Time to Reflect

2023 was the best year in my path as an independent designer. Now it's time to reflect what was good, and what not. And why.

Dec 31, 2023

5 min

Keep your time save

In 2023, I focused all my actions on keeping my most relevant resource safe: my time. I started building systems that work for me. Like Canvas Supply, a Framer templates marketplace, that earns me money while I sleep. Literally. Before I started all this, I never thought it was possible. But now, making $55K+ with it, I know that it works.

Your time is valuable and limited. Don’t sell it to someone else. Build systems.

Perfectionism is Bullsh*t

I was always a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule. However, this year I got the feeling that it more is a 90/10.

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a theory maintaining that 80 percent of the output from a given situation or system is determined by 20 percent of the input. – Source

I wanted to maximize it even more and started to focus and dedicate 10% of my time to finishing 90% of the result, and my efficiency blew up.

With the launch of higher-priced products, I also saw that 10% of the customers created 90% of my revenue.

So, before you start a task, think about what is the 10% input you act on, that generates 90% of the result and the highest amount of ROI. To start you can also go with the 80/20. But once you start working with this method, you will be a lot more productive.

Launch, test & iterate

Earlier in my career while my master’s degree in human-computer interaction design, I was told endless times to always validate my ideas and projects first, and then launch them. This might be all correct for very big projects, but not for 90% of other mid-sized and small projects. Not even for ALL of my businesses.

I started to launch way too early (with a feeling of incompletion) and listened for the echo. This way, dark.design was born. I started with a small directory of dark-themed websites. I scaled it to 90 websites in the directory before I even thought about adding more features or content. Until I’ve reached just those 90 websites, I already had 12,000 visitors.

Validate your idea directly on the market. Go out with it. Launch it. And see how it goes!

Audience = Leverage

In my 12 years in the design industry, I started 20-30 side projects to create business out of it. Each one failed. Why? I think a huge reason was a non-existent audience. I didn’t have a following. I just created products, websites, and platforms and launched them into the empty void and nothing happened.

I changed this in 2023 and grew from 200 followers on Twitter/X to 9K. And this is going amazing.

This is my most important tip to you: Build an audience. Which niche? You are the niche. Share what you can do best and what you love. People will resonate with it and things get some traction.

I also want to use this moment to thank you for being with me on this journey. It was an awesome 2023 and I can’t wait to show you what’s coming in the next year! 🖤🚀

Liked this article? Sign up for more!