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Business and Design Mindset

How having my own studio shifted my Design Mindset

While working for 10 years as a designer for various companies and design agencies I experienced the whole design process from A to Z. I did learn from every employer that I had, if not how to do then how not to do certain things or to act in specific situations.

What really gave me a push to pursue the road of opening my own studio was a study of that only a very small percentage of creatives work for someone who actually graduated from the discipline the business is operating. Indeed all of the founders I worked for (except my very first job as designer) were people with an education in management or general business/economy studies. And only after establishing my own studio I understood why. It is a completely different ball game.

The juggling of working IN the business and working ON the business is tough and long. That your creatives are good as hell doesn’t mean the client will choose you. The studio needs to communicate the pros of why good design matters and why hiring just someone to do the job doesn’t mean it will be a fruitful collaboration. Another aspect is the ability to network, and with that I don’t mean having a never ending list of designer friends, but a pool of connections from every possible type of business. Who either need your services themselves or can bring you in touch with colleagues from their field.

There are many more aspects such as surrounding yourself with the right people, who might not be designers, but will help you in fields you struggle with. Understanding that you can’t disappear in work – something that many creatives love doing, but rather taking the responsibility to keep the wheels rolling.

I can see why many creatives stumble over these important aspects, but if you manage to steer the wheel as a creative and business owner – magical things will happen and your team as well as clients will see the value this rare combination a studio is carrying.