A Brand Called You

Lesson 6/22 - Honing your Mindset


A Brand Called You


Lesson Info

Honing your Mindset

I want you to also think about the notion of confidence. Because you might think to yourself, "Well I don't really have the confidence to do that, I'm gonna do it when I have the confidence.". When I have, so rather than, I'm too afraid to do it, and I'm not going to think about the fear, then we think about, "Oh, I'm going to wait until I'm confident enough. So I feel better about myself.". Confidence, as Danny Shapiro, the great writer has said, is over-rated. It's over-rated. Think about confidence. How does one really get confident? You get confident about doing something well more than once. So you come to rely on the repetition of that thing being done successfully. Well, what happens if you haven't ever done the thing before? How do you expect to dive off of a diving board, jump off of a diving board, successfully, if you've never done it before? You're scared out of your mind. So what's really more important than confidence, is courage. It's courage to take that step off the di...

ving board. Because that's what will create the journey. That will, you begin the journey of doing that thing. And then you see, number one, that it doesn't kill you. Hopefully, especially if it's a high diving board. And secondly, you begin to see that that fear doesn't necessarily impact whether you do it or not. Cause it's not, you're doing it anyway. You're doing it anyway. And so the more you can look for the courage to do it, which is more intent, a more intentional thing, you can muster up the courage. You can't really muster up confidence. But you can muster up the courage to do it. And then the confidence will come as a result of having done it, repetitively, over and over. Sometimes not so good, sometimes great. You can never expect that you're always going to be great at doing something. There wouldn't even, there wouldn't be a need for the Olympics. Everybody would say, "Oh they're great at doing it. Give 'em all medals.". (audience laughter) You have to show up, and you have to have practiced and done it over and over and over again. So, confidence is over-rated. Confidence is something you earn. Courage is something you muster. And so in order to take that first step, you need to create that sense of courage in yourself. That this is more important than anything else. Now, you might be scared. I wouldn't blame you if you were, I'm scared all the time. I'm scared right now. But, scared is not an excuse. Scared is not an excuse. One of the most wonderful stories that I ever heard about fear was about Barbara Streisand. Everybody knows who Barbara Streisand is right? I've had a couple of students that were like, "who?". (laughter) Barbara Streisand has been performing for 60 years. She's had a number one album in every decade of the last six. She's won every award, the Academy Award, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award. She's won everything. Lincoln, uh Kennedy Center award, everything. And there was an article about her in the New Yorker a couple of year's ago. About the longevity of her career. And her manager was asked, "What was the secret of her longevity?". Like, how did she, how has she been able to do this? In a day and age where no one, except maybe from Cher, has done that? And he said, "It's not her acting talent. It's not her producing talent. It's not her singing talent. It's not anything about her talent at all. It's her ability to do all of these things even while suffering from debilitating stage fright.". So the, arguably, one of the most successful performers of our time, suffers from debilitating stage fright. So I went and saw her, two weeks ago. I was able to get a ticket, she was playing at Barclays. And I was really watching, I wanted to see, you know, how, is she really scared? And I realized midway through the show, she had a teleprompter, all the way up on the ceiling. You could barely see it. And there is was, and all the lyrics to all the songs, that she was singing, were on the teleprompter. Because one of the things that she was so afraid of was forgetting the lyrics. But there she was, doing it anyway. With her fear, not quite, in plain sight. But there. And I loved her even more. Loved her even more. If Barbara Streisand needs a teleprompter to remember the words of "People Who Need People", then we're all okay. (laughter) We are all okay. So the next thing I want to talk to you about, is whether or not things are easy. And I said this before and I'm gonna say it again, and I love this statement so much I actually do have a t-shirt with it on there. A wonderful man, Bennett Holsworth, made a t-shirt that says, "If it were easy it would easy". Why do we think that things should be easy? So, we make these choices because we think it's an easier choice. So I made my choice, in 1983, Bleecker Street and 6th Avenue, cause I thought it would be easier. I just needed to make sure that I paid my rent. And so I was going to do something that had more of a guarantee to success in it, in order for me to be able to do that. I thought I was taking the easy way out. I was too terrified otherwise. How many people here have ever had jobs they hate? So it's not the dream job, right? Was it easy? Anybody here ever work in a fast food joint? Was it easy? Think working at Starbucks is easy? Everything is hard. So we think we're taking an easy way out, and what are we really doing? We just end up working really, really hard at something we really, really hate. And so if you're thinking of taking the easier choice, or if the easier choice is all you think you're capable of or deserve, recognize that you're gonna work just as hard at something you hate as you will with something you love. The people that I know that love their jobs enormously, are people that work even harder than the people I know that hate their jobs. So, if it were easy, it would be easy.

Class Description

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...



this class was a wonderful combination of personal values translating in a business context, plus very VERY practical advice on how to "win" jobs. Super practical while also incorporating big picture thinking. Debbie is just a gem, multifaceted, and such an authentic speaker who deeply cares about her students.

Annet Katan

This is life changing course! And not just for designers but for EVERYONE who is going to WIN the dream job! Debbie is an amazing and inspiring educator. Her energy and excitement for the material is remarkable.