BLOG: Dear Creative, Follow Your Gut

We often talk ourselves out of a great idea because we pause and think about the excuses. You know what I'm talking about.

Is this the right color?

The right word?

The right idea?

What if the client doesn't like it?

What is my creative director going to say?

What if someone gets offended?

What if the committee thinks it's too risky?

What if we sell them on it and it fails?

What if it’s not … right?

Analysis paralysis is an antipattern and only leads to inaction — which is never the desired outcome. So put it out to pasture. Just like the real key to good thought is to keep imagining, and the key to a breakthrough message is to keep writing, the real key to good design is to keep designing. Greatness lies in expanding ideas, not picking them apart. And in the end, isn’t it more fun to imagine the possibilities, play, follow your gut and execute? Of course it is. That’s what brought us all here in the first place.


The truth is, when it’s right, you’ll know. The tight chest, goose bumps and immediate anxiety about how you’re going to sell this thing to the client will tell you.


Oh — and about the clients. We know they won’t always see your greatness. And we understand that we all have people to answer to and jobs to do. But we also have a responsibility to push our clients outside of their comfort zone. Know that when they see a great concept, they will feel a bit uncomfortable. That's good. That means you're doing your job.


The difference between a good design and one that gets trapped in analysis paralysis is a champion — someone who can sell the idea, navigate the stakeholders and get them on your side. A good leader doesn't force the idea through, but inspires everyone to take the leap together. That is how a great concept gets to see the light of day.


The goose bump feeling isn’t something you should look for, but something you should work for. So get out there, break away from the standard and follow your gut!