Circles Conference Giveaway!



Have you been hearing the buzz about the Circles Conference for designers yet? Well, it’s THE conference for the creative community. Oh, and I’ll be speaking at it. So will Jessica Hische… no big deal. (For those of you who don’t know this is a really big deal. I’ve admired Jessica’s work for years and am so excited to finally meet her.)

I’m going to be sharing my behind-the-scenes journey from blogger to business owner, defining your niche, embracing your expertise, attracting your dream customer, blending your personal brand into your business, shaping the content you share and showing a process for what you do, so you can sell yourself better as a creative and act like a creative expert, not an order-taker. Which all boils down to not just designing great logos but designing your dream job.

The Circles Conference will be in Grapevine, Texas on September 18 and 19. And I’ve got two tickets to give away!

Enter to win a ticket to the Circles Conference:
• Follow Circles on Twitter or Facebook
• Leave a comment here telling me your biggest challenge as a creative.
• Be sure to leave a valid email address!
• Two winners will be picked by random from qualifying comments the morning of Wednesday, April 16th

  1. Erin DeMoss

    My biggest challenge as a creative is making sure I don’t get stuck repeating the same designs over and over. I’m constantly thinking of new ways to show the same product without it getting stale.

  2. I will be hanging out with Kathleen Shannon… No big deal. 🙂

  3. My biggest challenge is the temptation to never be satisfied with what I have done already or where I’m at in my career. I think being ambitious and pursuing goals is great, but, for me, there’s a fine line between that and being discontented in the wrong ways. I don’t know if that is more of a personality thing or not. It’s such an intricate aspect of the work that I do that I don’t think I could separate it from personality or being a creative.

    P.S. It’s super cool that you are doing this giveaway. That’s really nice of you.

  4. There are limitless possibilities in creating a solution – knowing when to stop and fully commit to the final iteration of a work is my greatest challenge.

  5. Maxim

    The biggest challenge I have as a creative: is keeping a balance of buy-in, iteration, and inclusion from other creatives in large-group collaborative design projects.

  6. As a designer of software (though I feel this applies to all disciplines) I find my biggest challenge is balancing the wants and needs of the user, the client, the developers and the designer(s). It’s a bit like herding cats to find a cohesive vision, a common goal that will ensure the project’s success without leaving one or more parties to feel ignored or devalued. The design itself is often the battleground where the war is fought, and so often it’s the design, in the end, that suffers the most.

  7. As a younger design, so far I’d say the biggest challenge has been knowing where to go with design in my career (web vs product vs branding, etc…), and then also staying true to your core principles while also trying to deliver a solution to a client that you’re proud of and that the client actually likes. It’s that check n balance, yo.

    • Sara Berkes

      Kuu I totally relate to your trying to figure out where to go with design… right now I’m saying “yes” to everything in the hopes of figuring out what I’m most excited to do / not so excited to do so I can really narrow down my expertise! It’s tough though—it’s a little scary to think you may be alienating customers by narrowing!

  8. Did I make something today that was better than I made yesterday? Bettering yourself, rather than comparing yourself to others.

  9. As one who is relatively fresh in doing their own thing, it’s hard for me to pick just ONE. I often feel like there are SO many challenges that even deciding which one to focus on is difficult. I know I have a lot to learn and grow from and being able to balance all the grey areas with actual profitable client work is one if the biggest hurdles.

  10. My biggest challenge as a creative is…me.

    I’m sure many creatives can relate to the energy & strength it takes to make ideas come to life—I love the challenging process—but it becomes damn near impossible when I let the gremlins tell me, “You’re not good enough, Emily”, “What makes you feel you can pull this off?”, “If you don’t follow through, no one will believe in you.”

    & ironically, the mental chatter that seems would drive me to step it up is exactly the conversation that blocks me from letting my creativity flow.

    What is a creative challenge for you, Kathleen?

  11. Sara Berkes

    My biggest creative challenge is avoiding the comparison spiral. I follow so many inspiring designers’ blogs and sometimes I get a bit bogged down in thinking “I’m not as good as them so why am I doing this again?” Usually that’s the cue to step away from the computer and go for a run. I read a quote on Pinterest (another trap for the spiral) that said ” Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” and it really struck a chord with me. But sometimes I still need to remind myself that I’ve got something to offer too!

  12. My biggest challenge as a creative – right now (there are always new challenges!) – is deciding the best path and way to grow. I like many aspects of the freelance lifestyle but realize that there is a limitation to what I can do on my own and continue to make more money with each passing year. Do I bring on more designers and collaborators to take on bigger clients and projects or stay where I am until I figure out the best channel of growth for my creativity? Decisions, decisions!

  13. I think my biggest challenge is not being afraid to say, “Hey, I’m a creative person and I’m a designer.” Without the technical education, I sometimes feel like I’m not good enough, and I get very scared to really put myself and my stuff out there. I need to get over the what-if-they-don’t-like-it fear because who cares who they are and if they like it.

  14. Biggest challenge as a solopreneur designer is balancing the business and the creative work. I’m finding that both are equally creative, but take a completely different mind space so it’s figuring out the ways to give attention to both so they grow equally.

  15. My biggest challenge as a creative is understanding that ROI matters more than my taste. That did it work, did it accomplish the desired and agreed upon goal makes it the best and right communications/design decision.

  16. Right now my biggest struggle is creative A.D.D. I’ve got too many ideas and not enough time and the constant flow of new plans distracts me from finishing projects! I really shouldn’t be complaining about having idea overload, but it’s hard to pin down the good ones and run with them and actually finish when every idea seems like the next cool thing I should be doing RIGHT NOW while I have the inspiration. I’m doing my best to say “No working on THAT idea until THIS idea is finished” but it is oh-so hard and I don’t want to lose all of that energy I get when I first get the idea.

  17. Amanda

    My biggest challenge right now is time management – procrastinating, wasting time, not prioritizing. It all became very obvious when I had a child almost 3 years ago, thinking I could stay home with her AND still keep my freelance business going part-time. I feel like no matter what I’m doing, playing or working, my mind is always somewhere else – split right down the middle. I’m constantly striving for some kind of balance though and am getting closer every day.

    Thanks for the opportunity for the free ticket, so fun!

  18. My biggest challenge as a creative is slowing down! I thought it would get better if I could just ‘find my focus’…turns out that only drives you more. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to work at it, like yoga and meditation.

  19. Oh, I sure heard about it! I’m dying to go, but not sure yet… (of course, the doubt will be gone if I win this one =D ).

    My biggest challenge as a creative is probably to define my passions and make them work together. Letting go of any of the areas I love the most is difficult. And because of that, making the next big move isn’t happening. I am slightly stuck until I can strongly define my business self and what I really want. Because I don’t want to be making plans and then change things all over again (as I’ve done more than once).

  20. My biggest challenge as a creative is focus. I have so many ideas that when I start to execute on one I have a newer more awesome idea and want to start on that and then projects never get finished. I’ve been working really hard this year not to start new projects before others are done and to focus on the tasks at hand.

  21. Jess

    My biggest challenge as a creative is trusting my own priorities. I find myself doubting my voice, my work, and my reasons for creating in the first place. Am I being too sensitive and emotional in my writing about our work? Does anyone else care about the genuine experience I am trying so hard to create, or do they just want to see the flashy end result? I want my creativity to do good for the world, not just let me travel, make me money, etc (those things are just the bonuses). Which is why I’d LOVE to hear from you, and all of the other speakers at Circles.

  22. Jill

    You lucky girl!! I too have been a huge fan of Ms. Jessica Hische (and YOU!) for years now. I’m so excited for you and this amazing opportunity to share your journey and expertise! Your planned talk sounds fabulously interesting!

  23. mai

    my biggest challenge is finding the time! i have a corporate 8-5 job, and train for triathlons after work/on weekends. i am constantly gathering inspiration, but struggle to find time to sit down and create.

  24. Jeremy

    My biggest challenge as a creative is switching between multiple projects, while maintaining enough creative focus/energy on each one. It’s difficult to “turn off” one project in my mind, and then switch to another and be fully productive and creative.

  25. One of my biggest challenges as a creative freelancer is not worrying about where my next job is coming from but instead focusing on my present job/client. Also, my husband and I are both creatives and we own a creative business together so that is a challenge in itself for both of us!

  26. Julie

    My greatest challenge as a creative is overcoming self-doubt, frequent questions such as “is my work good enough” and “have I interjected too much of my personal style into this body of work” plague me at times. Fingers crossed for Texas in September!!

  27. My biggest design challenge is always trying to have a piece of myself in everything I design. It is the inner conflict of designing for both my client and myself; having a piece I can be proud of when the job is done, if it is ever done!

  28. My greatest challenge as a creative is the feeling that I produce work that is just **okay** even though the clients always seem to love it. I feel like I can change this by focusing more on **my** work rather than clients, making things that I want to make how I want to make them.

  29. Carrie

    I think I have to second what Emily Watz said. I am my own biggest challenge. Some days I feel like a badass that is capable of amazing things, but sometimes I feel like a fraud. I set high expectations for myself and when I don’t meet them I tend to get really down. I am my worst critic.

  30. Mollie

    YESSSSSS I’ve been planning on going. I’m scared!

    My biggest challenge is never being satisfied and changing my mind constantly. And comparison (yes, I know thief of joy blah blah).

  31. Amy

    That’s AWESOME that you’re speaking! What an incredible opportunity.

    My biggest challenge as a creative is diving in. I get so caught in the “perfection paralysis” that I kind myself not even starting for fear of it not turning out perfectly. Done is better than perfect is a daily mantra. 🙂

  32. My biggest challenge is all.the.ideas. I feel like my brain never shuts down. It’s hard to balance the content creator and the designer. I love designing, and it pays my bills, but I also love creating content for myself. But it usually gets pushed to the back burner in favor of completing client work (and getting paid!). I’m trying to learn to be ok saying no to design work unless a project really excites me, so that I can start having a more healthy balance to pursue other ideas that really excite me as well.

  33. alicia

    Ahhh Circles, I would love to goooo <3
    It's difficult to pick just one challenge…I feel like as a freelancer there is constantly new hurdles coming up, some easier then others 🙂 Although I feel like I am a "decent" designer I find it very difficult to put myself out there and self-promote.
    I also feel lost a lot of times. I love what I do and I know I am on the right path, however I am not sure where that path is taking me. i have a bunch of clients but they are not my dream clients. Then again, who is my dream client?! There is so many different routes you could take as a designer and it's a little overwhelming sometimes, not knowing what to pursue or being to scared to commit to one path.

  34. Circles is close to home, and I would love to go! My biggest challenge as a creative is moving the ideas from my head to a project created, a blog post, or some kind of concrete thing that I can share. Ideas swim around all the time, but choosing which ones to just take the leap on is the hardest part.

  35. Erika

    My biggest challenge right now is time & balancing it!
    I have a full-time job as a Senior Designer, but have recently started creating self-initiated work in hope of steering toward the type of work I would ultimately like to do. Designing/creating outside of my day job has left me struggling to maintain a good balance of everything else that is life. Anyway, maybe I’ll be able to get some good tips @ Circles! (wink wink)

  36. Aubrae

    I might have creative manic-depression – is that a thing??
    I get so much creative energy from beginning a new project. That energy breeds more ideas and new projects. So I start another, and then another, until I am suddenly overwhelmed at the time and energy it will take to complete them all. So I slog to the finish line, then enter a period of creative hibernation. Hmmm… Maybe I need a shrink instead of a conference!

  37. Kristin

    Lately, at the end of everyday I find myself saying, “Where did the day go?” There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all I want in 24 hours. I want to be a bad ass creative, but that clock loves to laugh at me and put me in my place. That’s the biggest strug, figuring out the daily grind.

  38. Oh wow! I would LOVE to go to this conference! I would say my biggest challenge is time management on creative projects. 🙂

  39. Jamie

    I want to go to Circles. Like bad. Awesome that you’re doing this giveaway. And speaking at the conference.

    Biggest challenge as a creative. Hmmm. “The Overlap” can be a little overwhelming sometimes. I work with my husband, and we have a 2-year old son. Sometimes we’ll be taking a family walk along this beautiful creek near our house and my hubs is like, “you know, you haven’t talked about anything but business this entire time, right?” It can be tough to “turn off” the creative/business side of me and just soak in the life stuff sometimes.

  40. This is a treat – my Creative Betterment gals and I have discussed this conference in great detail!

    The great Creative Challenge. For me, it’s making the time to design something for MYSELF. Whether a badass concert poster, a logo redesign for a brand I care about or Photoshopping my 2-year-old nephew into funny scenarios, I need to remind myself constantly to design something fun for ME. Not a client, not my boss…Me.

  41. My greatest design challenge is finding focus to sit down and complete a project in full. I often get distracted by my phone or social media….need to find a balance for sure.

  42. Amazing giveaway! My greatest challenge has to be finding a way to stay true to my creativity and my art while still trying to make money. Doing both is so difficult! 🙂

  43. My biggest challenge is making time to connect with other creatives. This conference would be a perfect opportunity! Thanks!!!

  44. Laura

    My greatest challenge is prioritizing/procrastination. I have the tendency to prioritize the things that I want to do, not the things I need to do. And then, inevitably, either I’m under-prepared and disappointed with the result or overwhelmed by a looming deadline.

  45. Emily

    My biggest challenge: knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes I get in super-drive mode and have to reign it in. Like whoa.

  46. Kris

    My biggest challenge as a creative is trying to figure out what kind of work I want to do and how I want to position myself . . . hence, my reading of your sites.

    ps — do you know this site doesn’t have a favicon ? or at least it doesn’t show up for me ?

    • Uh oh! I’ll get on that. Thanks!

  47. Circles! Amazing! Being pretty fresh to this industry I’d say right now my biggest challenge is finding my path. There are so many different types of environments to work in; big firm, boutique agency, full-on freelance; I don’t even fully know my own style yet so I don’t know what to pursue! It’s a challenge but also an amazing opportunity!

  48. My biggest challenge is patience. I just want to go go go all the time and I often forget that the creative process, more often then not, takes more time to get the quality your clients deserve. I really want to learn and practice patience in the creative processes.

  49. Ana

    My biggest challenge as a creative is allowing myself the time to play, ruminate on ideas, and go on creative field trips.

  50. Eric Remias

    Biggest challenge is comparing to others.

  51. Nikki

    My biggest challenge as a creative is figuring out my personal goals. It is easy for me to figure out my client’s needs and solve them, but when it comes to my personal brand I really struggle.

  52. Elizabeth Juge

    Biggest challenge: being too afraid to risk something new. I’m just entering the professional world, and I’m terrified that if I do something that I don’t know will work, people won’t take me seriously. At the same time, I know that the people I look up to are successful BECAUSE they take risks. It takes quite a bit of courage.

  53. Ryan

    My biggest challenge as Communications Director is getting everybody on the same page and working our creative magic as a team.

  54. My biggest challenge as a designer is knowing when to follow my gut and when to revise it. I am still in school studying graphic design and Emerging Media (at UT Dallas), so sometimes it is easy for people out in the world to be overly critical because I am “only” a student.

    Most of all I just love to learn, and I think this would be a great opportunity to learn from some of the best people in the industry.

  55. Shay

    My biggest challenge right now is finding what I want to do next – I’ve carved a niche for myself but not working with the types of clients that I love on the kinds of projects that really inspire. As a creative – it’s actually liking what I have created enough to think other people will too.

  56. My biggest challenge is pushing through the standard way of doing something or standard “look” to find the most creative, appropriate solution I can make.

  57. Katie C

    Hands down, my biggest challenge is trying to merge creativity with the stress of deadlines. Sometimes a deadline helps to bring out creativity; it forces me to think quickly on my feet to accomplish a task. Other times, I wish I had the luxury to take time off from the creative process and breathe – take in new inspiration.

  58. Kate

    My biggest challenge is keeping things simple. It can be so easy to let my imagination take me far & wide that results in a long to do list. The challenge lies in pulling focus to one or two things at a time and doing them impeccably rather than trying to accomplish anything and everything to “stay ahead” of the competition.

  59. Sarah

    Biggest challenge is paring down my million crazy ideas that bombard my brain to a few that will really work for a given project. Sometimes it’s overwhelming!

  60. I was going to say that the biggest challenge I have as a creative is thinking big and then following up by acting in small, systematic steps. Turning great (sometimes big!) ideas and even essential information into manageable tasks can be dislodged by the “oh I’m too busy’s” and the “but what if it’s not a great idea anyway’s?”

    But to be honest, the biggest challenge I have as a creative is being honest and aware of what my big challenges are. It took writing this comment to admit, and seeing it for the first time, that this is what I’m beating myself up over. Identifying and tracking my challenges and weaknesses is tough, because it means I’m admitting to having weaknesses in the first place. And somehow I don’t deserve a business, or paying clients, or a tribe, if I don’t know exactly what I’m doing.

  61. My biggest creative challenge is overcoming self doubt. When I get a project I am super duper excited about, I get pumped, and then almost immediately get TERRIFIED. “This needs to be great. I really want to nail this. Wait…what if I’m not good enough?? Okay, I’m certain I’m not good enough. Why did I take this on? I’m going to screw up so bad on something so awesome, I’m so not creative enough for this…?!?!?!” I find what works best is to step away, do something active, like take a walk, and also just reminding myself of times I have felt this way initially and still turned out great work. And a cold beer never hurts either 😉

  62. Olivia

    My biggest challenge as a creative is balancing unpredictable creative urges and moments of inspiration with the ever grinding work week. The art of time management and creative expectations.

  63. My biggest challenge as a creative is finding experiences/forging relationships that allow me to grow skill sets. As a freelancer, most of the time I feel like I’m out in the middle of the ocean with no one else around, just floating. I am always looking for workshops or collaborations that will allow me to learn new things and inspire me into new directions, or harden my resolve in current projects.

  64. My biggest challenge is finding time to be around other creatives. Having people to bounce ideas off of and work together.

  65. Jenny

    Such an exciting give away! A dear designer friend of mine and I were just talking/dreaming about going to this conference.

    Hmm. My biggest challenge is probably standing my ground with clients and using the words, “l’ll get back to you on that”. I always feel like I need to meet people’s needs immediately — plus, I truly just want the help them and MAKE IT WORK. But, if I don’t take time to think over my response to (choose one to insert here: pricing, time frames, design feedback) then it ends up costing me in either sleep, frustration, money or the design process later down the road.

  66. My biggest struggle is finding courage to voice my strengths. And with that producing more work and being brave enough to share it. That’s the current stretch of path to reach my Everest and find my tribe. It’s scary and unknown but staying the same is even more frightening.

  67. Erika

    I think my biggest challenge as a creative is balancing everything so that I am still able to live an awesome life but without being totally consumed by work. I absolutely love what I do and so much of my work life as a creative blends into my day-to-day. I’m super grateful that I get to do what I love every single day but sometimes I need to pull back and enjoy my life. Regardless of the outcome of this contest, I’m definitely going to Circles (and Designer VACA!)

  68. Amy

    My biggest challenge is probably 1) confidence/fear; followed by 2) learning how to juggle running a business with finding the creative space/time to really focus and get excited about an idea or concept; and then I’ll add 3) execution (I feel pretty confident about brainstorming/ideas but less so about executing an idea so that it feels resolved and expresses the idea and energy that I’d envisioned).

  69. Sonal Penner

    My biggest challenge is taking the leap. I’m a planner so I’ve been stuck trying to get ready and feel prepared to deliver professional results. I’m constantly fighting doubts about my ability to achieve success. I know at some point I just have to go for it and learn from my mistakes.

  70. Kalyn

    My biggest challenge is definitely learning to trust my own instincts. A lot of the time I want to figure something out or find the right way to do something, but there often is no “right way”. I’m just learning what my own point of view and style is, and learning to trust that instinct versus being overwhelmed by what everyone else is doing.

  71. Jenna

    My biggest challenge right now is decide which path I’d like to forage in the world of design. Right now, I’m in a state of limbo, using this time off from the working world to both care for my daughter and to decide which direction I’d like to take my career in when going back to the working world in a year.

    I’ve been talking with people in different backgrounds in design and marketing and while I’m excited about the possibility, am overwhelmed by the choices. So, long story short, I’m scared of making a commitment.

  72. Helen

    fear of failure, hands down!!


    This is an amazing giveaway, my dbff (designerbff) were just discussing this conference a while back. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    I think as a designer, my biggest challenge is being confident in the work I produce. I think as humans, we tend to compare ourselves to the people around us, in this instance, to other designers. I tend to be harder on myself to always be better, without realizing that I, too, am what other people compare themselves to…. does that make sense? This creative outlet is great 😉

    SO excited for this giveaway. Cheers!

  74. Elisa

    Having a lot of big ideas, and figuring out how to spread my time and focus between them all is a challenge right now, albeit a fun one.

  75. My biggest recurring challenge is to stick with the ideas that both make money AND make me happy. I really appreciated the recent post on letting go of some of ideas. They cannot or should not all be done just because they come to mind. Congrats on being a speaker at this great sounding event!

  76. Pam

    I keep getting stuck when I sit down to write content for my website especially for my sales page.

  77. Tracy

    FEAR. Being in my last year of design school, I know that I still have much to learn and my designs certainly reflect that. I continue to improve with each new project but I fear that I will never truly be satisfied with my own talent. I fear I will never see the value in my own strengths. And I fear that admiration will always be overshadowed by intimidation.

  78. Brandi

    My biggest challenge as a creative is continually trying to push my work from good to great by questioning common practices in search of the best user experience for my clients.

  79. My biggest challenge as a design for a child- and family-serving nonprofit agency is getting the upper management to see that design is more important to the brand then the brand itself. And in order to get people to do something they need to be engaged and interested. You can’t just tell people that you have something for them to buy, you need to help them with a problem and define a solution. (The C-Suite just doesn’t get this).

  80. Honestly, the biggest challenge for me has been putting myself out there and getting new clients, the fear of the unknown and rejection at times have been the most testing. Also, comparing myself to other creative people and their journey.

  81. Ciera

    My biggest challenge is to make sure I’m always pushing myself and improving. I always wanting to be growing and evolving!

  82. My biggest challenge as a creative is finding a balance between what I know is good design and what a client wants. I know pleasing the client is what matters to them, but I also long to give them what I know is quality design.

  83. Pam Raper (@pkraper)

    Oh wow… my biggest creative challenge is having the courage to get past the planning stage of running my own design business. I’ve had a two year plan for the past 4 years. But the security of a steady paycheck, a matching 401K, vacation time and a defined role are keeping me from taking even the smallest steps. Sigh. Your blog(s) and email newsletters are helping. But it’s a struggle.

  84. Johannah

    My biggest challenge is time management! Bouncing back and forth to being so overbooked my body and mind are exhausted, to days when I want to procrastinate and relax…for a little too long!

  85. My biggest challenge is translating my ideas and convictions into something that truly reflects the passion I feel for something I’ve created.

  86. My biggest creative challenge is stretching myself too thin and having so many ideas that none get properly executed. I often find myself overwhelemed and bogged down by the pure thought of creating something; especially after working 8-10 hour days as a graphic & web designer. This ‘block’ often spills over into other areas of my life and It’s disheartening that this has become a recurring scenario in my life.

  87. Carly

    My biggest challenge is probably filling the gap between having lots of good ideas (like you mentioned this week…your dad :)) and producing a final product that both the client and myself can live with and be happy. No matter how much time and work went into a project I can always pick it apart once it’s done, which is good to want each one to be better than the last, but I’d love just once to get the finished product and not complain to my husband that it could have been better or what I would do differently.

  88. Chelsea

    My biggest challenge as a creative is to not allow myself to get stuck in a cycle of comparing myself to other creatives. I am my own creative, and that’s what makes my work great; my own passion and personality coming through my work.

  89. Kate

    I’ve had my eye on Circles for a while, it looks awesome! Besides the challenge of picking just one challenge (amiright?) I’m going to go with having a hard time becoming a slave to client projects and always putting my personal projects on the back burner. When I don’t have any time to just create for the sake of it, I feel super burned out and ultimately uncreative. And the worst part is that it’s something I can see coming, but I still don’t do anything about it! Oh man.

  90. Yay for Circles! For me, the biggest challenge as a creative business owner is probably setting boundaries (personal boundaries, like rates, as well as people-pleasing boundaries.) My struggle as an artist is the nagging feeling that my work is unoriginal and regurgitated. I don’t struggle with comparison so much as not living up to my own potential.

  91. My biggest challenge as a ‘creative’ is labeling myself as a ‘creative’. I feel that everyone is innately creative in some way, and I just happen to have the gift of design and programmatic creativity with the things I make. I’m constantly walking the line of feeling like I am more of a design creative rather than a creative programmer and that I should just pick one or the other. Honestly though, I think I will always be both no matter what.

  92. Josh

    My biggest challenge as a team leader is keeping people “hungry” and wanting more in terms of creativity, ideas and freedom while balancing the more traditional needs of a large organization. You want to inspire people to want more without making them feel unhappy with the restrictions and boundaries created by existing brands, mindsets, etc.

  93. My biggest challenge as a creative is being able to let go and just create. At times I complicate my work when I could just let go and make good work. It’s hard to be a creative when you’re not getting anything done. This looks great Kathleen! Thanks for hosting!

  94. Lisa

    My biggest challenge right now is learning to say no to things. As someone who’s fairly new to the web dev field, it’s easy to jump at every opportunity in front of me, and I end up with way too little time and way too many commitments. I’ve been really burned with this over the past couple months, and I need to be sure to get this straightened out in the near future so I can maintain a more sustainable pace.

    It’d be awesome to make it to Circles! I’d love so much to meet in person!

  95. Ashley

    My biggest challenge as a creative is finding time to really let my creative juices flow. I get so busy with small little tasks, and I don’t take enough time to just brainstorm and create with no boundaries. Would love the opportunity to go to Circles and be around other creative minds!

  96. Tara

    My biggest challenge is silencing my inner perfectionist. I need to be better about DOING instead of just thinking about things over and over and never making a move.

  97. Judy

    The biggest challenge is creating wonderful printed designs on a very strict non-profit budget for a children’s museum. I have developed a relationship with several printers and they always try to help me make the most budget-friendly print choices, and sometimes cut me a deal if it doesn’t meet my budget.
    Speaking of non-profit, my museum wouldn’t be able to afford to send me to this conference, so winning a ticket would be fabulous!
    Crossing my fingers!

  98. My current biggest challenge is finding the balance of “want to do” and “have to do”. Making the “have to’s” more enjoyable and the “want to’s” more frequent.

  99. Sunny

    As a creative, I am seeing more and more how living in a free agent nation has sprouted up more and more indie spirits who are doing it all. Because we actually want to. And more and more of us are building up into the “Overlap Movement.” (I don’t know if that is even a term yet, but I see it here with you, Kathleen, and I see it in this comment thread, and a host of other entrepreneurs.)

    For instance, I am an editor and consultant for book projects by trade. I live, move, and breathe in the world of storymaking. I am not a designer by trade, but I am constantly employing design aesthetics and branding concepts in my work. I believe every entrepreneur has to wear many hats. Just as I am sure every designer by trade is also constantly employing storymaking aesthetics and concepts in their work. Somehow the dots connect.

    In our growing overlap movement, I find the challenge pretty far-reaching. From our vision to our philosophy to our weekends to our Instagram account to what deciding what links go on our blog. These elements aren’t segregated for us anymore, they overlap and connect. Which is so damn exciting for all of us. But also overwhelming because most of us are still trying to connect the dots. At least, I am.

    Something like Circles is what I’ve been looking for – dot connectors. People who get the overlap. People who have connected the dots. Among all the other wonderful comments here, my challenge is not so much how-to’s but a craving for connecting the dots. That Ah-ha moment. When all the pieces of my vision and my experience come full circle with other dot connectors, so that I can learn, turn around, and become the dot connector I hope to be for my clients.

  100. Maddie

    The office I work in has been crazy busy lately, pumping out project after project. I get into a routine of churning out product so fast, it all becomes fairly similar. My biggest struggle can be just MAKING time to find new inspiration. I need to work on just taking a walk and finding nuggets of goodness and inspiration in the world around me.

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