HEY THERE
ARE YOU SURE?
:(
“APPLY YOURSELF 
WITH SOME SERIOUS 
MOTHERFUCK-I-TUDE 
IN DIRECTIONS FOR 
WHICH WE HAVE NO 
ACCURATE 
MEASUREMENT. ! 
! 
I...
• Become a better 
human being. ! 
• Keep growing as a 
designer.! 
• Work towards my 
dream job.! 
• Make enough 
money t...
FREELANCE LIFE
EXPECTATION VS. 
REALITY
THIS IS REALLY HARD
THINGS I DO TO FIND 
PEOPLE WHO PAY ME
ASK FOR HELP
REACH OUT 
TO YOUR 
“NETWORK”
NETWORKING
TRY TO BE NICE ON 
THE INTERNET
REFERRALS. 
THEY’RE 
GREAT.
DO THE WORK 
YOU WANT TO 
GET PAID FOR
HOW DO I CHOOSE 
FROM ALL THE PEOPLE 
WHO WANT ME?
HOW MUCH 
WORK CAN I DO?
WHITE SPACE.
“The notes I handle 
no better than many 
pianists. But the 
pauses between the 
notes—ah, that is 
where the art 
resides...
NICK 
NICK
THANKS, ! 
BUT NO THANKS.
SAY NO TO THE MESS
“I can’t exactly describe our 
business model, it’s sort of like 
Pinterest meets Secret meets 
Foursquare.”
“Well the CEO has 
a different vision 
than I do, but I 
think together we 
can convince her 
I’m right.”
“ONCE THE 
DESIGN IS IN 
PLACE, WE’LL 
BE ABLE TO 
TALK ABOUT 
OUR CONTENT 
STRATEGY.”
SAY NO ! 
TO THE 
NARCISSIST
“You are very 
lucky to be 
working on 
this project, 
this is such a 
good 
opportunity 
for you.”
“I know 
exactly what 
the site should 
look like, I just 
need someone 
to bring my 
vision to life.”
A STORY 
ABOUT FAILURE
WOOD. THE 
ULTIMATE SYMBOL 
OF HEALTH.
old people, can you read this.
AWW YEAH 
SUNFLOWERS
RED 
ACCENTS 
CAN YOU READ THIS? 
DOESN’T IT HURT? 
EVERYWHERE
Let’s definitely get 
more people in here.
DANG
Doing good work is 
about finding a 
balance between 
humility and 
confidence.
“But they have so 
much money” 
“But they seem sexy and 
they will make me seem 
sexier” 
“They’re 
making a lot 
of promi...
BUT HOW 
DO I KNOW 
IF I HAVE 
THE RIGHT 
CLIENT?
PAPERWORK!
1. Questionnaire! 
2. Proposal! 
3. Contract! 
4. Deposit
THE 
QUESTIONNAIRE
WHO ARE YOU?
WHY ARE YOU 
DOING THIS?
HOW CAN WE DO 
THIS RIGHT?
http://goo.gl/4CXK0H
THE 
PROPOSAL
I GOT THIS
DELIVERABLES 
AND PROCESS
Chaos theory 
suggests 
otherwise.
HOW LONG IS THIS 
GOING TO TAKE?
1.2X LONGER THAN YOU 
THINK YOU CAN STAND
FEE SUMMARY & 
SCHEDULE
http://goo.gl/rfZS6e
CLOSE THE DEAL
http:// 
stuffandnonsense.co.uk 
/projects/contract-killer/
HOW DO I KEEP GOOD 
CLIENTS ONCE I FIND THEM?
STOP. COLLABORATE 
AND LISTEN.
To listen is to lean in softly! 
With a willingness to be changed! 
By what we hear ! 
! 
– Mark Nepo
THIS IS SO 
HARD
COMMUNICATE 
CONSTANTLY
DO! 
“STANDUPS”
I know. 
Don’t 
make fun 
of me.
IT’S HARDER 
TO EMPATHIZE 
WITH THOSE 
WHO APPEAR 
TO POSSESS 
MORE POWER, 
STATUS, OR 
RESOURCES.
BE 
HONEST.
ADMIT WHEN 
YOU’RE STUCK.
BEHIND INTIMIDATING MESSAGES 
ARE MERELY PEOPLE APPEALING 
TO US TO MEET THEIR NEEDS.
DOING THE 
WORK 
GETTING THE 
WORK DONE
“IN THE 
NEXT 20 
MINUTES, I’M 
GOING TO 
MAKE 
SOMETHING 
TRULY 
AWFUL.”
Don’t just give 
clients what 
they want.
What’s the most beautiful 
thing I can make that 
achieves the client’s goals?
THANK YOU
@OWLTASTIC! 
! 
OWLTASTIC.COM
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design
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Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design

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The lessons I’ve learned about getting the work I want, ensuring a project is a success, and getting paid for it when it's done. And how being a better business person has also made me a better human being.

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Be Less Terrible at the Business of Design

  1. 1. HEY THERE
  2. 2. ARE YOU SURE?
  3. 3. :(
  4. 4. “APPLY YOURSELF WITH SOME SERIOUS MOTHERFUCK-I-TUDE IN DIRECTIONS FOR WHICH WE HAVE NO ACCURATE MEASUREMENT. ! ! I’M TALKING ABOUT WORK. AND LOVE.”
  5. 5. • Become a better human being. ! • Keep growing as a designer.! • Work towards my dream job.! • Make enough money to one day do adult things.
  6. 6. FREELANCE LIFE
  7. 7. EXPECTATION VS. REALITY
  8. 8. THIS IS REALLY HARD
  9. 9. THINGS I DO TO FIND PEOPLE WHO PAY ME
  10. 10. ASK FOR HELP
  11. 11. REACH OUT TO YOUR “NETWORK”
  12. 12. NETWORKING
  13. 13. TRY TO BE NICE ON THE INTERNET
  14. 14. REFERRALS. THEY’RE GREAT.
  15. 15. DO THE WORK YOU WANT TO GET PAID FOR
  16. 16. HOW DO I CHOOSE FROM ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WANT ME?
  17. 17. HOW MUCH WORK CAN I DO?
  18. 18. WHITE SPACE.
  19. 19. “The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides.”! – Arthur Schnabel
  20. 20. NICK NICK
  21. 21. THANKS, ! BUT NO THANKS.
  22. 22. SAY NO TO THE MESS
  23. 23. “I can’t exactly describe our business model, it’s sort of like Pinterest meets Secret meets Foursquare.”
  24. 24. “Well the CEO has a different vision than I do, but I think together we can convince her I’m right.”
  25. 25. “ONCE THE DESIGN IS IN PLACE, WE’LL BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT OUR CONTENT STRATEGY.”
  26. 26. SAY NO ! TO THE NARCISSIST
  27. 27. “You are very lucky to be working on this project, this is such a good opportunity for you.”
  28. 28. “I know exactly what the site should look like, I just need someone to bring my vision to life.”
  29. 29. A STORY ABOUT FAILURE
  30. 30. WOOD. THE ULTIMATE SYMBOL OF HEALTH.
  31. 31. old people, can you read this.
  32. 32. AWW YEAH SUNFLOWERS
  33. 33. RED ACCENTS CAN YOU READ THIS? DOESN’T IT HURT? EVERYWHERE
  34. 34. Let’s definitely get more people in here.
  35. 35. DANG
  36. 36. Doing good work is about finding a balance between humility and confidence.
  37. 37. “But they have so much money” “But they seem sexy and they will make me seem sexier” “They’re making a lot of promises that sound pretty good”
  38. 38. BUT HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE THE RIGHT CLIENT?
  39. 39. PAPERWORK!
  40. 40. 1. Questionnaire! 2. Proposal! 3. Contract! 4. Deposit
  41. 41. THE QUESTIONNAIRE
  42. 42. WHO ARE YOU?
  43. 43. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
  44. 44. HOW CAN WE DO THIS RIGHT?
  45. 45. http://goo.gl/4CXK0H
  46. 46. THE PROPOSAL
  47. 47. I GOT THIS
  48. 48. DELIVERABLES AND PROCESS
  49. 49. Chaos theory suggests otherwise.
  50. 50. HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE?
  51. 51. 1.2X LONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU CAN STAND
  52. 52. FEE SUMMARY & SCHEDULE
  53. 53. http://goo.gl/rfZS6e
  54. 54. CLOSE THE DEAL
  55. 55. http:// stuffandnonsense.co.uk /projects/contract-killer/
  56. 56. HOW DO I KEEP GOOD CLIENTS ONCE I FIND THEM?
  57. 57. STOP. COLLABORATE AND LISTEN.
  58. 58. To listen is to lean in softly! With a willingness to be changed! By what we hear ! ! – Mark Nepo
  59. 59. THIS IS SO HARD
  60. 60. COMMUNICATE CONSTANTLY
  61. 61. DO! “STANDUPS”
  62. 62. I know. Don’t make fun of me.
  63. 63. IT’S HARDER TO EMPATHIZE WITH THOSE WHO APPEAR TO POSSESS MORE POWER, STATUS, OR RESOURCES.
  64. 64. BE HONEST.
  65. 65. ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE STUCK.
  66. 66. BEHIND INTIMIDATING MESSAGES ARE MERELY PEOPLE APPEALING TO US TO MEET THEIR NEEDS.
  67. 67. DOING THE WORK GETTING THE WORK DONE
  68. 68. “IN THE NEXT 20 MINUTES, I’M GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING TRULY AWFUL.”
  69. 69. Don’t just give clients what they want.
  70. 70. What’s the most beautiful thing I can make that achieves the client’s goals?
  71. 71. THANK YOU
  72. 72. @OWLTASTIC! ! OWLTASTIC.COM

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