I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose within business lately.

I heard something recently on a podcast (if you haven’t listened to Melyssa Griffin’s Pursuit with Purpose, definitely check it out) that really stuck with me. 


In the episode she said that for the longest time she focused on trying to impress people, thinking that would get her the recognition and success she was after. She would go to speak at conferences and talk about her amazing business growth and impressive stats but would leave with no real connections, feeling empty and unsure. 

It wasn’t until she shifted her focus from trying to impress people to truly connecting with people that things started to change for her. 


I heard this and realized that I’ve been making the same exact mistake. Basically my whole life on some level I’ve been working to impress others.

As a creative person and designer (with a background in architecture) I’ve always been taught to value perfection. Perfection meant getting it right, doing your best work, being top of the class, creating something people will “swoon” over and not settling for less than the absolute best.

Looking back I think I’ve lived my whole life that way. Trying to be perfect so I would be rewarded with a few moments of praise. That momentary dopamine burst that signaled I did my job well and people liked me. 


I’m not saying that creating beautiful work you’re proud is wrong. Not at all! High quality work will always be part of my DNA. I don’t think I could half ass a design job if I tried. My clients come to me for top-notch design work and that’s what I’ll continue to deliver. 

What I am saying is that at my own pace I am experiencing a mindset expansion to add focus on connecting with people. I’m also curious to explore how (and if) design truly connects with people at their core.

I see this evolution as an opportunity to create more meaningful work for my clients (and in turn my own life as well). 


Do you have areas where you’re trying to impress people in your business instead of connecting on a deeper level? I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

I’d love to hear if you have fallen into this same trap. Or are you still struggling with this? If not, how did you move past it?

Please share in the comments!




  1. Great article. I can relate. I remember when I was all about that. But every once in a while, the thought still comes to my head though I know it is not productive. I like the idea of remembering to “connect” whenever that thought comes to mine. Now I have something to replace it with. Nice article, as usual.

    1. Thanks Lisa! So great to hear that the article connected with you. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t resonate with people – but I guess putting yourself out there and sharing something new is always a bit scary, right? XO.

  2. I love this post! And it’s such a refreshing take on online business, where we can feel so disconnected all the time. And I think relationship marketing is still so effective! And when your message is bigger than your fear of being judged or trying impress – you end up winning, anyway!

    I will definitely check out Melyssa’s podcast, too. Thanks!

    1. Yes!! Its so Jessica!

      It’s a place I constantly need to keep myself in check and make a point to adjust when my focus starts to go the wrong way. Getting over fear of judgement is so hard.

      Thanks for commenting :)


  3. I am still early on in my design career so I can definitely relate! I always feel I am trying to impress people by being able to do anything and everything they ask for, rather specializing in one thing well. I do find that with the projects/topics I am more passionate about, the more I find myself connecting with my clients.

    I’ve been trying to work on this myself, so it’s nice to hear your similar thoughts!

    1. Oh Michele! It’s so true. I think this effects everyone, but designers are at high risk since we’re in the business of looking good and making a name for ourselves. Especially when you’re just starting out. Hang in there and don’t be too hard on yourself. Once you find a style and niche and build a following it will be easier. But definitely know, even seasoned designers fall prey to this. You’re not alone! XO!

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