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I’m going to diverge this week from writing about design, branding, and websites, and share a thought I deeply feel should be shared.


I think I can safely say that every client I have – whether they are an author, speaker, coach, professional practitioner, service provider, retailer, business enterprise, or corporation – wants to achieve success. I can include myself in that group as well, and I believe I’ve achieved that in some way in a number of both vocations and avocations.

I believe there is an element that has helped me achieve that success, and I believe I see that element in those with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to associate with who are successful as well.


I’m going to simply put a quote in this article from a book by Neil Gaiman, a writer I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading, called Make Good Art. The book is beautifully typeset, and is simply a transcription of a speech Mr. Gaiman made to the 2012 graduating class of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

But I’m going to point out that this applies not just to art, but to business and – truly – to any enterprise.

The reason I want you to know about this is that I’ve had clients who “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” and put everything necessary into following their dreams or goals, and clients who hesitate, worry, and falter simply because they don’t want to take a risk, find the money, or do whatever it takes no matter what. I’m sure you can guess which ones achieve success and which don’t.

Personally, I would rather risk and fail than play it safe, and believe me I’ve failed any number of times before succeeding.

Here’s an excerpt from Make Good Art, courtesy of The Startup blog at


“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

“The rules on what is possible and impossible… were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them.”

If you’re interested in real success – and perhaps how 21Thirteen Design can play some small part in that process – reach out to us for more at or 646 808 0249.

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