Overcoming Procrastination, Money Problems, Self-Doubt & Other Creative Distractions | 99u.com


 

by Jocelyn K. Glei
Ilustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

As we turn the corner on the new year, it’s the natural time to start afresh. To make resolutions for things we will do differently, creative projects we will finally complete, old habits that we will shed. And yet, we rarely make good on these changes. Why?

Casting about for an answer, I stumbled onto this line from Chuck Palahniuk’s book Survivor: “People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”

Sure, it’s sounds a little ominous, but it’s worth thinking about. What if we really did clear out the clutter this year, so that we could face the incredible unknown of doing our greatest work? It’s a heady prospect.

As you contemplate your 2013 goals, we’ve rounded up some of the top challenges and distractions creatives regularly face — e.g. procrastination, self-doubt, money problems, bad habits, etc — and pointed you to some of our best tips on conquering them.

Creative Projects: Overcoming Procrastination and FINISHING!

How many years in a row have you resolved to “finally!” finish a big creative project? If you’re anything like me, the answer is “a few too many.” With any project — and particularly with side projects — the pull of our paying jobs, the pull of procrastination, the pull of playing it safe (by keeping our work to ourselves) is extremely strong.

To combat these alluring distractions, check out our piece on the ever-growing procrastination problem and tricks for combatting it, a look at the mental games we play that keep us spinning our wheels, and finally a step-by-step approach to finishing your labor of love.  >>>  Leer más “Overcoming Procrastination, Money Problems, Self-Doubt & Other Creative Distractions | 99u.com”

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How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client | ***POST DESTACADO***

I know it sounds a little bizarre. Why would anyone say Yes when they actually want to turn down. The thing is that saying yes in the beginning would make your no sound a little less offending. You can always say yes to a project but tell them that you are really over loaded with the work and they can contact you in a month’s time. You can also ask the client to get some work done for the project before you take it so that you can be sure if you can handle the project or not. This is a great way of saying No politely and you are also putting the ball back into the client’s court. However, this does not mean that you should lie about being busy. Use this strategy when you are actually busy.

Realize Your Priorities


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How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client

When you are working for someone, you do not have the liberty to say ‘NO’. However, one of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can always turn down a client or some project you do not want to work on. Having the liberty of refusing and having the ability to do so are two different things. As a freelancer if you are not going to refuse to some projects, you will be overloaded with the work you do not feel like doing and this will increase your work pressure and it will result into missing deadlines. Such things will affect the quality of your work. If a client wants you to design wall calendars for marketing and you want bigger projects like redesigning major e-commerce sites, you have to let them down gently so you can get the types of work you really want without tarnishing your reputation.

Turning down or refusing to anything is definitely a hard thing as you might think that you will offend others or hurt their feelings. But, sometimes this is a necessity. It is important for you to let people know that you are not ready to work for something you are not interested in and sooner or later people will realize that your refusal was for their own good. This will prove that you are an honest worker and you do not want to take on a job with which you cannot be loyal to.

You obviously cannot refuse every other assignment that comes your way just because you do not feel like working on it. In order to be able to pay your bills, you need to work on assignments that you do not feel like working but it is important. At the same time, you should know whether you would be able to handle the job or not. Also, if you are in a state where you can refuse projects you do not really like, do it without any feelings of guilt.

I know a lot of people who have issues in turning down a client as they are afraid they might end up hurting someone’s feelings. For such people we are enlisting essential strategies to turn down a client. I know they will work because I have tried them myself and since then saying no has not been so difficult.

Start off with Saying Yes… Leer más “How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client | ***POST DESTACADO***”

7 Common Project Management Problems (And How to Solve Them)

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t manage your projects, then you will struggle to achieve success.

To help you avoid that undesirable outcome, here are seven project management problems that designers and developers often face, as well as how to deal with them when they arise.

1. Your Client Gives You Vague, Ever-changing Requirements

Fickle clients can be a huge hassle. If a client doesn’t know what they want until a certain stage is complete, then schedule those decision points into the project as milestones. It is important to have a clear path mapped out from start to finish because it forces the client to be specific with their requirements, as well as keeping the project on track.

Be clear at the outset about what your task is going to be on the project and how much leeway is available. If you will need to be compensated for big revisions or changes in direction, then set a clear outline about the number of adjustments you can make before you need to charge more. If you can, quantify these adjustments with a number; it makes it much easier to keep track of things.
2. Your Client is Slow with Communication

People are busy, but it’s tough for you to move forward on a project if you can never get answers from the person you’re working with.

The good news is that you will drastically increase your response rate if you do a little bit of work ahead of time. Instead of waiting for the back-and-forth discourse to finally take place, simply start moving in the direction that you think is best and then seek verification. This strategy makes it easy for your client to quickly say yes (or no).

Here is an example:


by James Clear
http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/7-common-project-management-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t manage your projects, then you will struggle to achieve success.

To help you avoid that undesirable outcome, here are seven project management problems that designers and developers often face, as well as how to deal with them when they arise.

1. Your Client Gives You Vague, Ever-changing Requirements

Fickle clients can be a huge hassle. If a client doesn’t know what they want until a certain stage is complete, then schedule those decision points into the project as milestones. It is important to have a clear path mapped out from start to finish because it forces the client to be specific with their requirements, as well as keeping the project on track.

Be clear at the outset about what your task is going to be on the project and how much leeway is available. If you will need to be compensated for big revisions or changes in direction, then set a clear outline about the number of adjustments you can make before you need to charge more. If you can, quantify these adjustments with a number; it makes it much easier to keep track of things.

2. Your Client is Slow with Communication

People are busy, but it’s tough for you to move forward on a project if you can never get answers from the person you’re working with.

The good news is that you will drastically increase your response rate if you do a little bit of work ahead of time. Instead of waiting for the back-and-forth discourse to finally take place, simply start moving in the direction that you think is best and then seek verification. This strategy makes it easy for your client to quickly say yes (or no).

Here is an example: Leer más “7 Common Project Management Problems (And How to Solve Them)”

7 Secrets to Winning Better Projects — Faster

What do you do when a potential client calls you about a project opportunity? Do you know what questions to ask…and in what order? Do you know what “next steps” you’ll suggest based on the information you gather?

OK…so developing a sales process is not the most exciting activity in the world. But somewhere during my 11 years in sales, I came to the realization that even a mediocre process beats no process at all.

In fact, following a well-defined process can not only help you improve your sales effectiveness as a freelance professional, but it can also help you stay relaxed, boost your confidence and save you a great deal of time and effort.
Some Guidelines to Follow

The specific sales process you use should obviously depend on your specific profession, the type of work you do and the kind of clients you go after. But at a minimum, it should follow these simple guidelines…:


http://freelancefolder.com/7-secrets-to-winning-better-projects-%E2%80%94-faster/

 

What do you do when a potential client calls you about a project opportunity? Do you know what questions to ask…and in what order? Do you know what “next steps” you’ll suggest based on the information you gather?

OK…so developing a sales process is not the most exciting activity in the world. But somewhere during my 11 years in sales, I came to the realization that even a mediocre process beats no process at all.

In fact, following a well-defined process can not only help you improve your sales effectiveness as a freelance professional, but it can also help you stay relaxed, boost your confidence and save you a great deal of time and effort.

Some Guidelines to Follow

The specific sales process you use should obviously depend on your specific profession, the type of work you do and the kind of clients you go after. But at a minimum, it should follow these simple guidelines…: Leer más “7 Secrets to Winning Better Projects — Faster”

The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time | Copyblogger


The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time

by Laura Roeder

When I think about it, I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I was chatting with a woman with an interior design business about the changes she needed to make in her website. The conversation was going well — she loved all my ideas and was ready to rebuild her site.

I started getting excited, thinking I had found my next project. I was already putting together her proposal in my head. Then she uttered those dreaded words …

“I’d love to take you to lunch and pick your brain sometime.”

I didn’t know what to say or do. I felt my face turning red and I stammered out an excuse about getting back to her when I checked my calendar.

Requests for “brain-picking” are rampant in any business, and they’re never fun if you’re the one whose brain is being picked. It used to happen to me so much that I found myself becoming resentful.

Every time I spoke with someone new I heard a little voice in the back of my head saying “Ugh, I bet they’ll never hire you, they just want a bunch of help for free”.

That little voice was not very helpful for landing clients

If you’ve ever been in this situation, there is a way to turn this around. There is a way to handle these situations with grace and without frustration.

There’s even a way to make those freebie requests go away — or, even better, turn into paying clients.

It is your job, and your job alone, to set appropriate boundaries and clear up what you’re happy to give for free and what you charge for.

That might be hard to hear. But if you want to move through these situations with grace (and encounter them less often) you have to stop placing blame — and start making it a policy to get paid for your time.

Sound impossible? It’s not. Here’s how:

1. Take full responsibility

The most important thing you can do is stop being angry at the prospect for asking.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. If you were given the choice between getting a new computer for free or paying for the same computer, you’d pick free every time — and you’d never think about the company who doesn’t get paid for the sale. Why would you?

I know free is my favorite price for everything.

It is your prospect’s prerogative to ask for your time for free. Let me say that again — it is their prerogative to ask.

In fact, they’d be missing a golden opportunity if they paid for something when they didn’t have to. You can’t blame the prospect for taking the smart route.

You’re also missing the subtle compliment that goes with being asked for advice.

When someone asks you for your time for free, be grateful that they view you as someone who can offer valuable advice. Gary Vaynerchuk constantly says how grateful he is to get thousands of emails a day — he doesn’t take it for granted that every one of those people thinks that he is worth taking time out of their life to write to him.

Everyone asking for your time is already “sold” on you to a degree — they must be or they wouldn’t be asking you for more! Instead of viewing them as a dead-end cheapskate, see them as someone who is so invested in you that they’ll either be a potential client or a source of referrals.

2. Clearly establish your service offerings

Sometimes people ask you to work for free because you haven’t given them anything to buy.

When I offered web design I didn’t have any packages for ongoing support. I charged clients a per-project fee, and considered the project done when the client signed off on the design.

Invariably, people would contact me after the project was officially “over” with some tiny request — things that literally took 5-10 minutes of my time. Crafting a new invoice for this small request seemed silly, yet all of these requests were starting to seriously eat up my time.

I started to feel like I had to provide free service for life for each one-time purchase, and I felt like people were taking advantage of me when they asked for these small favors.

Looking back, I can see that they weren’t taking advantage of me. The issue was mine. I should have had a clearly-defined ongoing support package to offer in response to those requests.

That would have made things clear — either you had purchased my ongoing support or you hadn’t. As it stood, everyone was in the grey zone.

If you don’t like people asking for your time for free, but also don’t have any sort of well-defined offer in place to charge them for that time, the blame falls squarely on you.

vía The Simple Tricks Experts Use to Always Get Paid For Their Time | Copyblogger.

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This was a recent project for Adidas Originals


Adidas
Image via Wikipedia
Will try and get better pics soon.

This was a recent project for Adidas Originals. It is a 20’x5′ billboard design. It was showcased on their display at the Project, Las Vegas Show 2010 this month. The stipulations were to use the traditional Adidas blue and for the design to include the phrase “Celebrate Originality”.
Big thanks to HappyLucky.