I had a business coach during the first year I started the studio. I was doing a small amount of business, had a few steady clients, and was really focused on growing. I wanted the studio to become something bigger. The business coach was a resource that I needed at the time to meet that goal.
While I’d love to say that resource made all the difference in the world, it didn’t really work out the way I thought it would. I’m not sure exactly what I was looking for, but the end result was a bit lack luster. Much of what I learned during that time I have since forgotten. Yet, there is one thing that has stuck with me from that period. Something that at first seemed innocuous, but ended up being a small diamond in the rough.
We all have those moments of insecurity and doubt. Those points where we feel like at any moment we’re going to be exposed as having no talent or that we’ll end up being complete failures.
During one of our discussions I think I was talking about any one of my weird insecurities when it comes to my skill as a designer, fear of failure, lack of business acumen—I can’t remember exactly which it was (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, though). My coach patiently waited for me to finish my thought and then told me that whenever he felt low or was questioning his relevance, etc. he would ask one simple question to put all of his doubts into perspective—”Is it true?”
It’s a simple question, but one that gets to the heart of things. We all have those moments of insecurity and doubt. Those points where we feel like at any moment we’re going to be exposed as having no talent or that we’ll end up being complete failures. These are common fears that most designers go through. It’s not unique to just me or you.
When we get to these points, slowing down and asking the simple question, “Is it true?” can be a way to level out that imbalance. The chances are that these concerns are simply irrational, and the fears are not true. We just have to be brave enough to ask the question and courageous enough to honestly accept the answer.