Yes, I said it.

Without irony and without any negative connotation attached. 2010 was a rough year for many people and for a lot of businesses. For me, it was a year of profound and valuable lessons; personally and professionally.

In some ways last year was a big experiment. I got my feet wet on the social media circuit, learned no less than 5 new pieces of software, built  3 websites (I’m primarily a print designer, but, more about that in my next blog), I explored the pitfalls and potential benefits of both selling and inbound marketing and learned some essential Dos and Don’ts of business networking and building business relationships. I accomplished a lot, but not without falling on my face a few times and getting my feelings hurt on a few occasions. The important thing is that I took away something of value from each of those mistakes and guess what? I’m still standing.

In 2010 I learned that I’m really confident in my skills as a designer and business owner, but I’m really bad at telling people that. My years as a designer have taught me how to market and sell other people’s businesses really well, but implementing those strategies and skills for myself somehow seems like a much greater challenge. (I’ve heard other business owners say the same thing, so I know I’m not in that boat alone.) It seems there are two kinds of business people — those who are born knowing how to sell and the rest of us who, like it or not, have to learn how. Interestingly, I haven’t found any direct correlation between a person’s intelligence, skill level or social standing and their ability to effectively promote themselves, but I have found that people who are good at self-promotion tend to be successful, whether they are average in their field or exceptional. (Yes, you can insert your “no-duh” here.) Based on last year’s accomplishments, I know it’s completely doable, although I know it will be challenging. What isn’t? A friend’s posting on Facebook a few weeks ago read “When you hear someone say “Life is hard” are you not tempted to ask, “Compared to what?” So true.

2010 was about building a toolkit and learning the tools, this year is all about
implementation and learning how to effectively and genuinely self-promote.
I don’t see anything shameful about that.

I want to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2011. If you need any graphic design work, call me. Initial consultations and project estimates are free. If you know of someone who needs a designer, pass along my info and website link to them [].

I have a lot of experience in design and design processes, I’m really creative, reliable, easy to work with, customer service oriented, extremely organized and funny. I’m set up to work with clients locally and non-locally — so don’t let location deter you from contacting me if you need a graphic designer. Oh, and I have a brand spanking new monthly newsletter, Design Justice. It aspires to be informative and humorous and will include topics such as design, sustainability and creativity. You can opt-in here. Also, if you haven’t already, make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, too!

But that’s not all! If you’re one of the next 25 callers… ! (Just kidding.)

Happy New Year!!!