Defining Success


As the founder of Oblique Design, my personal definition of success and the goals of my company are intertwined. The success we experience today wasn’t given to me by a little fairy that fell from the sky. Oblique was founded small and built up over the years through vision, hard work, and a determined team of design and marketing professionals who believe in Oblique. Together, we built an award-winning boulder web and design agency. In my time as the owner and Creative Director of Oblique Design, I often ask myself what I really want in life. It’s a hard question to answer, so let’s start with an exercise that starts with a few simple assumptions:

// MONEY makes you RICH.
// INDEPENDENCE makes you your own BOSS.
// STATUS gives you a position of POWER.
// SECURITY gives you a SAFE JOB.
// TIME gives you FREEDOM.

What do you really want and what defines success? Does success mean having freedom, money, status, security or simplicity? It is completely subjective to each individual and their personal life objectives. For me, success is winning a pitch that you’ve been working on for weeks and other times it’s gaining the courage to tell a client “no”.

Below is my constitution and it is the cornerstone philosophy of Oblique’s success. It can be used not only in the advertising and design world but in all industries (and life).

// Surround yourself with people that give you energy, rather than taking it
away from you.
// Don’t ever underestimate your creative potential.
// Have confidence and always show it.
// If you don’t have passion for what you do, get out. It will show and in the end,
everyone loses.
// Sometimes you have to be lucky.
// Mostly, it’s about hard work.

It is from my personal experience that these statements need to be evaluated yearly, monthly and even weekly. What worked for me when I founded Oblique 13 years ago is irrelevant to what my needs are today. Once you decide where you want to be, with whom you want to spend your time and what you want to do, everything will fall into place. Trust me.

What has made my Colorado design firm stand out all of these years is leadership based on authenticity, honesty, boldness and confidence — within the Oblique design team and with our clients. Internally we share a sweet balance of respect and humor, which goes a long way day in and day out.

As my mom once told me in my growing teenage years, “the only constant in life is change.” These are words I live by daily, and allowing your goals to change with who you are is a perfect way to stay in balance.