When last we spoke
I mentioned that I was changing my online persona from an ambiguous nome de plume to my real name because I wanted my blog to be taken a bit more "seriously". This post is the first in hopefully many more of the serious nature. And so...
I heard this phrase today: "You are your own worst client". The actual phrase was not said directed to me - quite the opposite actually. And it wasn't said verbatim. Change a couple of words and you get the idea. Regardless, it's totally true so don't focus on the minutia. Sometimes, you don't even realize it, but the first clue should be when you catch yourself in a spiral or never ending development - a project that "will never end".
Some of your clients are like that and you hate it! You give them Idea #1 and then they say they want different Idea - Idea #2. So you begrudgingly do it. Only days later to be told that really it should be Idea #1. Or more appropriately to the case at hand, they have an idea and a pretty sketchy concept of it but they say "You're the designer, make it look better." So you do. But then they see someone else's idea and they come back to you and say "Ooohhh, ooohhh!! Do it like this! This is what I want." All the while you're thinking, "Why didn't you say that?!" Only not as nicely.
We do this to ourselves. Sometimes you have an idea - an idea so profound that you just have to act on it immediately. Afteral, it's a GREAT idea. Except, it's not very well thought out and as you delve into it deeper it becomes increasingly clear that you're not doing it the "right" way. And so you have to start over. Usually you justlfy it by saying, "well, at least I learned something. I'll do it even better this time. It was a Learning Experience™."
Your client, when they do it, is thinking the EXACT same thing, except it pisses you off. And you just want to scream, "Why the F*CK DIDN'T YOU THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU WASTED MY TIME?!" Don't waste your own time. Think about what it is that you want to do first. This may take about a day to do. Maybe more - maybe less. But step away from your own problem and see if there is maybe another way of looking at it. Ask others - employees, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, family, friends - ask anyone who will listen but be sure to listen to what they have to say.
Just remember that you can always be your own worst client if you act too quickly. You will do things that you would curse if a client ever did it. You will do things that you would reserve for "client bashing" at the next company Christmas Party.
So, if you have an idea that you've thought through and slept on and you still like it in the morning - do it. But do it with conviction and then be sure to stick through it. Otherwise, you might as well fire your own ass and save your bitching for drinks at the bar - by yourself. on a monday. at 8:30am.
posted.by.me on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 @ 9:28:58 PM CT