This is something I definitely struggle with. By nature, I do not have the qualities that make a good salesman. I just don’t have what it takes to really sell. I’ve been around people who can, and it is quite something to behold, both the good and the bad. But in order to be a successful independent designer, you have to get your ideas out into the world somehow.
I’ve settled into what works for me. I’m probably not as reassuring as I could be in the beginning. And I don’t comfort as much as I could along the way. But having been on the side of being “sold to,” I try to stay away from wowing and zowing right off the bat. I prefer to underwhelm and over deliver, not the other way around. It amazes me the times the other way around works out for people. Sometimes I feel like that’s just the way of the world. That in order to get the “big fish” I need to focus more on the hot buttons, the buzz words, and the whatever else. Instead of the actual work, because who really cares about that anyway, right?
I digress. I actually don’t really feel resolved on this. More conflicted. Because I don’t think design is like plumbing. I think it’s more like a relay race. It’s a process that should be participated in by everyone. And everyone should know the discomfort that can come with it.
I don’t want to sell a song and dance. I don’t want to present this as easy, magnificent, and the answer to all your fears. I want to tell you what I know it is and what it can do. That’s it. My hope is that’s enough. And I hope that helps lead to those special relationships that are hard to come by. Grounded in honesty, with a good BS meter, and accompanied by a celebratory nature that only comes from being comfortable enough along the way to let everyone just do what it is they do.