I was lucky enough to score the speaker slot at #5to9Conf hosted by DesignX Community. I approached Preet Arjun Singh and @chantelmegaffin and shared the 5 to 9 achievements I had from my past. They loved the pitch and included me in their speakers’ cohort.
I was super stoked and start preparing for my talk, and I thought if I am presenting something related to a profound colorful culture, my slides should be bright. It was a fun project for me. I delivered, and I loved it, I crafted the idea, collected a few items, and hired Jannat Saxena to implement the design idea I had, and she did a fantastic job!
But this is not the story I want to share with you, and I want to share with you the “kick” I got from this #5to9Conf. I was lucky enough to spread that energy to my excellent students at UC Berkeley Bootcamp (and by the way, not all Bootcamp sucks, I disagree with the common sentiments you may be hearing about the Bootcamp on the LinkedIn, more on this topic later). Thanks again, Preet/Chantel, for sharing the discount code with me.
All three days of the conference was super fun to watch, just like you, I am also confined to my home, and specifically in my Garage Office for almost 10–16 hours a day. While working, I turned on the Attendify platform. It is a fantastic platform, if you are setting up the online conference, must check it out.
But still, there are so many back-office setups the team must have done, Slack+Attendify+YouTube+Zoom — don’t we have a comprehensive, super sleek with dashing user experience tools there yet? Or are we still in the 1990s of the 21st century?
From day one till day three, the conference started with a bang and maintained the uptick of #5to9Conf vibe until the end is an art. And most importantly, when ending with the ginormous sixer (Cricket sports reference added, intentionally), and only careful curation can make it happened!
Getting practical guidance from the conference is sometimes hard, but thanks to the online tools, I can go back and compile the super reliable learnings! Let me put some of my favorite nuggets, and the rest of them you can learn by joining https://designx.community/.
Lessons from #5to9Conf
- The Notion app to manage your content.
- You’ll never know 100% if you’re ready to branch on your own
- Set some goals for yourself, even if you want to “target” the specific customer.
- Build a stable network around you, learn to give, and you will get an enormous return! More than billion or trillion dollars!
- Show up. Just make sure you follow your promise — and don’t shy out!
- Be consistent
- Learn to say no, which can be read is, “Say yes to less.”. Learn to create a recurring cycle of your service, aka Productizing your service!
- Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your might.
- [x] type of freelancer that helps [y] with this [z — type of problem]
- Make others the hero!
- Review your employment contract if they allow you to freelance work or not.
- Be active in communities, talk to peers!
- Do share your solution with the world!
- Measure the idea based on feedback+Level of passion! Super solid.
- Design is so much more than an interface.
- Stay humble, seek feedback, and keep iterating.
- Stop comparing, start contrasting (HELL YEAH!)
- Preserving culture is way much more than millions (this was a comment on my talk)
- The courage needed for “I just emailed Tim Cook” This is incredible!! (haha, Thanks, Preet!)
- It is okay to be wrong but commit to being better — and keep up with the “doing.”
- Being new at something hard, but don’t give up.
- Manage your relationship while doing side-gigs!
- Be Clear. Be a friend. Be expressive!
- Prepare upfront to identify features and possible automation in your side project, and this will help you not get overwhelmed!
- What makes you different, everyone else? It is about balance!
- Don’t be generic!
- Work ethics talent, always.
- Understand the industry!
- Make aware of regulatory knowledge for that specific industry you are jumping in.
- Embrace partners, not affiliated.
- Customers are looking forward to the solution, not the technology.
- Just don’t do a side-project for the sake of doing a side project.
- Start with clear goals!
- Set some ground rules!
- What you permit, you promote!
- Be mindful about monetization, give them a solid reason, and proper value — do not rip-them-off.
- Flattery is not a bad idea!
- Be creative and make old dead things a whole new thing!
- The design shouldn’t just be a 9 to 5 thing.
- Don’t be afraid to apply graphic design to all the things around you.
- There are so many things out there that didn’t have a thing to do with graphic design, but bring your graphic design hat and see how you can use your skills to make them pop!
These are my notes. Share yours too!?
I am Mudassir Azeemi, connect with me via LinkedIn or Twitter, always available for the new opportunity, and no, my portfolio doesn’t have shiny visual treats, it is about the story of my work. Approach me carefully ;) Oh, by the way, I do mentor through Amazing Design People List besides many incredible mentors! However, to quickly access my calendar, here is the direct link https://calendly.com/mazeemi; let me know how I can help you.
#sideproject #design #creativity #career #culture