"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
— Abraham Lincoln
When I landed my first design client in 2001, I had no idea the wild ride I was in for. In 2005 I dropped out of college for good to chase my dream of being a designer—I knew the road would be tough. I came really close to giving up in late 2008, and remember my (now) wife telling me to just put my head down and push through. A year later, I was settled in as the Art Director at a leading government affairs agency in DC, working with Fortune 500 clients. Two years later, I was Art Director at The White House. Lessons learned along the way: put your head down, don't panic, take risks, and work your ass off. I firmly believe that's the secret formula to get where you want to be. I'm proud to say I've worked with over 25 startups, 10 government agencies, 50 of the Fortune 500, 25 non-profits, and one President of the United States.
So, it's time to take another leap. It's with a great big ball of emotions that I'd like announce I'm venturing out on my own, full time. I'm excited to meet new passionate people and work on amazing projects.
Thanks for your support and to everyone who has encouraged me to take this step.
Join me for a two-hour session on the evening of April 10th in beautiful downtown Frederick for a talk and workshop on how to turn your good website into a great website. Costs $99, and includes free wine and beer. Sign up and get more details.
Part One: Talk (45 minutes)
- The three types of websites and how to upgrade yours
- What is great web content? What does it look like?
- How to create clear calls to action
- An introduction to analytics and how to use them to your advantage
- Integrating social media, and how one message can expose you to thousands
- Marketing with a real-world budget
- The power of word-of-mouth marketing
- Where to find the best paid help with your site
Break, Networking, Drink Refill (10 minutes)
Part Two: Workshop (60 minutes)
- In the workshop, each atendee will be given the opportunity to have their website pulled up on-screen, and open up discussion about how to take their site from good to great.
I remember when my first project launched. I expected some fanfare, and a couple hundred hits—you know for the first few slow hours after launch—but certainly a steady stream of thousands breaking down the door immediately thereafter.
In retrospect it was an egotistical and naïve thought process. Granted, I was still a teenager, and at the right point in my career for learning hard lessons.
Don't fall in love with your work.
Don't believe your own hype.
We all see cliché bullshit quotes so frequently that they become meaningless in passing. Sometimes it's hard to slow down and realize they're retold over and over because they're true.
Every once and a while one of these hits home for me. It would have saved a lot of heartache over the years. No pain, no gain, I guess.
Don't get it original. Get it right.
It feels entirely too short a time for a year to have gone by. It really just isn't fair.
Daily, I search for a way to freeze you in time, like a puppy. I take solace in that as you've reached a year, and your personality bursts through the shell of infancy, it's astonishingly clear how sweet and fun-loving you are. Qualities you undoubtedly inherited from your mom.
I look forward every day to your smiling wave and saying "hi" even though it's 5:19 PM, and you've said it fifty times already today. It's a constant that makes me smile every time, like your brother asking what we're having for dinner halfway through his breakfast.
Hi. Today is your 365th day. Happy birthday, little girl.
Click below to view the absurdly long photo.
Squarespace (who hosts this website) has done a really great job keeping customers informed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. They manually carried plastic buckets full of fuel up dozens of stories, through the night (!), to keep the servers online. I don't think I had any downtime at all. Their efforts have been amazing, and customers have been responding really positively on Twitter.
However, it does bring up a recurring question. Squarespace doesn't have any geo-redundant servers? That's news, and important news at that.
This is inspiring. Tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington, VA. during Hurricane Sandy.
I've always just incorrectly used hyphens - not knowing the keyboard shortcut for the correct em-dash.
Press Option + Shift + Hyphen at the same time.