It’s not my fault!

Yes it is! No, seriously, it really is your fault. You can make all the excuses you want to: Mr. Sonso didn’t get me the information I needed quick enough, the color scheme was all wrong, the VP refused to bend on the layout, the dog ate my homework, my homework tried to eat me, the planets weren’t in proper alignment. In the end, it’s still your fault so just accept the responsibility and make it better.

So how do you make it better?

Here’s a small list to get you going in the right direction.

  1. Own whatever you’re working on
    • Take ownership of the creamy goodness [or slimy porridge] and look at how you can make it better.
  2. Don’t make excuses starting out
    • Starting a project by making excuses is a bad sign
    • If you’re making excuses at the start you’re probably going to fail in a bad way
    • If you’re making excuses at the start you’re not prepared to fail in a good way
  3. Be ready to fail in a good way
    • If you’re ready to fail in a good way then you’re going to be able to learn from that failure and make the end product better
    • It’s O.K. to fail
    • Actually, it’s important to fail, in a good way, to advance whatever you’re doing
  4. Remember, it’s O.K. for something to just be good
    • You should always strive for great; but, you have to be prepared to just accept good

The difference between some one playing at being a designer, being a good designer, and being a great designer is the ability to accept fault.

A person playing at being a designer might have some graphical skills or can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. If you’re one of these, and be honest with yourself, I hope you not only take my words to heart; but, that you also find some one that is willing to mentor you. If you don’t, then you’re giving every other good/great designer a bad name and you need to stop. Accept that it is your fault that you’re a pretender and decide to either become a real designer or leave the business. We all started out talking the talk and had to learn to walk the walk.

If a person is good designer that means they can talk the talk, walk the walk but they won’t accept the fault. It’s always someone else’s fault that a design goes bad. The reality, is that it is your fault. Even if everything is against you in your design it’s still your fault. You should accept that you failed in some way, learn from the failure, and next round [or even later during the current project if you figure out a way] make it better.

If a person is a great designer they talk the talk, walk the walk, and not only accept fault but they embrace it. They look forward to failure. Not because they don’t want to succeed; but, because they do want to succeed. They don’t believe in “failure isn’t an option”. They don’t blame other people. They do accept that it is their fault, for the good and the bad.

So which are you, a pretender, a good designer, or a great designer?

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