Last post I put forward the idea that the key to ideas is to stay curious and stay active. In this blog post I will show you that recognizing your ideas is the first small step. The next big step is to develop the idea, and hard skills are essential to developing your ideas.
TL:DR – If you want your ideas to develop, you need to have hard skills.
QR Codes Continue
My mind hadn’t stopped racing about the potential behind QR codes. The biggest problem is I can not find the tools and services that match the impressive potential of the technology. I just got back my first batch of QR code T-shirts.
They didn’t scan very easily and I hoped that the Facebook fan page URL I linked them to (Capital G Design) never changes. My exploration of this QR code space has been highly influenced from the experience, knowledge, and skills I have acquired from my current venture, Capital G Design. I can experiment and change QR Codes and find awesome uses for them because of the skills I developed in Capital G Design.
Looking back, it is easy to see the path. I started and ran Capital G Design using skills I acquired through free classes at my university, based on the interest and skills I developed in high school. But the path hinges on the skills.
Art is Not a Profession?
I did well enough in school that I could have graduated after my Junior year, but I wanted to continue playing soccer for the high school team. So I spent my Senior year in Studio Art classes. I had 8 out of 8 classes together with my friend Morgan Lyman and we just had fun making art. When we were not developing our artist skills, we along with Alex Madsen, would spend most of the day secretly trying to drill through the back corner wall to freedom.
I loved art in high school. But people would tell me that an artist is not a profession to support a family on. So going into college at BYU I enrolled in classes outside of anything artistic. Gross. I got side tracked from my true passion. But one day my girlfriend Jessica (now wifey) introduced me to free classes in the library that taught Photoshop, Illustrator, and other useful skills. I devoured them. As with everything in my life, I quickly became obsessed and began to intensely develop these new skills (design and web).
It is amazing to me that these free student taught classes were infinitely more useful to me than my “real” classes (which I paid tuition $ for) because I was learning hard skills. I designed and built for myself, then for family and friends. Before I realized it, I had the hard skills that people were willing to pay me money for? But how much to charge? That is the topic of a future post.
Capital G Design
In 2009 I decided I was ready to dive in. I designed and built my first real website for my design studio Capital G Design. We did logos, websites, and more. I did all the design and had 12 developers working for me on the code end of things. I learned hundreds of lessons while running Capital G Design, and it also allowed me to get married. I was courting Jessica Maughan (Jessica Gee : ) and I was wanting to ask her cuteness to marry me. Problem: I had never before had a real job. Growing up, my father told me that as long as I was performing well in school and on the soccer field, that he would support me. But that was high school. I started Capital G so I could pay for all the important stuff. You know, like chocolates, and roses, and diamond rings.
Things Gained From Capital G Design
Capital G Design has been a good ride and I learned a lot. I made great money and developed my skills and reputation. I’ve was able to develop a name for myself as the “go-to guy” for everything design, and I greatly developed true skills as I have taken on new projects and tasks. But at the end of the day, I was still working on someone else’s ideas and it wasn’t very scalable. People hired Capital G Design because they wanted my skills. But there was only so many hours in the day. I tried to scale by hiring more developers and other outside help but the whole company still moved at my speed. I wanted to develop an awesome product that I could turn loose in the world.
Actions Speak Louder, Skills Yell
Finances, experience, reputation, marriage, and other benefits aside, the greatest benefit from Capital G Design has been the true skills I have acquired. It is those skills, that can enable me to bring future ideas and ventures to life. Quickly and successfully. A recent article in the Washington Post pointed out that one reason so many college graduates go into finance is they lack hard skills. Wall Street does a good job training and so many students use Wall Street as a long term internship to develop skills they can take elsewhere.
I can not emphasize skills enough. Your ideas will not go anywhere unless you can DO something. Check out my next post two stories about skills.