Thoughts on building and growing online businesses.
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How designing your ideal week can increase your productivity (and sanity).

Posted on February 28, 2015 in business, productivity, systems | 24 comments

“You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others. The first approach is proactive; the second reactive.” — Michael Hyatt I love that quote by Michael Hyatt. I had googled “design ideal week” and stumbled upon his post: How to better control your time by designing your ideal week. I’ve been planning a week ahead  of my schedule for the last year or so… but what I hadn’t really realized is that I...

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The importance of presenting your work to clients: A live chat with Dennis Field

Posted on February 12, 2015 in behind the scenes, business, design, digital strategy | 0 comments

This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Dennis Field, a designer, micropreneur, educator, and most recently Enterprise Evangelist at InVision, an application that helps designers prototype and present their progress to clients. This interview was originally recorded for Digital Strategy School, but there were so many good nuggets here that I decided to share it openly, and to give people a sense of the kinds of conversations we have in DSS. We talk about the transition from pixel-pushing designer to strategist, the importance of...

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Proposals, products, process, and workflow: Interview at Nusii.com

Posted on January 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“If ever there was an example of a design entrepreneur, then Marie Poulin is that example. She’s already enjoyed a successful freelance career, working with clients that most would give parts of their anatomy to collaborate with. But now Marie is embarking on a different path, the lesser traveled road of products. Marie recently took the time to tell us all about it. Grab a coffee and enjoy the interview. You’ve gone from freelance designer to multi-product entrepreneur. What prompted the change and what have been some of the...

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Digital Strategy School Scholarship Winner(s)!

Posted on January 9, 2015 in business, design, digital strategy | 5 comments

Wow, I had no idea I’d get so many fabulous applications for the Scholarship (there were 42, and I read every single one!) There was no easy way to choose based on best fit or application, so I decided used random.org to level the playing field! There was however one absolutely STAND-OUT application, and in the end I decided to award her a full Mastermind Scholarship. SO, I’ve awarded 2 scholarships: 1 Full Mastermind, and 1 Go Solo. Winner (Go Solo): Amanda Schoolfield Congratulations! I’m so excited to meet you and have...

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Full Scholarship for Digital Strategy School! (closes Friday Jan 9, 2015)

Posted on January 7, 2015 in business, design, digital strategy | 0 comments

I would love to help a fellow creative kickstart their business in 2015 with a scholarship to Digital Strategy School. If you’ve heard about Digital Strategy School and believe that the program is aligned with the direction you’d like to take your business, I invite you to send in an application. Course begins on January 16th, 2015 and runs for 6 months. Criteria Anyone is welcome apply, but I will select someone based on a few criteria: Best fit for the program Financial need Demonstrated potential Interest or activity in the field...

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2014 Year End Annual Review

Posted on December 21, 2014 in behind the scenes, business, life | 8 comments

Wow, 2014. What an amazing year it’s been. It was so interesting to look back at my 2013 review to see where I had actually followed through (or not) on my goals. It’s really amazing how much can change in a year, and I’m excited to go through this process each year in December. (Partly inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review) This is from last year’s post: In creating a Limitless 2014, my theme for the year will be: Abundance + Opportunity. I want to let go of and stop doing: rush work, favour work, working on weekends + evenings,...

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Proposal Makeover #1: Brigitte Theriault, White Apron Chef

Posted on December 6, 2014 in behind the scenes, business, case study | 2 comments

If you work in a service-based industry, you’ve likely had the distinct pleasure of putting together a proposal or two for your clients at some point or another. And by pleasure I mean stress, yes? I’ve written, designed, and received many, many proposals in the last decade or so. I’ve seen really well-designed but poorly written proposals, and I’ve seen really high value proposals put together in a simple Word or Google doc. Your proposals are a powerful device to set expectations, and make a killer first impression. Are you using them to...

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Why you need to design the experience of working with you

Posted on November 9, 2014 in behind the scenes, case study, systems | 17 comments

Have you ever thought about what it’s like to work with you, from your client’s perspective? From the first email, to the content revisions, to your invoicing and hand-off package, have you thought about how your clients experience working with you, whether they are delighted or inspired, frustrated or confused? Often designers don’t realize how their communication throughout a project impacts their client’s experience. And client experience is the one thing you have to get right, because business is all about people, and you can’t build a...

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The Art and Science of Succeeding as a Designer

Posted on October 25, 2014 in business, design | 0 comments

Join me for a free Webinar this tuesday October 28th, 11am PST with Bryce Bladon of Clients from Hell: The Art and Science of Succeeding as a Designer DURING THIS FREE WORKSHOP WE COVER: Systems and philosophies that help you create value, do well, and be happier. How to work smarter and not harder. Learn to get out of the freelance hamster wheel, striking “overwhelm” from your vocabulary, and making time for your passion projects. How to create real value for others by listening to the market, & giving others what they truly...

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Behind the scenes: building an online course

Posted on August 16, 2014 in behind the scenes, case study, design | 5 comments

Some of you may know (from Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest) that I’ve been working on an online course, Digital Strategy School. It’s a design business accelerator for freelancers who’ve had a few years of experience working for themselves, but are ready to run their businesses more strategically. This has been one of the most personally rewarding projects I’ve ever taken on, and wanted to share some of the things I’ve been learning along the way. Perfectionism is crippling. Take imperfect action. I was terrified...

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