Welcome to The Skool, i’m Jose Caballer and I talk about the Design of Business. And I’m Chris Do and I talk about The Business of Design. Wow, we got it right! So we’ve been off, (Chris: Amazing), we’ve been off for the summer. We were working on Core, on the big workshop. That’s right. Now we’re back. Good job. Cow webs and everything. Good job. Nice job. Everybody loved it. So, if you wanna see the pictures, there’s links below. The big question that kept on coming up after the workshop was sales. Right. Whenever I train somebody, whenever we indoctrinate people in, talking about strategy They’re big believers The big question that keeps coming up now is how do I sell strategy as a service. how do you sell this to your clients (Chris: right) how do you tell them to do strategy if you’re a designer and haven’t done this before. And the big thing that we started talking about the other day on the way to Art’s Centre, er, in the car. err, Was that, even before we talk about sales, there’s another topic. Well, you need to have a couple of components, and I think one of them is confidence. You really have to be confident in yourself and what you have to offer people. Before you can even engage in anybody about sales. You have to believe in you. So, we met at Arts Centre College of Design, er, in the 90’s, and… Do you have to talk about that? (Jose: No, you don’t like to, you don’t want to) I’m just kidding. We’re dating ourselves. Yep, we’re old, we’re old. Errm. Older. Old, ha, ha, we’re older. Errm… Chris: Art Center Okay, so we met at Art Center College of Design, err, a long time ago in a galaxy far away (Chris: right) And you seemed pretty confident to me. I was there, but i’m anything but. And its something I worked on for some time now and I continue to work on today. So it’s something that you know, we discussed and we realised you know what, before we talk about sales. We should talk about confidence. Great. So today we’re going to talk about confidence, that’s the word of the day. Whoosh! Alright, so here we go. So, first and foremost, we talked about whether you were born that way, or you became confident over time (Chris: Right). And, and the three principles that we want to discuss about confidence today, and, and let’s pick up at Art Center And you told me something interesting about how you did it, and this is really using exactly the steps that you’ve done to work on your confidence over time. Right, right. Tell me a little about the first one. Okay, the first one is about finding something that you can anchor yourself around. Call it a pillar, a foundation, something. Errm, most of my life I just wanted to be invisible. And to not to be noticed, and I’m extremely shy and introverted. I’m that person where you see at a party. I’m the one guy standing by myself looking really awkward, that’s me. Yes you are. Right. Now you, on the other hand are the guy who’s weaving through the crowd like a shark. And shaking hands with everybody, saying hello, the life of the party. Ermm, And so, were you always confident? I was always obnoxious, maybe not always confident, but that’s a good question, and we talked about that. You know, I’ve definately always been able to engage, erm, err, with people with, without a lot of reservation. mhm But whats interesting and, and is that, it ebbs and flows through life. You know, I lost a lot of my confidence after you know, er, closing my agency or after the experience I had in the 90’s. Ermm. And that really kind of deflated it. But of course that’s a seperate conversation. How do you regain your confidence. But let’s talk about how you get it, and you know the foundation of confidence that I just heard from you was. That it was finding something that you were good at, (Chris: right). So how did you find out you were good at design and what you ended up becoming. Right. I, I guess, at an early age I loved to draw, but I never thought of it as much more than a hobby. And when I realised that design can be a career for me I started to persue it. And when I persued it as a profession, I, I found out that I had some natural talent and I didn’t have to work as hard as others And I grew really quickly, and once I was able to latch onto that I can define myself as a designer And I knew then that this was my thing, some people have sports, some people have other kinds of things, like cooking or something like that. This way my thing, so I think the first thing that you need to look at in yourself is and it can be different, you can be, you can study graphic design, but maybe you’re not the best designer but maybe you’re really great at presenting work or, at researching, now that’s what you’ve got to focus your lens on. Focus on that thing that makes you different, special and better than most people. Not the best, just better than most people. And, build off that, walk around with that. Because The exterior, the physical self reflects the interior self. Right. So when you’re looking inward and it’s, it’s a person who is not sure of themselves, it’s projected outwardly. Yes. And there’s no way you’re going to walk in a room and to sell strategic thinking. So that’s the big one I think. You know what, something that you just said is interesting, that, what happens is that if you don’t see yourself as that’s your thing. That you reflect it outwardly, therefore it’s harder to sell. When people see you doing your thing. They say, hey that’s their thing and they notice the talent. So what, what I get from what you’re saying is that for me for example. The equivalent of that was, erm, you know I was good at design, I like to draw, but the thing I was really good at was actually people. And, and sharing and speaking, right, so, when I got out of school, out of design school I had a lot of trouble with my professional career, I almost got fired from my first job (Chris: Wow) from Razorfish, because I was all over the fucking place, I didn’t want to show up at work on time ever. I, I Some thing’s don’t change. Some thing’s don’t change. I just wanted to socialise and hang out right. Some thing’s don’t change. (Laugh) So, but here’s what ended up happening. My bosses saw that and they actually, err they helped me focus it. So I was good at people and at selling. So they helped me just do that. (Chris: so they recognised that in you) they recognised it in me. (Chris: I see) And I asked them, I want to know more about the business, and they’re like, you know, he’s good with people know, send him to another office to do art direction or creative direction. So over time, I, I, my foundation was that. I think you were really lucky in that you had bosses that could see Ermm See that skill within you and that ability And because, otherwise you would have been stuck doing what other designers do and it allowed you to grow within the company. That ability to interface with clients. Many designers are very much like me where the last thing that we want to do is actually talk to another human being. It’s why we work on computers all day. It’s the classic profile, something like 90 percentage of des.. you know 90 percent of designers are introverts. That is very true. We like to work on our art and our craft and we don’t really want to interact with people. Jose: That is very true. It was for me, that was my career choice or I was to be an accountant Wow, you would have been a good accountant My personality. You would have been a great accountant. right But here’s what I was thinking. When you’re around people that are really comfortable with who they are. They don’t challenge you, they don’t question you, they don’t judge you. And that’s something that people gravitate towards, Think about that. Er, it’s happens to be that people that are religious or kind of very spiritual tend to be very comfortable in their own skin. And it’s not about how much money they make. Or the possessions that they have, they’re just walking around comfortable in their own skin and they, they exude a certain amount of confidence and it’s very calming for people. So I think that’s the key. You’re not fronting. You’re not fronting, and fronting will kill you, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We’re getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s talk about the second principle. So here you are, you’re at Art Center, you found out you’re a great designer Err… That’s what your thing is. I told myself I was. No, you were actually, I remember you in school. I found out at my first job that I was good with people. Err… and we built that foundation, but then how do we go to the next step. How did you take it from the foundation. Well the other thing was, okay, so now at least I knew I was good at something. I was terrible at everything else, but I’m good at design. And then what I noticed was there was a guy who, erm… Who wasn’t particularly good looking or overly charismatic or didn’t have a lot of money, but he carried himself in a certain way, and, and, we became friends. And so what I was doing, I was modelling myself, not like blue steel model, but modelling (Jose: right) after somebody else. Basically, I was copying him. I was studying him, as if we were in a play and I was the understudy to a great actor I was going to pretend to be like him, his mannerisms, how he carried himself, how he spoke to people and he would go out of his way to say hello, how are you doing, And follow-up with people and he was very comfortable at doing that. And I thought, let me just try that. Let me just copy some of those traits that he would exhibit and see how it would work. And it, it felt good. It felt good to look people in the eye and say hello. And shake their hand. And, and ask them how their day was going. It’s interesting how, you know I asked you this before, I mean did you naturally know that modelling was a great way of doing it, or was you just into intuitively figured it out. I think I intuitively figured it out, if you asked me then what the term was I wouldn’t even know. I copied him. Basically. I looked at this person and said he is no better off in life than me, he has no particular advantage over me. Had he been, and I knew guys that were semi – you know they were part-time models, like literally model for photo shoots and things like that. And they came from really wealthy backgrounds. They had everything handed to them in life right. So everything was great. I could not relate to that person, but this person in particular I could relate to. So in today’s kind of sharing culture and economy I think you can come up to people in your circle and ask them, would you be willing to be my mentor? Yeah that’s a really good one in terms of being explicit about the ability to really let people know that you’re modelling them. And I know that it sounds like it’s uni…not unique or un-authentic to really say, hey I want to be just like you. But, you know what. Masters like that, if you go up to somebody (Chris: yeah, absolutely) and say look I would like to talk to you and have coffee and know more how you did what you did what you did, you know because I admire you. That’s awesome. Because the master feels great. And you get an opportunity to very much model them meaning with them knowing (Chris: right) that you’re doing it, so you might get better tips on how to be a better actor. That’s right, that’s correct. And I think we talked about this before, about going for the ask. So the ask would be. Something very simple like this. Where, I know you’re a really busy person, and I admire you very much and I don’t want you to get creeped out by this. Thank you for admiring me, I’m awesome. (Chris: For any little bit of time that you can share with me I find it very beneficial for myself to kind of study you, kind of get into your head. Your process so that I can one day be more like you. Who’s going to say no to that? Nobody’s going to say no to that, and then we. That happens to us today, and there’s people that ask us today and then you make fun of me I say yes to everybody. Which is not true. But. The one thing I want to do before we transition to the next one (Chris: yeah) er, which is a really important one is to… Add to what you just said about asking somebody that, understand that if they say no, or if you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean anything. And.. (Chris: It’s okay) doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It doesn’t mean you messed up. It doesn’t mean anything. It just means something else, they might be busy, etc.. There’s a thousand reasons why. I’m really, I admire you know. And there’s somebody who came in here recently, er, and she comments and everything erm… on our shows, etc, and I appreciate that I want her to do it more. Erm… And I didn’t pay a lot of attention during her visit, but afterwards I followed up and I said look. I love what you’re doing, I love how aggressive you were. I let her spend time with you, so that I can deal with my stuff, but then I told her afterwards, you know, keep on doing that. Because, keep on engaging in the virtual world, on, you know in the socials. And the most important thing I said is. Let the people that you want to model know. Where you are. Right, show them across the social media’s etc. Here’s where I am, here’s what I’m accomplishing. You know why? So wait a minute. You’re saying you’re too busy so you dumped her onto me. No, (Chris: that what happenned?) That’s not what I’m saying. I think that’s what you just said. (Jose: No) I, I think, but there’s something that you do really well that I don’t. Which is, you are a much better coach. Less prescriptive. Thank’s for saying that. And listen better, and also… For me, and I’m admitting it here on air. It’s a test, it’s not a test… I want to see how resolved the person is (Chris: Oh I see). erm and there’s also a queue system, I’m mean i’m helping one person already and it’s a lot of my time right. What’s the word that you say? It’s a… A queue A queue? (Jose: like, you’re…) Spell that. (Laughter) Don’t make me spell it, i’m not asian. I’m not asian (Chris: Oh asians are good at math) Q.. (Chris: and spelling) Yeah and so are indian people. Q….U… E…U…No que, whatever dude. A queue. Anyway. Let’s go onto the next thing. So modelling. Model. Err. Not Zoolander, but more copying the people that you like and that you do model, (Chris: there’s another term, it’s fake it till you make it). I don’t like that term though (Chris:What, well) I’ll disagree with you. (Chris: It works, it works, okay.) What you’re doing is you’re pretending to be somebody that you want to be… and it takes the pressure off you. When you wear a mask at a party you, you can, you’re liberated from. (Jose: You’re iberated from your true identity). That’s right. (Jose: Okay). So for example I can walk in a room and today I’m going to try a new thing, I’m going to pretend to be a popular person, I’m going to pretend to be that person I admire so much. I’m just going to to be like them. It’s a different way of looking at it. So how about this, how about try it on for size? (Chris: Okay). That’s better than fake it till you make it. (Chris: That a pickup line?) No, tha’s not. No, that’s not a pickup line. Err, could be. Try it on for size. Errm… Alright, so let’s (Chris:Sorry) talk about the not knowing, the third one. (Chris: Okay). Alright, so here’s a very smooth transition for that one, so, we, we, so there’s model and one other thing’s that we know Errr…. For us is that when we’re selling strategy, when we’re walking in, in front of the client. That the worst thing that you can do is er, knowing everything and being closed to, you know the client is already afraid, the cient doesn’t know, they’re afraid and nervous about things, so what is it that most designers do in that case scenario? Well, I, I think a lot of people are reluctant to go into a room and be the center of attention as a facilitator. Every. All eyes are on you, everybody’s looking at you (Jose: They’re judging you). And you think you have to have all the answers, right. So, what I do is I actually I kind of diffuse the situation right away when I walk into the room. Err, what I do is I under sell, over deliver, right. So i’ll go in the room and say something like this if you’re selling strategy. Recently I’ve incorporated strategy into my practice, something I have learned I think would be of great benefit to you. And i’m still learning, and so if you’re willing, if we can do this exercise together and I think you will find it to be very valuable. So, i’ve diffused the situation. I’ve said, you know. I don’t know what I’m doing. Essentially. But I think I can help you if you are willing to try we can do this together. That sets the bar very low. That takes all pressure off of me and I don’t have to have all the answers. Often times I go into the room and say I don’t know anything about your line of business. But I would love to learn. So what i’m hearing also is that there is a, there is a diffusion. I don’t know everything, you know your business better than I do, but then the last thing you said right there was that I’m here to learn equally. So that you’re in it together, there is no like you’re the client, I’m the expert. (Chris: Right). I’m an expert at something, in your case design. But because you’re doing strategy as a new thing, you’re telling them. Hey there’s something we’re trying out new, try it our with us. (Chris: Right) And I even say something like, erm… No amount of research and preparation I can do will prepare me to know the things that you know, given your experience and knowledge. So I’m going to learn from you. I’m want to dig into the problem with you. So I’m all setting up the stage that I’m erm, going to be paying attention, I’m going to be listening very carefully. That you’re enrolled. (Chris: Yes, and I don’t want to make any assumptions, that’s the other part). That you’re open. Right. I don’t want to make any assumptions, I’m going to ask you lot’s of questions. There are going to be lots of why questions. and if you don’t have the answer that’s okay, we’ll just keep digging around. It’s really interesting that you say that because if you immediately have that idea that you know everything or that you know, that makes the client even more nervous. Because they don’t want to be wrong in front of somebody else. They’re on stage as much as you are at this stage. That’s a good point, never thought about that. Errm. Well look at this. What if you said something that you weren’t 100 percent sure of and you threw it out there and you said it very emphatically. And if that person knew, they would know that you’re making stuff up and all confidence would go out the door. Now they’re going to start to test you all the time. Yeah. So it’s much better to come in to a situation like that and be comfortable not knowing and admitting that. And odly enough it takes a lot of confidence to admit (Jose: To admit that) you don’t know. (Laughter) So it’s almost like a loop. It is. And Ty was saying that it was like one of those paradox’s. (Jose: A paradox, it’s a loop, it’s a paradox of you have to diffuse yourself and say, hey, I’m not an expert). You know more than I do. Errr… You have to have the confidence to say you don’t know. Yes. So, basically the third one is you know, knowing that you don’t know. So basically it’s not knowing. So we have three basically the foundation, modelling, again not the Vogue version of modelling. But like copying or trying (Chris: Emulating) on for size – emulating. Ooh, emulating is a great word for modelling. And then not knowing, being okay with not knowing. (Chris: So that’s right). So those are the three things, you have a foundation of what you’re good at, know yourself. Model or emulate others and then admit that you don’t know, that the client knows more about their industry than you do. And now you have an open field. And now you just have to listen. That’s right. Shit, but that’s hard, listening is hard. It can be. So that might make for a good… That might be another (Chris: Topic) episode, yeah. (Chris: Alright). But, (Chris: So) you’re a very good istener. So. You were going to say something. (Chris: So you know what, so here’s the one benefit for my designer friends that are out there that are really introverted and I won’t go into stories about how awkward and weird I am. Becuase I am. (Jose: you know who you are). You know who you are. Yeah you, I’m looking at you. When I’m in a room, before. I don’t want to say anything, I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t want to be judged by what I say or don’t know. Right, so, a lot of times when somebody’s saying, or using a term, or referencing something. Everybody in the room is nodding their head. Aaah I’d be that guy who’s like, I have no idea what you’re… ROI But I’m not going to say anything. Well, the inverse of that, or the kind of side benefit to that is you become a really good listener. Aah And So I’ve had this before, just due to my own shyness, people would walk away and it’s like I can see you are realy thinking, what are you thinking about. Right now? No, that’s what they would say. (Jose: I thought you were asking me). Right. Acting Ermm… That’s what they would say. And, truth be told, I didn’t have this gigantic conceptual idea, I was just really listening. So, for those people out there that have a hard time in social spaces, use that skill you already have. It’s built into you. Well the shy people can do that because they are already shy and they’re already kind of introverted. People like me, they’re ready to talk. And they’re like wham, and it’s funny that in our interactions. And here, I’ll give you a few things to notice that I do when I’m interviewing or when I’m talking with Chris. You notice this, hhmm. That’s body language for I’m thinking. Also I’m playing with my beard so it’s kind of like entertaining so I can do something while I do that. Yeah. Hhmm. Interesting. What if you’re asian and you don’t have a lot of facial hair (Jose: You’re fucked). But, erm, you’re screwed sorry, that’s the right way of saying that. So the second one is I have coffee, I’m entertaining myself. These are tricks that you’re doing… is that what you’re saying? Yeah.. they’re not tricks. I’m so fidgety. (Chris: You are). That if I don’t like do that i’m not going to be focussed on you. Right. Does that make sense? (Chris: Yes). So, it’s also taking notes, so here’s what I heard. I’m listening for cues in what you’re saying. And then writing them down so I can follow up with them versus interupting you. It’s like I could totally interrupt you and say: Oh, so it’s about being yourself, or seeing someone else and copying them. Sounds like you’re learning. Right. So i’m just taking notes instead of doing it right away. Alright. Okay. Now we’re talking about listening too much.So. That, last one. Not knowing, you do it really well, I’ve seen you do it, I’ve seen trainers do it really well. Look I’m good at this, I’m not good at all these other things, I’m a jackass, like they introduce themselves, but they put themselves down. Like why would you do that? In front of a group of people that you’re about to train or (Chris: Make everybody feel comfortable). Make everybody feel comfortable. Ermm. That’s interesting, that’s what it takes. What else? Well. I, I think that’s why I have to talk about it, I mean we can dig into some stories, but we have Andrew, Archie and Ty here, maybe they can. We don’t have a live studio audience. Not yet. But maybe you guys have some questions about this topic? About having confidence. Beacuse I think we can all use a bit more of this. And I don’t mean to be that person that’s arrogant. Because that’s usually the opposite side which is you don’t have a lot of confidence so you come across and you over compensate from a lack of real confidence, right? (Jose: Yeah). So when, when I mess up, I just say to people I messed up, I did that wrong. Can we just do this one more time. (Jose: Yep). It’s my fault. I don’t try and pretend like nothing happened. Yep, you acknowledge it. (Chris: I acknowledge it). Yeah, that was a better word, thank you. Let me use that word instead. Oh that’s even a better idea. And you’re not nervous about not knowing, that’s a very 20th century thing. You’re a designer, you need to know everything. If you don’t know, you’re an idiot. Or you’re a consultant (Both: and you need to know everything). I think ego gets in the way of you admitting that you don’t know what you’re talking about. There opposed, right. (Jose: Yes). Your ego says I have to be a smart person or I have to be wealthier than this person. And it comes into this place where I think, and this is something I struggle with, this, this voice in my head which says I don’t belong. That I don’t belong here. When I go into a room of say advertising executives. I’m the only guy, I’m the outsider. And it’s about overcoming that and saying, no, I do belong. The reason why they are having this meeting with me is because they have already vetted me and it made the decision that they would like to invite me to the meeting. And you know what’s funny, that they’re thinking the same thing. I don’t belong as an advetising executive at this agency because I’m a musician turned art director, turned executive at an ad agency. I’m faking this whole thing and it’s going to go away and I’m going to be broke. Any day now, (Jose: Anyday, somebody’s going to figure out that I’m a fake). Right. So I think that, I think it’s called imposter syndrome, everybody, entrepreneur, executives, everybody suffers from the same thing. Neutralizing that is a lot of it, you know. Mastery of your own thoughts of time and getting old, you know, that helps. But, ermm. That’s interesting that you say that because we all suffer from that. I suffer from it (Chris: Okay). I walk into a room and I feel the same way. Ermm. And you know ultimately what you said earlier about being able to acknowledge your mistakes and you know be comfortable with saying, you know, I’m not perfect and here’s who I am. Is the only thing that diffuses that issue. (Chris: Right). You know, it’s like some people even diffuse that live, like, like, look I don’t even know why I have this job. And it, that’s kind of cool, it’s funny, You don’t front even at an executive level. I’ve had CEO’s say that. That I’m lucky I have this job as CEO because (Chris: Right). you know, something happened and I got into this position. Well the other side of this too is if you have this giant ego and you’re scared because you have the imposter syndrome. Lot of times what you wind up doing is you start bullying people, start putting people down. To position yourself higher. We do that when we’re actually teaching together. We rib each other until we like level off. I’m not trying to put you down am I? No. Fine. Are you okay with it? Yeah I’m fine with it. Shall we hug it out? Yeah we can hug it out. But mastery requires that ability to be honest and to say that and to get to that point that you can do that. But what you’re saying is really, ermm. That, that makes you become kind of douchy in a way, like bully if you’re under confident. Then you become overly expressive of whatever confidence is. Alright, so. That’s a lot of confidence. It is. I think we’re good on the topic right.(Jose: Q&A We’re good on this topic). Listening sounds like the next one. Yep Ermm… So the b.. the b the big thing that we’re going to be doing in this spring, fall, season now is Is look, talk to us. If you have questions about any of these topics tell us below in the comments, it’s really important. Chris Yes sir. You always call people out like you want them to talk. (Chris: I do). Oh you also have a LinkedIn now. I do, it’s called the biz of design (Jose: the biz of design). And what is your’s? (Jose: Mine is called the design of business, so thy’re opposites). Okay. So. That’s another topic. That’s another topic, so we have slightly different points of view. The links are below. Join the LinkedIn group and you can really talk to us about these topics. I post a lot of articles about the issues of designing a 21st century business. You post a lot about articles about: Helping designers in the creative business understand and learn business (Jose: To grow their business basically). to grow their business. So we’re really helping, err…you know promote our own topics, and do that on LinkedIn. Follow us on all the social media’s below. And tune in every err… every episode and let us know what you want. You know it really means a lot to get input and feedback from you and to have a conversation. Erm. We’re really grateful for that, so. We should have kind of a sign off. That’s our sign off. That is our sign off? Okay We don’t have a sign off. We don’t have a sign off, so…we’ll see you (Laughter) Oh, We don’t have a sign off, we just keep on talking. (Chris: Oh that’s right). Oh we can say thanks for watching. That’s true. You’ve spent you know (Jose: Half hour of your time). You’ve wasted half and hour of your time. (Chris: It’s like What’s that Click and Clack – that thing). The Tappet Brothers. (Chris: The Tappet Brothers). So yeah. We’d like to thank our all asian crew. Imported from ‘China’ (Chris: There’s no Chinese people here – come on, will you knock it off). Alright. Here we go. Do this right, let’s wrap things up. Let’s wrap it up Jose. Alright. So really make sure you follow us on the social medias and that you go to LinkedIn and follow that you follow our group. Err, Chris, next week, we’re going to be talking about. Active listening. Active listening. I’m Jose Caballer. (Chris: And I’m Chris Do). Goddammit! And that’s our time. (Chris: That’s it, that’s our time). Raar See you next time. See you next time, thank you guys.