Progress starts with a desire to develop yourself. You need to become a greater version of yourself every day. Laziness and complaining won’t help you make progress, it wastes energy and time. Once you start it becomes easier and you gain confidence and move forward.
“Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something
you attract by the person you become.”
– Jim Rohn
You need to have a willingness to learn and grow. Progress takes time, starting now will make a difference in your future. I’ve listed ways that I use to make progress.
Invest in knowledge
Knowledge is the key to expanding your mind, it increases your capacity think creatively add more value to your life. The more knowledge you have, the more successful you will be. The best way to consume knowledge is through books, podcasts, webinars, courses, videos and blogs. Once a day you should be consuming from at least one form of content. On the train to work, at the coffee shop, on your lunch break or before bed, whenever you can, use your time to learn. It can be overwhelming due to the amount of information we find, consume what is relevant to you. If you’re passionate about something, you would want to get better. Spend money if you have to obtain the best content and apply yourself to it. Quality content that brings value to you consistently will make you grow into a good designer and be wise with your creative business.
Progress requires deliberate practice, energy, and time. The more you show up every day, the faster you will see progress in your work. The famous author Malcolm Gladwell, says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. You have to put in the hours every day, even when you don’t feel like it. If you’re not creating something every day you will fall behind. Purposely set time each day and week to design projects. Personal projects are the best way to practice, try not to copy other designer’s work, you want to produce ideas from your own mind. It allows me to be creative and work on things I enjoy without any risk attached to it. If you work full-time or have obligations, block some hours in the night or early in the morning to practice, even if it’s an hour it’s worth it. If you can stay dedicated to practicing every day you will definitely get noticed, improve your portfolio and provide yourself with opportunities.
Focus on strengths
Having self awareness of your strengths will help you focus on the things that you can improve. If you worry about what you’re not good you will burn out. Focusing on one thing helps you niche down and become a master of a specific field. It’s better to be a master of one thing than be a jack of all trades. When you become known for something you gain better and higher paying clients. When you’re first starting out it’s ok to experiment. There are many fields of design, branding, illustration, photo manipulation, web design just to name a few. Find what you are good at, what you enjoy and go all in. If you do this you’re more likely to do your best work. When you focus, you will see improvements in your work a lot faster.
Having a positive mindset will allow you to push past your fears and self doubt. Complaining won’t help you become a better design. Having a winning mindset and speaking positive affirmations about yourself will help you gain confidence. You have to believe in your creative work. If you don’t value your own work other people won’t either. With confidence, you will start sharing your work often and you will see yourself progress. Everyone starts with bad work in the beginning but with patience and hard work you can do great work. When you shift your mindset you will take greater risks, leading to more opportunities.
Feedback helps you see your work from a different perspective. Mastermind groups, mentors, accountability partners and sharing your work with people in your industry will help you get the right feedback. Don’t get feedback from your mum or friends, they will always say it’s good! It can be scary putting your work out there at first but when you allow people to give you critique you can see what’s working and what’s lacking. Don’t ever take critique personally I always see it as a benefit to be greater at my craft. Talk to people who have been in your position before, who have done successful work, they will give you sound advice. Don’t always see likes on social media as good feedback, it can be deceiving.
– Gain knowledge and apply it to your work
– Designing everyday speeds up your progress
– Focus on one thing, become a master of a skill / style
– Find a mentor to provide feedback