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A Brand Called You

Lesson 3 of 22

Finding Your Mindset

Debbie Millman

A Brand Called You

Debbie Millman

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Lesson Info

3. Finding Your Mindset


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:12:41
2 Defining Brand Duration:09:34
3 Finding Your Mindset Duration:04:57
5 Busy Is A Decision Duration:02:45
6 Honing your Mindset Duration:07:35
7 Generators vs. Drains Duration:19:39

Lesson Info

Finding Your Mindset

Your mindset, this is how do you actually get into the space, the mind space, to make this happen, to brand yourself? And when I talk about branding yourself, I really mean positioning yourself in the marketplace so that you can get what you want. Your mindset is the most important thing. I have found that we, ourselves, tend to undermine what is possible for what is possible. The same way that I stood there on the corner of Bleecker and Sixth and said, "I don't think could fulfill any of my dreams. "I just need to make sure I can pay my rent "and take care of myself and forget all the other things, "cos that's all I could possibly do." We edit and censor what is possible for our lives before it's even possible. And I see this all the time with my students. I ask them what do you want to be? What do you want to ... If you could do anything at all, what would you do? And they often have all these excuses about why they can't do what they really want to do. And, therefore, then start dow...

n this path in their 20s of self-censorship, because they don't believe it's possible. But nobody believes it's possible, or very few people believe it's possible. I think Mark Zuckerberg thought it was possible. (students laugh) One of the things that I learned when I was interviewing designers and how to think like a great graphic designer, was that, aside from Milton Glaser and Massimo Vignelli, all of the other great graphic designers, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Michael Bierut, Emily Oberman, Carin Goldberg, they all said the same thing, independently, in separate interviews that I did with them, that they woke up every day and still wondered if they could do it. They didn't wake up thinking, "Isn't it just great to be me today?" The only people that really did do that were Milton Glaser and Massimo Vignelli, and when I interviewed them both, they were in their 80s and I think, by the time you're in your 80s, one would hope that at that point you're like, "Awesome, glad to be alive today!" (laughs) So the point here is that we self-sabotage. We self-sabotage our own possibilities by just assuming that they're not possible. So think about what you want in your heart. One of the things that I do with my students, and this is something that I learned from Milton Glaser, I took a summer intensive class with him at SVA 12 years ago and in that class, he asked us to imagine what our lives would be five years from then if we could do anything, no limits. Aside from winning lotto, which, you know, is a little bit hard to predict. What could you do? And the idea, once you take those shackles off, of what is possible, is really powerful. And so I want you to consider doing something like that on your own time. Think about, if you could do anything you want, if you could imagine a day five years from now, or 10 years from now, where you wake up in the place you want to wake up, with the person who you love next to you and your dog's nearby or your kid's in the next room, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing. Imagine what that is and write out that entire day, from the minute you wake up til the minute you go to sleep. No censorship. What happens? Hold that close to you. I have had my students doing this now for years, and coming out of Milton's class, I share the anecdotes that we've all experienced since doing that exercise. Where, in just the declaration alone, of acknowledging what it is you want, helps you begin a path to get there. Because we so frequently keep what we really want even a mystery to ourselves. And if we keep it a mystery to ourselves, there's virtually no way it's going to happen. So the idea that you could think about what you want, and it's a really hard exercise, I have students all the time coming to me, pulling their hair out saying, "This is too hard. "I can't do it. "It's too many choices to make." Great, it should be hard. If it was easy, it would be easy. That's one of the things that I'll talk about later. So I want you to think about your mindset and I want you to think about what it is you are actually not thinking about and begin to consider, even just consider, the possibilities ... About what the possibilities are.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

It takes work to get the work you love. It takes knowing how to interview well, how to communicate flawlessly, how to articulate your own purpose and to simultaneously do this while facing tremendous rejection. Debbie Millman is one of the most influential design minds of our time; an author, educator, brand strategist, and founder and host of the acclaimed podcast Design Matters. In her class you'll learn how to:

  • Create a meaningful philosophy that will guide your career
  • Present yourself in meetings and interviews
  • Network and standout from your competition
  • Find discipline in your approach to work
  • Sell yourself with more confidence

Are you spending enough time on looking for, finding and working towards winning a great job? Are you doing everything you can—every single day—to stay in “career shape”? What else should you be doing?

Join Debbie and answer these questions you should be asking yourself...


a Creativelive Student

B R I LLIANNNNNNT !!!! I love the such solid human being that she is and her grandiosity of holding our shoulder and say : go head! Dare to be your best self, own it. Here are some tips .... !!!! Uhuuuuuuuuu!! So inspiring! Thank you so much, Debbie. For couple of days you were my very BEST FRIEND :) Thanks Creative Live!! This is NOT a live "manual" on technical skills. If that is what you are looking for go some steps down and there are plenty of people teaching that, like traditional schools do. You will only learn what is "there" for you to learn if you are open TO HEAR with sincerity. Debbie tells several things that works and that doesn't in professional field besides showing what successful business look for in the people, or partners. Out standing!! I would love to watch another class with her.


I loved this course. Five Stars. I was initially drawn to this course because of the title. I had read Tom Peter's article (with the same name) in Fast Company magazine many years ago, and found it really inspiring. This was before 'brand' was a household word. Anyway, the course is geared more towards designers looking for their dream job than a typical branding course, but as it happens, I am a designer, so it was quite informative. I can also use much of the advice and lessons and apply them to my own business. From contacting potential employers or clients to creative self promotion, there's valuable lesson to be had. I watched and listened to this course in one day, almost straight through. I highly recommend it. Great insight, great advice - whether you're a design student or not. If you're the creative type, I think you'll find this both enlightening and very enjoyable.