Fire me. (How saying no gets you hired.)

“I think I just told my client to fire me.”

Over dinner, I was telling Rachel, my wife, about my day. I’d sent a really difficult-to-write email to my best client, telling them how the project they wanted to hire me to design was wrong for them…

Pixel Perfect

The elusive satisfaction of designing something great.

When was the last time you made a design that you felt was complete and truly perfect?

Feast (or famine)

How do you avoid the infamous cycle of feast and famine in your freelancing/consulting business?

That famine is one of the biggest fears in consulting. Every one of us faces it eventually.

I decided to put the task to my newsletter readers and asked how they avoid the inevitable period of slow or little work.

Here’s the advice I received from experienced consultants about how to prevent the famine.


How I launched a productized consulting service in 2 days that brought $15,450 worth of work in the first month

“Productized consulting” is the all the rage in the product and freelancing communities. You might be tempted to pass it off as merely a buzzword.

I felt the same way, so, as an experiment, I launched one of my own. What I learned is going to surprise you.

Content Mis-marketing

Why your level of enthusiasm will make or break your content marketing

With content and email marketing, so many of us miss the forest for the trees. You can write a newsletter and update a blog regularly but still completely miss the point of content marketing.

Think back to when you were a kid in school…

Why Write

How writing will make you a better designer

The great, revered designers in graphic design history created insightful, meaningful work that communicated.

Sure, it was beautiful. You can look at Lubalin’s typography work or Vignelli’s NYC subway map and marvel at the aesthetic qualities shown.

But these works aren’t famous merely because they are pretty…

Enter Madman

My business is crippled by fear.

That’s a common struggle, and I’ve written about that before. For founders, fear is a constant enemy. It gets in the way of decision making, shipping, or even quality of work.

But today I wanted to write to you about a different aspect of that fear.

Introvert or antisocial?

Introversion has become a major cultural topic. With popular books and lots of fanfare, quiet folks everywhere are feeling vindicated.

But if you lean toward introversion like I do, I have a word of warning for you.

I want to tell you a short story about how my introversion was involved in one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made running my business.

Product Chess

Chess predates modern civilization, and it’s lasted so long for a reason. Chess is the only game. Or that’s the way I see it.

Sometimes I wish that running a products business were more like chess.

In chess everything is on the board, visible. You and your opponent are equal—nothing is left to chance. I love chess because it weeds out the excuses…

Living the life

Recently, my friend Justin Jackson asked if I was working on products full time. When he learned I was, he said “Living the life, eh?”

That question completely caught me off guard, though Justin was just being friendly. I’ve never even considered that I could be “living the good life”—it’s not like I sit at the beach all day while heaps of passive income just roll in as if on the waves.