Welcome to my blog!
I'm a serial entrepreneur and the Principal Creative at Whited Design Studio

A look behind

Don’t forget when you dreamed of the life you now have.

I was recently reminded that I am currently living my dream from six years ago.

I’m often so focused on moving forward and fulfilling the next goal, that I fail to see how far I’ve come.

Six years ago I dreamed of working as a full-time freelance designer.

That dream has now been realized!

By |2020-02-04T00:33:06+00:00January 13th, 2020|Writing|0 Comments

Selling a product vs. offering value

If you offer a product, you will sell it to people who need that product.

If you offer a solution, you will sell your solution to people who have a problem.

If you offer value, you will no longer need to sell anything.

Uber doesn’t sell transportation. They offer you time.

Amazon doesn’t sell products. They provide convenience.

Think about the service you offer from the perspective of the customer. How is it adding value to their life?

How can you explain that value to others?

By |2020-02-04T00:39:28+00:00January 10th, 2020|Writing|0 Comments

Becoming a graphic designer

$400 an hour. Nice!

I was halfway through a course on film appreciation at my local junior college, and we had a guest speaker who was a bona fide Hollywood film editor. She told us about the time she was paid $400 an hour to cut a movie. This was one of many reasons why I wanted to go into film editing.

Fast forward several months. I was engaged, about to get married, and was working a dead end job at a cable company making just over minimum wage (before taxes).

I wanted to pursue a career in film, but I had zero connections in the industry, no experience, and worse… no degree. I had to pivot fast.

A couple weeks after getting married I left the cable company and went back to carpentry which I had done for a number of years right out of high school. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it paid the bills.

I still wanted to do something creative, so I started dabbling with Photoshop, created a few mediocre logo designs, and setup an account on Elance (a few years before it became Upwork). I figured I could learn graphic design — how hard could it be.

Even now, I often hear aspiring designers echo my own thoughts from those days.

“I want to do something creative and work for myself while I travel and enjoy life.”

I feel an obligation now to tell them the truth… that they will probably end up working a part-time job just to keep eating. But I don’t. They’ll find out soon enough.

My part-time job was actually a full-time job, but it only lasted a year. During that time, I learned the software, bid on jobs, worked weekends and evenings, and made a lot of mistakes… like a lot!

It was a good time of learning not only design principles and the Adobe software, but also the basics of running a small business.

While I only made about $3,000 that first year from my graphic design work, it was the most satisfying $3,000 I had ever made up to that time!

In early 2015, I got my opportunity to go full-time with design.

Work in the trades had dried up, and I was sitting around home trying not to go crazy — so I found a part-time gig doing graphic design for a towel company in Novato, CA. Aside from that, I had also begun to figure out this bidding thing on Elance and was finally changing a reasonable rate for my design work (and I was actually getting work)!

Since then, things have been a blur. Every day is part of an ongoing learning process, and my freelance design practice is now a small design studio, headquartered wherever my two feet happen to be planted.

By |2020-02-04T00:44:39+00:00January 2nd, 2020|Writing|Comments Off on Becoming a graphic designer

Overcoming fear

Every year or so I decide to start writing.

Then another year goes by and I make that same decision again… but I never actually see it through.

Because of fear.

Fear that what I write will be cut down or that I will fall in other’s estimation of me. And that this will somehow lower the value of my existence.

But every time I try to create the best version of what others want me to be, I disappoint myself anyway.

I have decided to begin the new year and the new decade writing anything that feels right to me.

By |2020-02-03T23:36:36+00:00January 1st, 2020|Writing|Comments Off on Overcoming fear