Today I’m feeling thankful for the opportunities I have to meet the amazing individuals I call my clients. I have to admit that in this digital world, most of my communications with clients are via email. Sometimes we text each other, and other times we call. A few of them will meet me for coffee now and again. Still, more than half of my client list I’ve only met once, if at all. But no matter how often we see each other, and even if we’ve never actually met face to face, I feel so grateful to work with such fantastic people!
I love board games. We have a bunch of them at home, and we get new ones every year. And although I don’t win frequently, my family would most likely describe me as a competitive player… However, when it comes to doing business, I don’t play games. I strive to be as transparent as possible when I’m selling my services. I want to make sure my clients understand what I can do for them, BUT also what I can’t. I don’t like to exaggerate my abilities, nor do I like to sugarcoat my limitations. I’ve often been told I’m too honest—is that even a thing? Regardless, my work keeps increasing steadily every year. I am so proud of the business I’ve created and incredibly grateful for the amazing clients I have!
So, what’s your favorite board game?
I’m the kind of person who would rather buy a new tech gadget over jewelry, clothes or makeup. That’s not to say I don’t like shiny bling, new outfits or a fresh lipstick… but I just LOVE playing with new tech toys!
My latest purchase is the Qwertywriter S Keyboard, and I think it’s my favorite of them all! I am enjoying it so much that I think I’m going to send my old keyboard on a very long (probably permanent) vacation to storage island.
Here’s something that might surprise you… I actually had a typewriting class in middle school—I’m not that old, but I’m not kidding! The teacher used to play us audio clips of a man instructing us to press each key followed by the word “clack” after each letter. So it would be something like “A clack, S clack, D clack…” and it was absolutely hilarious at 13 years old. But eventually, my friends and I were typing at warp speed with covers over our hands so we could work without looking at the keys. And that’s why I knew I’d love the Qwertywriter!
It’s the best of both worlds. It feels like a real typewriter and it even has a working return bar. But it also has all the features we are used to from Bluetooth keyboards like controlling volume and brightness and using shortcuts. My favorite feature is that with a click of two keys I can switch from using it on my computer to using it on my iPad or on my phone. I’m not an
What tech gadget have you been playing with lately? I’d love to know!
This past weekend was the 11th Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour and one of their featured artists was none other than my good client, and great friend, Steve Tyson. I visited his studio on Saturday to show my support — and to stake my claim on the amazing teal painting he created for me last year, which was also on display.
I had such a good time admiring all the unique and vibrant paintings that were showcased. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with other friends of Steve that were also there to support him. It was so interesting to listen to Steve talk with the many art enthusiasts that visited his studio for the event about his style and the different mediums he used.
At the end of my visit, Steve and I discussed a book we both recently read, Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, which briefly talks about unity in one’s work. Kleon suggests we “don’t worry about unity from piece to piece — what unifies all of your work is the fact that you made it.” And I definitely think, that no matter how Steve’s art has evolved and changed throughout the years, you can surely see his own mark in each of his paintings!
So if you’re looking for a beautiful new piece of art, be sure to visit www.stevetysonart.com — but don’t forget, the teal one is mine!
I confess, most of my professional career I’ve felt like a fraud. I get uncomfortable when someone calls me an expert. Anxiety engulfs me whenever I’ve had to prove my professional skills or knowledge to someone because I don’t think I’m good enough — ever. Then a few years ago, while talking to my brother about everyday life and work, he confessed he felt the same way. Talking about it made us realize how silly we both sounded, so we went online to do research and quickly discovered that most people share these feelings about themselves too. It even has a name, the Imposter Syndrome.
It's almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I'm just going, 'Any moment, someone's going to find out I'm a total fraud, and that I don't deserve any of what I've achieved. I can't possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone's expectations of me are.'
According to Steve Errey (The Muse), the Imposter Syndrome is “that stomach-plunging fear that you’ll be revealed as a fraud who has no idea what they’re doing.” That could not ring any truer for me! I’ve always felt like I’m not as skilled as people think I am. Compliments make me uncomfortable because most times, I don’t feel deserving of them. I am acutely aware that I suffer from imposter syndrome, and I recognize behaviors in myself that are related to it. For example, I tend to over-prepare for meetings, I micromanage projects, and I’m a perfectionist in my design work.
What makes matters worse, we live in a world where technology changes in an instant, so it’s hard to feel that you are an “expert” in anything. Plus, we are all connected through social networks where everyone’s picture perfect profile makes them seem like they’ve got everything figured out, which in turn makes it very easy for us to compare ourselves to anyone we think is more talented or accomplished.
So how do we overcome it? To be honest, I’m still battling with it every day. And although it can be debilitating to live with, it has made me a better designer. I push myself harder, and I constantly try to improve my skills.
For those who suffer from Imposter Syndrome too, I’ve put together a short list of ways that may help you conquer it:
Realize that you are not alone.
According to John Gravois (The Chronicle of Higher Education), it is estimated “that about 70 percent of people from all walks of life — men and women — have felt like impostors for at least some part of their careers”.
Try not to focus on your shortcomings or failures.
When you fail, you learn and get better. Instead, focus on your achievements and the value you provide.
Try not to compare yourself with others.
Everyone has their strengths and abilities. Compete with yourself only!
Talk about it.
Discussing it with my brother made us both feel better about ourselves. Writing this article has also been cathartic. I feel like I own up to it now, so while I still don’t consider myself an expert in my field, I don’t feel like I’m hiding it anymore.
Last fall, I received an incredible surprise. My very talented friend, Steve Tyson, offered to create a custom, one-of-a-kind painting for me! I could hardly wait to see what his creativity conjured up. He asked for my input, and my only direction to him was that I liked teal and perhaps red as an accent color. I have never owned custom art, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, having seen other beautiful masterpieces that Steve has painted, I was confident that I would love mine. And I was right!
I received my painting in January, and a few months later I am still captivated by it. Just the other day, I noticed how right before sunset, the sunlight bathes over its surface reflecting a greenish blue hue all around the room. It’s lovely! It hangs on a wall right outside my home office, so I get to enjoy it daily.
I also had the pleasure of giving it a name. I titled it “Through the Waterfall” because it reminds me of a waterfall over a cave. Whether you’re staring at it from the outside, or from the inside of the cave, you can look through the pouring streams and see a glimmer of what’s on the other side.
If you don’t know who Steve Tyson is, then please visit his website at www.stevetysonart.com as soon as you finish this article! He creates unique, vibrant and colorful abstract paintings. You can see some of his amazing work on his site or you can commission him to create one for you too!
Steve also gifted me these awesome greeting cards with the painting on them!