One of the things I love about what I do is that no two client projects are ever the same. I learn so much with each one.
Sometimes that can be super challenging and I’ve said “I have no idea how to do this but I know it can be done” on an almost daily basis. After more than ten years of continually figuring out the “how” side of that statement, I feel like my skills toolbox is in good shape and my brain has stayed relatively sharp (though tired at times!).
There are still so many things I need to learn, but challenging myself with each and every project has helped me remain confident that there’s a “how” for every situation – even if nobody has created one yet.
In an industry where things change very rapidly, grooming yourself to accept change, learn new things, and trust your reputation is what really keeps you relevant and moving in the right direction.
In what ways are you challenging yourself today?
My wife recently sent me a link to a post on Design Sponge regarding “The Fixer’s Manifesto,” written by the makers of Sugru (more about Sugru shortly…). She knows that I am a die-hard try-everything-you-can-to-fix-something-before-you-throw-it-away individual, and this list struck a chord with me.
I have a hard time throwing things away. I have no problem giving things away if they’re useful to someone else, but to accept that something is no longer useful and simply put it in the trash is hard for me.
For example, ten years ago my 5-disc Sony CD changer stopped working. Even back then, to go buy a new CD player was not terribly expensive. I couldn’t do it, though. I completely dismantled the thing and was able to fix the problem with tape, a q-tip, and hydrogen peroxide. Ten years later we are still using that same CD player.
At times the “fixer’s mentality” in me goes a little too far and I spend way more time than I should trying to fix the unfixable, but I figure at the end of the day the item will either be repaired or at the very least I’ll have learned something new. We just moved into a new (to us) house a few months ago and let’s just say I’ve already learned a ton about plumbing.
My favorite quote from The Fixer’s Manifesto is the opening line: “…everyday practical problem solving is the most beautiful form of creativity there is.” That is the bottom line for every successful entrepreneur and innovator. Find a problem, then fix it.
Back to Sugru: I had never heard of this company/product, but basically it’s a play-dough-like substance that allows a person to perform repairs that don’t fit the duct tape or super-glue bill. The best thing about the Sugru website is that they show a ton of examples of how people have used the product to fix various items.
What do you think: Are you a fixer?