As this blog has just turned three, I wanted to compile a list of some of the lessons I've learnt since it started. (And since I became self-employed back in the spring of 2012).

Some are scrawled onto post-it notes stuck around my bedroom, some live in an email pep-talk thread that I send backwards and forwards to myself, and some are elaborated on elsewhere on this website.

The only common thread is that I've learnt all of these things from practical—and sometimes painful—experience.

How do you keep your sanity as a creative person? How do you figure out which is the work that matters? What propels you forward when it feels like the whole world is against you?

Share your thoughts with the hashtag #undesignmanifesto.


The Undesign Manifesto

1. You are not your work.

Don't mistake criticism of what you do as criticism of who you are.

2. Make time to write.

It gets the gunk out of your brain, and makes you smarter.

3. It’s ok to feel lost.

In fact it’s quite normal if you’re forging your own path. Read more

4. You will never be ready.

And there will never be a ‘right’ time to start. Take a leap of faith. Read more

5. To be magnetic, you must be willing to repel as many people as you attract.

Or in other words: it’s good to have haters, because it means you have lovers too.

6. Sometimes you have to say ‘fuck it’ and do something for yourself, no matter what everyone else thinks.

If in doubt, trust your gut. You don't need permission. Read more

7. Don’t make it perfect, just make it, now!

Ignore the voice inside your head saying 'it's not good enough' and carry on regardless.


These words aren't intended as silver bullets. They won't change your life overnight. And what's worked for me might not work for you.

So if nothing else, I've written this list in the hope that you might write your own.

Here's the thing.

Of all the life changes I've written about over the past three years, the most transformative has been the writing itself.

Writing creates an amazing feedback loop which enhances everything you do. It clears the gunk out of your brain, and makes you smarter.

If you only take one piece of advice from me today (or ever), let it simply be: make time to write.


If you want people to hear about your business, you should write.

If you care about sharing and improving ideas, you should write.

And above all…

If you want to find your voice, and to understand yourself, you should write.


Posted to Uncategorised in 2015.

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