Too many creative people think they don’t need to specialize, that they can have lots of ideas in lots of different subjects all of which are going to be great.

Hegarty on Creativity by Sir John Hegaty of BBH

For most of us, anger amounts to stress, and the worst type of stress at that.

But for artists, anger can be a positive force.

If focused and channeled into a piece of work, it is capable of producing something of great profundity.

Hegarty on Creativity by Sir John Hegaty of BBH

There’s no doubt creativity flourishes in adversity.

And while I’m not suggesting starving yourself is the best spur to great thinking, I do believe one discomfort is worthwhile.

Hegarty on Creativity by Sir John Hegaty of BBH

No matter what you’re creating, a single vision is fundamentally important. It is the driving force of every project.

Every project needs someone in charge with a crystal-clear vision.

Hegarty on Creativity by Sir John Hegaty of BBH

Truly innovative products are often the ones that bring ideas across categorical boundaries. But doing so creates potential confusion, and people devalue what confuses them.

The solution, difficult as it may seem, is to adopt a crisp identity instead.

After all, staking a claim on your identity is a key element of the entrepreneurial “bet”:

When introducing an entirely new product into the marketplace, make a choice about who you are.

I love independent agencies who break away from an agency and say:

‘I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m smarter than the schmuck in the corner office. I’m going to do it my way.’

Those people, I think, have always been the future of the advertising business.

Designers have broad interests. Your strength is solving the problem that other people haven’t solved. Therefore designers are drawn to new problems.

The idea of solving the same problems over and over again and benefiting from repeated observation and repeated application and building expertise terrifies you.

Part of what happens if you’re going to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer is you’re paying attention to the audience. One email every 10 seconds could make or break your day. You have to decide first ‘are you open to letting the world have at your work.’ Then the question is ‘what are you going to do with it when it comes back?’ Because it does come back.
You touch people and they touch you back.

The question I would ask entrepreneurs and freelancers is: Do more people trust you and pay attention to you today than six months ago? And what are you going to do between now and six months from now that’s going to radically change the number of people and how deeply they pay attention and trust you.

Act in a way that makes other people say ‘I trust this guy.’

You’re not looking for new customers for your products, you’re looking for new products for your customers. If you end up with 80 angry litigaters as your client, expect that your business isn’t going to grow.

On the other hand, if you actively pick your customers, it’s your fault if you get good or lousy clients. Choosing the right kind of client is all pre-marketing and pre-advertising. It’s in the branding strategy planning stages.

It rests on you to learn how to communicate with your client. To build empathy with your clients, you need to understand why the things they ask for make total sense to them.

Research is not about whether people “like” or don’t like something. No business should ever use the word “like.” Like is not a design word and has nothing to do with any business goal. It’s just a reported mental attitude with no necessary connection to behavior.