Wed, 16 January 2019
Pauline “Muffin” Grayson is a graphic designer who believes we shouldn’t let anything get in the way of our passion, and she has a single message for us: Don’t ration your passion.
Pauline has a degree in fine arts. After school, she stumbled into freelancing and surface pattern design; the design for gift wrap and greeting cards. You may know her from her designs on petitelemon.com and Shutterfly.com.
PURSUE YOUR PASSION
Pauline describes passion as doing something you absolutely love without letting anything else get in the way. For Pauline, that is design. She says she is just not happy unless she is doing it. It is who she is as an individual.
Yet sometimes, societal expectations seem to limit us from pursuing our passions.
I remember telling people that I was in sales and getting the distinct impression from them that they assumed it was only because I couldn’t find anything better to do. I wasn’t living up to their expectations despite that I was doing what I truly loved to do.
Pauline can relate. As a stay-at-home mom, many people wrongly assume she chose to do so because she couldn’t do anything else.
Pauline is passionate about being a mom, but she is also passionate about design. So she found a way to do both. It makes her a better mom and a better designer as a result.
Many people abandon their passion because they fail to set goals. As a young girl on a dairy farm in Idaho, Pauline learned that hard work pays dividends.
She says she is not the best designer out there but believes that her hard work and her goal to continually improve is what sets her apart.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY
Fear is often not even based in fact. We worry about what might happen and create a false reality as a result. It is helpful to have someone to discuss your goals and aspirations with; someone who can keep you grounded and on course.
Set goals high but also set reasonable timelines to reach them.
Pauline recalls a time when she met the owner of Betty’s Beds, someone she really wanted to work with. Fast forward a year after their initial encounter and Pauline never heard back from the owner. But rather than letting it go, or being afraid to reach out, Pauline sent them an email.
They have been working together now for some time and Pauline has seen her designs on blogs, magazines, and HGTV.
DON’T GIVE UP
Pauline could have concluded from the year-long gap in communication that the owner simply didn’t want to work with her. Instead, she chose to understand and empathize that they are busy with their work and their families, or that maybe the timing wasn’t right, etc.
Pauline chose to share and offer value and it paid off.
There is room for everyone to be successful. Find people who do what you do and ask them for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. #AskQuestions
From doing this podcast, for example, I’ve been introduced to many more people and opportunities than I ever would have if I hadn’t put myself out there. You have to get out and share.
Do what you love and put it out there for people to see.
FINDING YOUR PASSION
Pauline always had an interest in art but as a young girl on a dairy farm, all she really knew was that she liked to draw. It wasn’t until high school, with the encouragement from her art teacher, that she started taking art classes. Soon afterward, she attended a business conference where she heard a graphic designer speak.
The spark was lit. She knew that was what she wanted to do.
She remembers being awful in so many of her classes. It just didn’t click until her very last class in college but she worked at it and eventually figured it out.
She began working as a freelancer, designing gift bags for Target, after being laid off from her first office job when the company was bought out.
With the confidence she gained from seeing her products on display in a huge retail setting, Pauline started a blog to post more items that she had designed. It was there that she got the call from Petite Lemon and Shutterfly.
Put yourself out there. Don’t worry about whether it will be liked by everyone or not.
Do what you love.
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
To Pauline, that is the best piece of advice because that ‘other thing’ that you choose to do may just be your passion.
Find a way to do what you love. Be happy!
“DON’T RATION YOUR PASSION” EPISODE RESOURCES
This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.
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