not everyone has such courage. There are those that have bills…families…mortgages…loans…etc, and paychecks make that part of life easier. But, as they say, life is short. Enjoy it.
When I quit my job and moved to a city that I visited once, maybe twice, it was scary. I had to change everything. Where was my local grocery store? Or coffee shop? Who should I see if I’m sick? Will they have the same things that Ames had that I really enjoyed? No idea. Just go and see what happens. Leap blindly. It might just be exhilarating!
If you wait for the right time, you’ll never stop waiting
In Boston after HOW 2014, as I was waiting for my flight home, I took a moment and wrote a note to myself in the same notebook as my HOW Live notes. I told myself that in one year, something needed to change. I wanted a bigger city. I wanted more freedom at work. I wanted the option to be creative. And I wanted to try building my own business. I only looked at that note once since I returned from HOW, but it was always in the back of my mind. Happy to say, mission accomplished…and I survived.
My current job is no longer a job, because I love coming into work and creating. The people are incredibly talented and want each other to succeed. They are personable and helpful and I couldn’t ask for a more engaging environment. They have fun and work hard. And the company is successful. This job is everything HOW talks about in the sessions. (They aren’t lying…utopia does exist!) I’m still trying to figure out why its not a normal working environment for so many creatives. Maybe I don’t have a head for business, but being nice and pushing each other seems like a pretty common sense way to achieve success.
Usually I would go down the list of sessions I attended and recap each one with little design nuggets of inspiration and feel-goodness. But, since I wasn’t actually in any sessions, I will instead share some favorite tweets:
The reason I do what I do:
the only hope we have is that as designers somehow by accident or on purpose we have a chance to improve someone’s life. #HOWLive
— HOW Design (@HOWbrand) May 6, 2015
People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read, 10% of what they hear. Your information needs to be visual. #howlive
— Chuck Borowicz (@chuckborowicz) May 4, 2015
— moo.com (@MOO) May 5, 2015
— Keith Smith (@Smitcat) May 5, 2015
Trust breeds magic because it’s the biggest compliment ever. #HOWLive
— rosie (siman) yakob (@rosieyakob) May 5, 2015
— Visual Creatives (@vcreatives) May 5, 2015
— evelio mattos (@eveliomattos) May 5, 2015
— OCD (@ocdagency) May 6, 2015
— Madalyn Marie (@MadalynMarie) May 6, 2015
If you’re digging a hole in the wrong place, making it deeper doesn’t help. Learn to shut up and listen. Micheal Bierut #HOWLive
— Keith Smith (@Smitcat) May 6, 2015
— Tessamaria (@mariafullofmace) May 6, 2015
— Doug Peters (@lonestarpete) May 7, 2015
I agree! This is so perfect:
If the opportunity is a little scary and exciting at the same time, take it. Pushing past ‘comfortable’ is when magic happens. #HOWLive
— Jason Pamental (@jpamental) May 7, 2015
— moo.com (@MOO) May 7, 2015
“Pay attention to what you’re passionate about when no one is paying you.” — Jessica Walsh #HOWlive
— Chuck Borowicz (@chuckborowicz) May 7, 2015
— Shonnie L. Streder (@shonstre) May 7, 2015
— Tessamaria (@mariafullofmace) May 7, 2015
— Tessamaria (@mariafullofmace) May 7, 2015