I finally watched “Yesterday” last night and it was fantastic. Warm. Funny. Sweet. Incredibly enjoyable. Not at all cheesy or overdone. I had expected it to be cute but was totally enthralled.

I haven’t felt this way about a film in a long time.

“The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.”

do the work [photo of fire]

At some point this summer I read a Tim Ferriss transcript where he was talking to a coach about training the weakest arc of a movement to build strength.

While I was searching for the interview – which of course I didn’t bookmark, I’m getting better about it! – I found this article on mental toughness. In it, former men’s gymnastics national team coach Christopher Sommer talks about breaking through frustration and committing to a long-term goal.

I love this:

The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.

A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge.

Refuse to compromise.

And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.

Coach Christopher Sommer, talking to Tim Ferriss. Read the full article here.

I’ll be honest:

One of the biggest things I struggle with is the consistency necessary to get to the result I want, particularly with my own projects.

It’s easy to show up for my clients, for other people, but when it comes to showing up for myself…

I’m not awesome at committing to a personal goal and then showing up every single day to get my shit done, rain or shine.

I get overwhelmed easily by the road ahead, by everything I haven’t done up to this point to set myself up for success.

I get stuck in the planning phase and don’t take action.

And when I do take action, I get frustrated easily when I don’t IMMEDIATELY get the results I want. I beat myself up. I lose motivation. I decide to do more research instead of showing up to do the work.

And then I give up because it’s easier than failing …and pretend like that’s not failure.

But I’m trying to learn. To be kinder to myself. To set the goal but love the process.

To show up every day and do the work.

How about you? What helps you stay motivated and take action when you get overwhelmed?

[IMAGE: A photo I took of my campfire while camping in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. I had just upgraded to a Nikon D7100 and oh boy was she fun to play with on that trip.]

do the work quote pin

Sweater Weather and Showing Your Work

We didn’t have much of a summer in the PNW this year. I’ve been missing Austin a bit, then I remember:

In Austin, Texas there is no such thing as a summer where you only have maybe 10 days where it gets over 90 degrees.

I owe that town (and the people in it) a visit… when it’s cooler.

Speaking of people in Austin, over the last few weeks I have been reading Austin Kleon’s books on art, writing and creativity. They’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself (and I do).

I started with “Show Your Work”, which I plucked from a library shelf because I liked the title and the small square size.

Then I immediately checked out “Steal Like an Artist” and “Keep Going” because I have no chill… and bought the “Steal Like an Artist Journal”.

This year has been one of change, and one of the things I’ve realized is just how bad I have been at showing my work. Especially professionally.

Over the last 10+ years I’ve built dozens of websites, funnels, sales pages. Split test thousands of headlines. Sent millions of emails and newsletters. Written more copy than I can possibly remember. Created heaps of social media posts. Designed stacks of graphics, logos, banners, brand identities…

And yet all my public portfolio has in it is a handful of posts from nearly three years ago.

Today is the day I start to change that.

It’s time to show my work.

[IMAGE: Woodblock print in black on thrifted baby sweater vest. Carved and hand printed by me a couple weekends ago.]

I Love Fall Booties (and Email Design)

email newsletter copy

Working on designing a bevy of October and fall emails this week. I love designing graphics for fall… orange is my favorite color and I love the muted earth tones that come with fall email campaigns!

So here’s a quick preview of an image from the fashion email newsletter I’m working on today.

This campaign is definitely making me want to buy some boots… I have a weakness for fall booties. Hopefully it works for their customers as well!

Up next: a fall specials brochure design for the automotive industry and a PowerPoint presentation that has nothing to do with fall but is a fun design job anyway.

EMAIL DESIGN: Automotive Marketing

I’ve been working for the automotive industry for more than a year now and it’s still not a design style that comes very naturally to me. I personally default to clean, minimalistic design and typical automotive design is anything but that. It’s fun, though… and an interesting way to expand my graphic design skills!

This automotive email for a Texas Chevy dealership is one of several dealership email designs I’ve done in the last week or so. It’s kind of fun layering all the images and color together to create a design that has that “car sales” feel while still being easy to read and navigate.

The first send had a low open rate but a 8.65% click thru rate… we’ll see how the second send does later this week!

automotive industry graphic design