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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Do you have the 3Cs required to run a successful design business?

There’s a lot more to running a successful design business than just being a good designer.

In fact, being a good designer may be the least important thing for your design business.

Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a bad designer chances are your business won’t succeed. However, I know many great designers who don’t have what it takes to run a successful design business either.

There’s nothing wrong with working for an employer throughout your design career. Just like are some chefs are destined to run their own restaurants while other chefs are content working in someone else’s kitchen.

But if you are a designer who wants to run your own design business, it will take skill, determination and perseverance. Plus a little thing I like to call the 3 Cs. Be sure to listen to the podcast where I go into more detail on each of the following.


As a designer, you need to be curious.

Curiosity is what will keep you growing as designers.

Curiosity is what helps you to keep up with trends or learn from the past.

Curiosity is what keeps you in the know on new software, apps and gadgets to help you in your work.

It’s your curiosity that ensures you don’t get left behind.


You have to have a level of competence if you want to succeed as a designer and as a business person. It’s not necessary that you be a great designer to run a successful design business, but it sure helps.

Competence is what helps you grow and master your craft. You may be good at what you do, but imagine how much better you can be if you continue to pursue it and get better at it. That takes competence.


If you have unwavering confidence in yourself, chances are you are going to succeed.

Having confidence means that even when you fail you succeed because you have the confidence to learn from your failure and become better for it.

Look at Thomas Edison, the man who said he failed himself to success. In his quest to invent the light bulb he had many failures before succeeding. In fact, there’s a famous quote by Edison that goes.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Seeing failure as an opportunity to learn takes confidence.

The same goes if you want to run a successful design business. When a client doesn’t like a design or a direction you are taking. Don’t see it as a failure. See it as a learning opportunity and grow from it.

Even the greatest designers in the world get it wrong more often than they get it right. But when they do get it right, it’s great.

It’s all part of the process. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities will go a long way in ensuring your business’s success.

The 3Cs

There you have it. The 3 Cs to a successful design business.

  • Curiosity
  • Competence
  • Confidence

When you have all three, your road to success will be almost guaranteed.

How are you with the 3Cs?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Rich

I am starting a website design and media company and I want to offer reseller hosting. It seems like I have heard you say that you offer hosting to your clients but I haven’t heard any specifics. Do you have any specific/detailed advice for getting started with reseller hosting?

To find out what I told Rich you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week BackupBuddy

I’ve shared BackupBuddy as a resource before. The reason I’m doing so again is that iThemes just released an update to this great WordPress plugin that makes it even easier for web designers to work between staging sites and live sites.

The new and improved Push & Pull features means never having to make changes on a live site again, potentially breaking it. With BackupBuddy you simply pull the most recent live site to your testing server. Make and test the changes, and then push them out to the live site. It’s that easy.

Episode Sponsors

Thank you to this week’s sponsors.

Save on Millions of stock photos, vectors and more with an exclusive deal for Resourceful Designer listeners by visiting http://storyblocks.com/resourcefuldesigner.

Take control of your band with Brandfolder, the solution for digital brand assets. Get a 90-day free trial by visiting http://brandfolder.com/resourcefuldesigner

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn’t easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I’ll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com