Design Project Opportunity Analyzer

Should You Bid On It, Or Not? 17 Questions to Help Analyze a Design Project Opportunity

Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited said, “Systems run the business, and people run the systems.” I have taken this to heart and have seen the magic of a systems run business in my companies. We try to systemize everything! It is one of the only ways to create a business that runs independently from its founder. 

At RiSER, one of our systems helps us analyze project opportunities. Not every project is right for every agency. Unfortunately, we, like most agencies, have taken on projects that we shouldn’t have. We have felt the pain of working on a project that wasn’t the right fit for our agency. Even worse, we have been stuck in the middle of painful projects contracted to clients who we should have never said “yes” to working with.

Why do so many designers get stuck in the middle of ugly projects that make us question why we even work in this industry? Do we all have some deep rooted masochistic desire to inflict pain on ourselves? Not likely. Continue reading…

Think and Grow Rich

21 Principles of Leadership from Napoleon Hill

A big believer in self-education, I plowed through book after book while growing my business, thirsting for any nugget of advice that would help me solve the inevitable problem of the day. If sales were down, I’d read sales books. If we had management challenges, I’d read management books. If I was stressed out (usually), I would read motivational books. Once, I even read M.B.A. in a Box, which I purchased for next to nothing on the discount bin of an already discounted outlet bookstore. While many of these books offer a potentially life-changing insight or two, few of them are “must read” cover to cover. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, is one of the “must reads.” In fact, it is filled with so many pearls of wisdom that I dust it off for review every other year or so. Continue reading…

9 Shots of Inspiring Surf Art

For the past eight years my family has spent many summer months beach bumming in Hawaii. Kauai, especially, has forever captured a piece of our hearts and we usually find ourselves planning our next trip on the flight home from the current trip. The designer in me can’t get enough of the visual feast available in Hawaii. The landscape offers a wide array of colors, textures, and motion that are reflected in the surf art and logos that seem to be drawn, hanging, or stuck on every manmade structure.  Continue reading…

Wing it 'til you make it

Wing it ’til you make it

Following a lecture I gave at The University of Southern Mississippi back in January a student asked me the following question, “I’ve heard the phrase, ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ how much of that played into your success?” I responded to the question for a few minutes, but in short my answer was, “I never once ‘faked it.’ I did, however ‘wing it’ quite regularly.” Continue reading…

You can be employed and still be an entrepreneur.

You Can Be Employed and Still Be an Entrepreneur

A few months ago I had lunch with a soon-to-graduate college student looking for advice. He wanted so badly to launch his own company and had a few ideas in various phases of execution. I could tell from our conversation that he held “entrepreneurs” up on a pedestal. He made comments like, “I just struggle with the idea of working for someone else” and “I’d rather start my own business than get a job.” Continue reading…