This topic is one that I must say is a bit close to home. Maybe its a bit of therapy to say some things out loud, and maybe its a cry for help. Either way, it’s something I felt I should bring up to get you (our readers) to comment on. When I got into the web design or design industry, I had taken no prior classes, courses, lessons, drawing, nada. My background was in IT. Break just about any device and I could fix it. Now when I decided to walk into the design field, I jumped all in. Pestered my friends to let me use their computers to try out Photoshop. Bought really old versions of Macromedia desktop publishing software. I tried to get my hands on all the tools I would need to be a success.
After attaining all the things I needed, I really got involved in learning. However the more I learned the more I learned I had a lot to learn. So then I started to learn less new things, and develop skills in the things I knew or wanted to be better at. And that’s when the problems started. I became pretty good in creating wireframes and websites, basic business logos, flash animations, and more. However when opportunities came to me for more complex jobs, I shied away from them. Sure I would take some but most I wouldn’t because I knew I’d be getting in over my head. What I should have done was take all that as a sign to become a master at one thing at a time.
When you’re a solo-preneur in this industry, you almost don’t have a choice but to try to learn and do everything yourself. My advice is to learn a trade at a time. Get to be great at design, then move to web. When you’ve conquered those then move to mobile. But being “ok” in all of those and more will end up hindering you on seeing big picture and acquiring bigger clients. I mean that’s the goal isn’t it? To get bigger contracts that allow you to continue to do what you love. Now if you don’t have time to learn more, hire someone who already does know more than you. In fact surround yourself with people who know a heck of a lot more than you. It helps you stay humble, but also makes you aspire to be a greater designer.