Success On The Terms of Others Is A Lie

I forget that I’m still new at this. I want to be one of the people who’ve been designing and concocting for 20 years, so I can say.

“Hey everyone, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, listen to what I’m saying. I know what I’m talking about. Look over here!”

7 years doesn’t have that same weight to it.

I look at Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Gary Vaynerchuk, Paul Jarvis… Beyonce

I admire these people for their talent, their perseverance, and how they've turned their ‘thing’ into their livelihood. And after my admiration clears, I realize I’ll never be like these guys.

Sometimes that thought makes me feel down about where I’m at in life and what I’m doing...

Then a glimmer of light peaks through the clouds above my head and my inner hero says, “GOOD!”

“Good cuz you’re not them. Their not Vince.”

“It’s your job to be Vince. The Vince who cares deeply about design, drawing weird things, lettering sassy song lyrics, being an ethical human, and spitting mad snark.” (humans are funny creatures)

“You’re not them, and it’s GOOD!”

It’s unhealthy to place the burden of being just like the people we look up to upon ourselves. It’s an impossibility.

Yes, we can pick up traits inspired by them and strive to be better people from their lead, but we can’t BE them.

Facing this is hard.

It means that I’ve created my meaning of success based on vanity. I know that’s what I did. It’s based on how I perceive public figures that I look up to.

It means that I have to reevaluate what success is to me. Base the definition on my own values.

I encourage you to do the same.


— Vince