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I went to teach, but I returned educated

by | Jun 26, 2013 | Events

I recently had the opportunity to participate with other creative marketers and designers as a speaker at the Creative Freelancer Conference (CFC), part of HOW Design LIVE, in San Francisco. I arrived to find more than 600 CFC attendees eagerly waiting to get smart advice and learn best practices for their careers as creative freelancers and as budding design firm owners. I sat with other experts on panels on “How to Grow into a Small Business” and “The Skinny on Working with Corporate Clients” and hosted a breakfast roundtable for designers eager to pick my brain about running a business.

My years of experience had prepared me for the topics that I wanted to teach them—and for the questions I figured they would ask. What I hadn’t prepared for was how my passion for design and business would be re-energized by these creative “solopreneurs.”

The amount of talent in that one room at Moscone Center was amazing. The new ideas that were presented and discussed were all being generated by the passion of the attendees wanting to learn more and do better. Ideas around networking, creative design, being a smart businessperson, thinking like a marketer, becoming a trusted partner to a client, and growing a business out of a career they love.

We have always embraced these practices at Cleveland Design. But listening to new and different voices on these topics was invigorating and educating. It sparked new ideas for our future, as well.

It seemed I learned something from every conversation I had with the talented people at CFC. But what I really learned is the future of design and marketing communication is not only going to be okay; it’s going to be pretty fabulous.