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Designers: Get Paid By Being A Primadonna

If you're a designer, or any creative professional, this might be the most important thing you read this year. My sensationalist headline aside, it's not about money or being a primadonna. It's about defining how you work, working how you define, having an environment of trust and respect and creativity, and otherwise getting the life you want.

Sadly, many creatives just trust that that'll happen… and it doesn't. They get taken advantage of. This needs to stop.

Some things in here are scary. You don't need to do what's unnatural to you, you don't need to do anything in particular in here, and you don't need to rush yourself. Any given suggestion in here might increase your income by 20% and cut your "client stress" in half.

I'll tell you my story in a moment, so you can assess my credibility and see if this is workable advice. (It is.) I'll give you recommendations on where you can learn more. In exchange, I ask just one thing - if at any point while reading this, you think, "This is one of the most important things I've read this year" - then you immediately share it with as many people as you can that you think it would help.

I think that's fair, do you?

The Concretes and the Abstracts

On Isaac Lewis

There's an important division in our society that is rarely spoken about. This division is between two styles of thinking; between those who think concretely and those who think abstractly.

In truth, abstract versus concrete thinking is more of a spectrum than a binary. Extremely abstract thinkers and extremely concrete thinkers are rare; most people fall somewhere in the middle. Then again, few fall exactly in the middle. Most definitely lean in one direction. Though this essay will describe two opposing tribes - the concretes and the abstracts - keep in mind that this is a simplification of a complex reality. You might feel that neither description fits you perfectly, but you will almost certainly identify with one tribe more than the other.

To distinguish these two tribes, we'll need to define abstraction. Here's a working definition:

Abstraction is the ability to recognise deep patterns and structures within a domain without being distracted by surface details. Crucially, it is the ability to recognise analogous patterns and structures between different domains.

The second part explains how abstract thought can be highly useful in the real world. Analogy allows human beings to navigate unfamiliar domains by drawing on their knowledge of the familiar. For example, one might use one's knowledge of Spanish to master Italian, or use one's knowledge of biological evolution to understand the evolution of language, or use one's knowledge of the dating marketplace to understand the dynamics of the co-founder marketplace.

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