Bad answer

A friend of mine got a ticket to see a prominent designer speak in person. During the Q&A, they asked how this designer kept funding their seemingly extravagant personal projects.

They relayed the answer as, “I don’t really think about it too much. If I’m running low on funds, I just book another speaking gig—like this one.”

It’s not exactly easy for an audience member to hear that. My friend was understandably unimpressed, and I agreed it was a bad answer.

But since then, it’s stuck in my head. There was something there after all—perhaps in spite of what the designer intended.

Getting advice from someone recently in similar circumstances to you is valuable—sometimes much more valuable than someone “successful.” Perhaps they can’t even mentally put themselves back in that place anymore, and perhaps they were never in the same one as you anyway.

It’s the kind of situation where you might as well ask, but I suspect the advice from, say, a local designer who had scaled their project up from an expense to breaking even would be easier to apply.

Secondly, That in itself is a good enough reason for that local designer to speak, write, and share their experience.

Lastly, taken literally, the speaker actually did explain their business model—albeit bluntly. Maybe this was a round-about way of acknowledging their circumstances, that their advice might not be portable, and leaving it at that. Or maybe that is me being too generous.

Regardless, I can’t really say I think it’s a bad answer anymore, can I?

Until next time,