5 Signs You’re a Workaholic: And How to Fix It

Are you a workaholic? Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to being a workaholic than simply staying late at the office. It happens when you’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with your job, to the point that your entire sense of self is based on it. This can hurt your relationships, mental health, and overall prospects for your career.

Many workaholics don’t realize they have a problem. You may consider your attitude toward work to be perfectly normal. That’s partly because our society has championed workaholism as a sign of virtue! But in the long run, it’s far better to develop a good balance between work and your other endeavors.

If you’d like to break free of this cycle, read on to learn the 5 main signs that you’re a workaholic.

5. You Pride Yourself On The Number Of Hours You Log

In our society, we’re obsessed with numbers. We look to them as a sign of objective truth. If you think of your job in terms of hours logged, you may be equating more hours with harder work… especially if you’re regularly working overtime.

Don’t fall into the trap of overworking just to feel valued. There is no shame in working a basic 40 hour week and enjoying your time off! In fact, several studies have shown that people who work fewer hours per week are actually more productive. They have time to recharge their brains and spend time on enriching activities such as family time and hobbies, which promotes their overall mental health. Pulling long hours just leads to burnout.

4. You Glamorize Hard Work

In a culture where hard work is equated with success, it’s easy to feel like work is the best use of your time. You may even derive your sense of self worth from your work … and look down on “laziness.” This approach may seem noble and lucrative. Working hard sets you apart from the people who just float through life, right?

It’s important to abandon this classist idea and stop associating back breaking work with good values. You can have a great work ethic and still take time for yourself. Remember, the world’s most successful people work smarter, not harder.

3. You Feel Ashamed When You’re Not Working

Ever feel guilty for taking some time to relax? Are you constantly checking work emails while you’re supposed to be on a break? Workaholics often feel like all their time has to be productive. So, they end up squeezing work into every waking hour.

Not only is this stressful, but it’s also hurting your productivity. Without time to rest and recharge, your brain gets fried, and that means you’ll end up getting less done. So be kind to yourself and take a true break in which you unplug and do something fun!

2. You Connect Everything To Work In Some Way

Our culture considers work to be the main source of our identity. We label people by their professions. In the media, we see successful, wealthy people and hear the phrase “hard work” associated with them. By contrast, people with low income are considered lazy or directionless. While there’s nothing wrong with considering your job a core part of your identity, it shouldn’t make up your entire identity.

Workaholics tend to equate themselves and their worth with their jobs. They are constantly looking for ways to affirm their identity through work. They’ve completely fallen for the idea that our job is our sole defining characteristic. So, they don’t allow themselves to do anything that doesn’t tie into that in some way. Going out for drinks? Make it a networking opportunity. Need to run errands? Better call those prospects while on the road. The cycle never ends.

1. Your Family And Friends Say You’re Absent Or Distant

Workaholics tend to get so preoccupied with work that they neglect social relationships. If you know more about what’s going on in your coworker’s life than your spouse’s, it’s time to rethink your priorities.

After all, overfocusing on your work isn’t just a matter of spending lots of time on it. Most of your mental energy is going toward that as well. How can you truly show up for your loved ones if your mind is stuck at work? Working endless hours is draining, and if you can’t turn off the switch when the workday is done, you’re not able to give your full attention to your family and friends. That’s not fair to them or you.

Wrapping Up: How to Stop Being A Workaholic

As with any addiction, the first step toward treatment is to know you have a problem. Hopefully, this blog has helped you do that. Next, start unlearning the ideas that your identity and success are wholly dependent on your work. You don’t need to pull long hours to be worthy! Finally, start teaching yourself to unplug. Draw a clear line between work and the rest of your life. This may mean turning off notifications once 5 p.m. rolls around, refusing to work on the weekends, or declining that happy hour invite from coworkers.

Remember, workaholism leads to burnout and low productivity. And in the long run, you’ll end up dissatisfied with your job and frustrated that it is your sole source of fulfillment. Take the steps now to break the workaholic trend. You’ll be happier and more productive in the long run.

How to Be A Resilient Business Owner During Economic Crisis

It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for many business owners. Even if your business wasn’t locked down, many of your customers were likely strapped for cash and distracted by the state of the world. Also, it can be hard to keep your focus when the world is in crisis!

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities and stresses. Resilience is a key part of business success. So, how can you cultivate the right attitudes and skills to deal with economic uncertainty? Read on to find out.

Embrace Creativity

Creativity stems from innovation which leads to problem-solving. When you make creativity a core part of your business, you open the door to new ideas that are crucial to resilience.

If you stay in your current processes, it’s much harder to adapt to change. How can you develop new avenues for growth if you’re set on certain ways of thinking? Creativity can help you “think outside the box” and find ways to deal with uncertainty.

So, be willing to sit down and brainstorm solutions. Or, open the door to ideas from your team. Fresh perspectives are always helpful when facing a crisis.

Prioritize Your Needs

When economic crisis strikes, it’s tempting to start hedging your bets…or getting rid of anything you’re unsure of. Many businesses make the mistake of laying off workers instead of trimming their bloated ad budget. Others start pumping money into “growth hacks” hoping to turn the tide.

In times of economic uncertainty, focus on the solid parts of your business. Then, identify the aspects that truly need attention. If the market is down, cutting your staff may not be the solution. Now, you’ve crippled your ability to reach out to potential customers.

Knowing how to prioritize your needs is essential to good business management. What do you really need to achieve, and how does your current income support that? You might find that you could cut down on your paid ads and focus on word of mouth …. or vice versa!

Embrace Technological Change

Like it or not, the world is becoming increasingly virtual. Even as things open back up post COVID, many consumers are now accustomed to digital interactions. Your business must involve with the times. That may mean offering online ordering, an eCommerce store, chat based support, and so on.

Technology can also help your team collaborate more efficiently. Do you have remote workers? Are some team members still working from home? Avoid the temptation to force everyone back to “the way things were.” Improved flexibility and communication can boost your profits and make your employees happier. Take some time to consider how tech has helped your business.

Turn A Doomsday Mindset Into One For Growth

The pandemic certainly seemed apocalyptic at times, and many business owners reacted accordingly. Some let pessimism take over their outlook. But resilient business owners either (a) adjusted their businesses to current market conditions or (b) pivoted to a new industry that would better survive the pandemic.

How? Resilience is more than putting up with poor circumstances: it’s finding new opportunities when things change. Innovative business owners made their services virtual, opened up eCommerce stores, or decentralized their operations to save money. You can learn from them: rather than dwelling on the negative, look for ways to grow your business. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Lead With Compassion

Leadership is not simply a matter of making decisions and telling others what to do. You must be able to inspire others to action and stay calm in times of crisis. Your team can perceive how you regard yourself and your business. So, how are you acting?

In addition to leading your business with a cool head, you also need to show your team support. They may be concerned about their finances, fearful of losing their job, or generally stressed about the state of the world. It’s important to make them feel empowered. When they do, they perform better, which can help your business survive the crisis.

Wrapping Up

Resilience is ultimately adaptability. You must be able to change with the tide, especially during economic uncertainty. Running a business requires you to make the best decisions for your growth, and that’s not always a matter of maintaining the status quo! Don’t be afraid to embrace change, inspire innovation, and cultivate a flexible environment for your business. And remember, your team is crucial to your growth, so be sure to give them the freedom to solve problems for you. With these best practices in mind, you can be a resilient business owner, better equipped to keep your business thriving during difficult times.

Top 5 Ways to Power Up Your Productivity and Work Smarter

Productivity advice is one of the top searched topics on the internet, and it’s no wonder. Everyone is always looking for the perfect way to get more done in less time. There are seemingly thousands of apps all promising to make this possible.

The truth is, everyone’s productivity needs are different, but you don’t need to focus on getting more done. You need to get the right things done. Here’s how to work smarter, not harder, and enjoy greater productivity every day!

1. Cut Down Your Task List

How many of your to-dos are actually necessary? How many could you cut with no harm done? Many people feel overwhelmed by their task list because they simply have unnecessary items on it. It’s hard to feel motivated when a task has no benefit to you. Subconsciously, you know this.

So take a good, hard look at your to-do list and do the following:

  • Cut anything that’s been sitting undone for weeks or months. It’s probably not important. If it is in fact important and still relevant, it’s likely an unpleasant task and you should just go ahead and get it over with.
  • Delegate tasks that someone else could do. Lean on your team! Could someone else do it better? Resist the urge to keep it on your plate just to feel accomplished.
  • Eliminate “would be nice” tasks that don’t support your goals. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to sign up for that Krav Maga class your friend recommended, and it’s been sitting in your todos for months. Learn to identify tasks that just don’t align with your life. Pro tip: If you haven’t made time for it, it’s probably not crucial to your endeavors.
  • Automate anything you can. Tedious tasks such as writing standard emails and updating CRMs suck up precious hours. Use an automation tool to do the heavy lifting for you.

2. Stop Multitasking

You may feel more productive when you’re catching up on your favorite podcast as you check your email while you make breakfast and wait for the laundry to be done. Phew, I was exhausted just writing that. Imagine how your body and mind respond when you do that.

Multitasking is not actually getting more done. If anything, you are splitting your attention and energy, causing everything to take longer. Your brain also can’t process these multiple stimuli effectively, so you end up losing focus. When working on projects, that’s the absolute worst thing for productivity!

Resist the urge to multitask. Break your day down into chunks of time, then allot each chunk to a specific task. You’ll get more done and feel less stressed.

3. Create Routines

We are creatures of habit. We like consistency and predictability. This is why the world’s most effective productivity systems such as Get Things Done focus on habits.

After you’ve broken down your day into chunks as described in Tip #2, map out a workflow. Think about a logical flow for your schedule. For example, most people check their email first thing in the day. Block out a time for that, then focus on other tasks. After 2 hours of work, you might want to take a break, then check your messages again.

By creating a predictable flow, you can stop the “daily grind” that makes you feel stressed. You’ll stop worrying about squeezing in so many tasks because you know, without a doubt, that you’ve blocked out time to do it.

4. Focus On Self Care

Speaking of routines, don’t forget to leave time for self care in your schedule. It’s so tempting to skip meals or your daily workout because you’re eager to get things done. But these “recovery” moments are crucial to your overall productivity. They will keep you from feeling like you work, work, work with no time to yourself.

Try creating a morning, afternoon, and evening routine in which you do your self care. Include your essential health tasks (eating a meal, taking medications, showering) as well as some time to yourself. This can be when you catch up on the news or do a bit of pleasure reading.

Make a short list of items you will do at these times every single day, e.g. wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and do yoga in the morning, then read, wash your face, drink tea right before bed.

5. Take A Break

It may sound counterintuitive, but when you take regular breaks, you give yourself time to recharge and therefore get more done. Our brains simply aren’t designed to sustain mental focus for hours on end. So when you are trying to get your tasks done, an endless marathon of work is the worst thing you can do. You’ll burn out fast.

Incorporate breaks into your workflow. This doesn’t mean taking a long break to watch Netflix every couple of hours, but it does mean getting up to stretch, grabbing a (healthy) snack, and forcing yourself to step away from your work to recharge. If you’re a workaholic, this can be a challenge. But once you learn to

The Pomodoro Method is an excellent way to boost productivity. You focus on a task for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a short 5 minute break. Each focus session is called a Pomo. Every few Pomos, you take a longer 15 minute break. This keeps your energy levels up and helps you feel less overwhelmed.

Wrapping Up

The greatest productivity happens not when you’re piling on tasks, but when you’re leaving space for recovery. The work you do should be important and meaningful, not an endless parade of tedious, pointless tasks. So, the more you can do to cut down your task list and care for your health, the more you will get done in the long run. Try these tips and see for yourself!

Here’s Why Creativity is the #1 Skill for Entrepreneurs

Countless business gurus and blogs have made their checklists of what it takes to be an entrepreneur: passion. Ingenuity. Good financial sense. While all these characteristics are important, entrepreneurship relies on one thing above all else. To successfully launch and manage your own business, you need to be creative and make creativity a core element of your endeavors. Here’s why.

Creativity Breeds Innovation

As the saying goes, there’s nothing new under the sun. Most industries are oversaturated as more and more people try to get in the game. Eventually, businesses face seemingly infinite competition, which drives down their value.

To stand out from the crowd, you need to innovate new solutions, and that requires creativity. This doesn’t necessarily mean inventing a new product. Rather, you need to find a way to enter the market in a unique way. Creativity is crucial to this process; it gives you ideas on how to position yourself as distinctive from your competitors.

Creativity Helps You Solve Problems

Ultimately, a business is only as successful as its ability to meet its customers’ needs. This goes beyond creating a desired product or solution; you need to provide a brand experience that supports your customers’ core interests and preferences. To tackle their problems, you often need to brainstorm solutions that don’t yet exist. This is where creativity comes in!

When you are creative, you can more easily imagine your target audience’s journey, which allows you to craft the ideal experience for them. You can empathize with their struggles and find a brand story that resonates with them. Simply putting a clever product out to market isn’t enough! Creativity gives you the tools to position yourself as the wise guide on your customers’ journey.

Creativity Promotes Courage

Starting a business is a risky endeavor. There is a lot of work involved, with only a narrow window for sustainable success. The best entrepreneurs can envision all possible scenarios and find the right path to achieve the results they want. They can imagine achieving their goals, which helps them obtain the courage they need to take risks.

This doesn’t mean entrepreneurs need to be foolish, though. Creative people are better able to think outside the box, which can help them take the right kind of risk. They can measure their ideas against their feasibility, then imagine the outcome they want. This is crucial to making the best decisions at the best time.

Creativity Leads To Collaboration

Creative people are often better able to work with others. That’s because creativity is actually a talent for connection. It allows you to think outside the box and find ways to cross barriers between various experiences. This makes you more empathetic and open minded, both of which are crucial to building strong teams and brands.

People skills are essential to business success! Creativity lends itself to collaboration by encouraging people to share and build on each other’s ideas. When you find the right mix of people, your business can grow.

Creativity Leads To An Empowered Mindset

The much touted entrepreneurial mindset is one that looks for revenue opportunity and financial success. What most people don’t tell you is that this mindset is actually creativity. When we can imagine our business’s growth and abundance, we can adopt the famous “money manifestation” attitude. Countless entrepreneurs have reported that this attitude helped them grow a thriving business.

There’s nothing mystical about the money manifestation mindset or entrepreneurial attitudes in general. It’s simply creativity, which allows us to envision our business goals and put them into action! When we know we can find the best ideas and solutions, we feel empowered to make our business a success.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve been reading this article and are worried your entrepreneurial dreams are doomed, don’t be! Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something you either have or don’t have. While some people may have a greater affinity for creative thought, it can be cultivated in anyone.

If you wish to become more creative and unlock your potential as an entrepreneur, work on developing an innovative, positive mindset. Build connections with other people. Spend time brainstorming and imagining. These activities can help find the best solutions for your target customers’ problems and ultimately form a brand that makes a lasting impact!

Why Gratitude is Crucial to Business Success and a Strong Company Culture

The holidays are a time for thankfulness and appreciation, and that goes for your small business as well! Gratitude is more important than ever as we conclude 2020, a year that’s been difficult in many ways.

By incorporating gratitude into your daily routines and business strategies, you can grow your business and strengthen your team. Here’s how.

Take Time To Thank Your Team

Whether due to COVID, an economic downturn, or election anxiety, it’s safe to say it’s been a stressful year for most of your team. People devote a significant portion of their time and energy to their job, so a little appreciation goes a long way toward boosting morale and loyalty.

Set aside time during every meeting to give a shout out to your team members. Try not to make it a competition e.g. “Employee of the Week” or “MVP.” Instead, identify and reward your team’s successes, and encourage them to thank each other as well. Try creating a dedicated Slack channel for appreciative messages, or have people give “awards” to each other. Ultimately, your goal is to increase gratitude and cultivate a sense of mutual support.

Shine A Spotlight

Don’t feel limited to shout outs at staff meetings. Let the whole world know that you are grateful for your customers, staff, clients, sponsors, etc. You can spotlight people in your email marketing, social media posts, and even on the walls of your office.

As with general staff appreciation, don’t make this about competition or who’s “best.” Instead, highlight the person’s individual contributions, unique talents and skills, and how they support your business. Lead with gratitude, and watch morale and loyalty increase among your brand’s community!

Run A “Thank You” Sale

Most consumers are accustomed to receiving impersonal sales messages from companies. During a time when many people are on a budget, being “salesy” can backfire. Think outside the box: instead of simply running sales and encouraging people to spend needlessly, offer a special discount for your loyal customers. Frame it as a thank you gift rather than an opportunity to make money off them. (This is especially important when many consumers are strapped for cash.)

Thank Your Customers For Their Support

Generic “thank you” messages are virtually meaningless to customers, but an unexpected expression of gratitude can turn the tide on customer engagement. Think outside the box: how can you help your customers feel not only appreciated but also grateful for you?

Anything from clever illustrations to personalized thank you videos can be used to show that unlike your competitors, you truly appreciate your customers.

Let Everyone Share In The Gratitude

Gratitude gets even better when you share it with others. Invite your customers and team to share in your company’s success, and make them feel like a welcome part of your brand’s community.

Are you celebrating a major milestone? Send an email blast that thanks your customers and employees for helping you achieve it. Excited about the New Year? Include gratitude messaging in your social posts to help build a community around your brand. Did someone’s purchase benefit a struggling family or a good cause? Send them a thank you note with a photo of whom they helped!

Run A Referral Program

Referral programs aren’t just a nifty marketing tactic. They’re an ideal way to thank your customers for their loyalty, then reward them for referring others to your business. Base your referral messaging around the idea of gratitude. You can design a referral program in several different ways, but make sure that it incentivizes giving and makes people feel special for participating.

Make Gratitude A Daily Ritual

Countless studies have shown that practicing gratitude boosts your productivity, so why not make it part of your regular routine? As a manager or business owner, it’s easy to let endless to dos and the nitty gritty details overwhelm your thoughts. When all that noise occupies your brand, you can lose sight of the big picture.

For greater productivity, leadership, and overall planning, take time every day to be grateful. Make a short list of what you appreciate in your life and business. Write or say affirmations of your goals and values. This simple practice results in a powerful mindset shift that will make you a better leader.

Wrapping Up

Gratitude is more than the occasional thank you. It’s a way of life. Incorporate it into your business practices, from marketing to team management to personal reflection, and you’ll cultivate a stronger company culture and brand community. With those in place, your business can grow to new levels.

How To Tell If Procrastination Is Ruining Your Productivity

  • Productivity tools and practices can distract you from actually getting work done.
  • Procrastination happens when people feel the need to avoid feelings of failure.
  • Being more flexible and adaptable in your work can help you get more done.

Planning is crucial to productivity. At least, that’s what gurus would have you think. But all the pretty planners, color-coding, and overpriced to-do apps in the world can’t solve the problem of procrastination. Indeed, many people lean on planning as a way of avoiding the work they need to do.

After all, planning feels good and productive. Few things are more satisfying than writing a list or updating your planner. Unfortunately, experts say that spending a lot of time organizing your life can be a sign of procrastination, uncertainty, and perfectionism. Here’s how you can tell if your productivity routine is actually holding you back from getting things done.

You feel anxious while doing your planning

Experts advise that you listen to your gut as you break out that planner. Do you feel like you’re in the flow and able to tackle the tasks on your list? Or do you have a pit in your stomach and feel icky about all that you have to do? If the latter, you’re likely using your planning as a way to control the chaos and avoid the potentially unpleasant tasks you have to do.

Instead, start diving into your work whenever you feel anxious. If you feel most creative and productive in the morning, take that post-coffee jolt and save the email-checking and list-making for later. Don’t let the appeal of “getting organized” distract you from the work that needs to be done. Focus on reflecting at the end of the day: you’ll start to feel more on top of things.

You stack your schedule every day.

Do you identify just a few key priorities for the day, or do you schedule every minute of the day in order to maximize your productivity? Over planning is a sign of procrastination, and by doing so, you’re likely impairing your ability to get things done.

Let’s face it: stuff happens. Meetings run late, you get hungry, tasks take longer than you expected. When you pack your calendar full, you’re removing any capacity to accommodate change — which can cause stress — and you’re forcing yourself into an impossible situation.

Build leeway into your schedule: it may feel like you’re relinquishing control, but the opposite is true. You’ll feel more in control and more capable of tackling your work. Your life will also feel less hectic and scattered, which will make you feel more capable of tackling your to-dos rather than hiding behind your task list.

You craft your to-do list in terms of goals

Setting goals is essential to personal development and productivity — but it can also be a way to hide your feelings of insecurity or avoid the possibility of failure. Many people enjoy the process of goal-setting so much that they forget to do the actual work. You may have read some articles advising you to devote set amounts of time per day for your goals. But life doesn’t work that way. Your to-do list should be flexible enough to accommodate life’s curveballs.

That’s why experts recommend that you set goals, but think of them as guidance rather than rules. Focus on what you can accomplish each day rather than viewing your to-do list as an endless march toward your goals. Make adjustments if needed, and forgive yourself if you don’t meet an arbitrary daily quota.

You’re unwilling to take action unless things are perfect

If you’ve ever planned a project into oblivion, you were a victim of perfectionism disguised as productivity. Many people wait until everything is perfect before taking action. In the meanwhile, the momentum they already have for the project fades. As the saying goes, the ship has sailed, and you find that you spent too much time planning to actually take action.

Be willing to jump in feet-first, and trust that you’ll adapt to curve balls and new information. That’s not to say you should skip essential tasks before launching a project, but it’s okay to work on things as you’re inspired to do so. You don’t have to have the perfect to-do list to get started.

Wrapping Up

To maximize your productivity, resist the temptation to over-plan your work. Filling out planners and making to-do lists feels good, but it’s an excellent method of procrastination that distracts us from actually getting things done.

When in doubt, listen to your gut: do you feel stressed and overwhelmed, or do you feel empowered and capable? If you’re making lots of lists and still feel uncertain, you might be hiding behind your productivity scheme. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into your work — even if your to-do list isn’t perfect.

Top 7 Best Color Palettes for Graphic Design This Summer

  • Pairing blues with pinks gives palettes a dynamic, fresh vibe.
  • Always balance your vivid colors with light pastels and soothing greys.
  • Choose a darker base color to add depth and mystery.

Summer is a time of joy, relaxation, and adventure. If those attributes suit your company’s personality, you can use summery colors to visually refine your brand. The right color combination evokes customers’ feelings of bliss and excitement. Add a fresh, engaging look and feel to your brand with these color palettes.

Ocean Tide

If you want your brand to evoke feelings of wonder, depth, and beauty, draw your inspiration from the shifting colors as the ocean nears the shore.

Seashore

Few things are more delightful than walking alongside the sea and seeing what’s drifted ashore. From shells to driftwood to seaside critters, there’s always something interesting to see

Summer Breeze

Looking for a yummy, refreshing palette, or a combination that evokes boardwalk excursions, ice cream shops, and summer shopping. ?

Sailboat

Bring a dose of tropical sophistication to your brand with a darker palette that mirrors the colors of a day at sea.

Poolside

Inspire your customers with the fun, vivid shades of a swimming pool and a vibrant summer garden.

Summer Blues

It’s okay to stay in the shade and relax, and add a splash of bright color amidst some muted shades, to make the color variance balance out in a calming pleasing way.

Wrapping Up

These palettes may sing of summer, but they’ll give your brand a beautiful, fresh vibe all year-round. If your company wants to tap into the delight and relaxation of this wonderful season, try out one of these palettes. Your brand will benefit from a lush, fun look and feel.

The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs

  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit has helped many smart enterprising workers achieve successful careers.
  • The rags-to-riches story happens when entrepreneurs have a unique blend of skills and ambition.
  • Several of the world’s leading entrepreneurs have embraced charity as a core part of their philosophy.

It takes a special blend of skills, spirit, and sheer guts to become an entrepreneur. Some of the world’s wealthiest people started with little to their name. Their rags-to-riches stories are not only inspiring, but also provide guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. Let’s take a look at their stories.

Andrew Carnegie

The epitome of “rags to riches,” Andrew Carnegie started as a child worker in brutal factories, and eventually started working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He was no stranger to hard work, and his dedication paid off. He founded several businesses, including the incredibly successful Carnegie Steel Mill. Carnegie went from being a starving, soot-covered teen to a wealthy businessman. Yet he believed in giving back, and he donated so much of his wealth that multiple libraries, museums, and learning institutions bear his name.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey had a rough upbringing. From abuse to poverty, her childhood was a nightmare. Yet Oprah’s entrepreneurial spirit and gift for communication could not be suppressed. She got a gig at a local radio station, where she quickly impressed the producers. In time, she worked her way up to getting her own show. From there, she was unstoppable, using her powerful personal brand to launch a magazine, book club, radio channel, and a verifiable empire. She is the wealthiest African American of the 20th century.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is certainly one of history’s best known entrepreneurs. He came from humble roots, including an internship at Hewlett-Packard. Known as the creative force behind Apple and Pixar, Jobs was a college dropout who had a knack for getting people on board with his projects. His people skills and innovative style paid off, and he successfully launched the Apple Computer Company. When he was ousted by Apple, he turned his attention to Pixar Animation Studios and made it one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world. Meanwhile, Apple clamored to get him back on board, and he shepherded the company into its role as one of the world’s top tech brands.

J.K. Rowling

Widely considered one of the wealthiest women the world, J.K. Rowling used to be a single mom who lived on welfare and wrote early drafts of her YA novel in coffee shops. Through brilliant storytelling and strategic self-promotion, Rowling not only landed a book deal but also built an entire world to support her stories. Harry Potter became the bestselling book series of all time, making Rowling the world’s first billionaire author. Now, the Harry Potter universe encompasses multiple movies, theme parks, merchandise, and much more. Rowling has had a heavy influence in each of the Harry Potter products, yet has remained humble enough to give away so much of her wealth that she lost her billionaire status.

Jeff Bezos

If only all of us could turn our garage business into a multibillion dollar enterprise. Jeff Bezos is officially the wealthiest person in the world, and it all started with the online bookstore that he ran out of his garage. Amazon quickly cornered the book market, edging out mainstay competitors such as Borders, and eventually sold a variety of other products. Bezos remained a driving influence at every stage of Amazon’s development, using his business-savvy skills to make Amazon into a global marketplace.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, but all the people on this list started from scratch. Many were impoverished and had to work hard to overcome life’s hurdles. With a combination of business acumen, great ideas, and people skills, they established successful empires that have changed the world for the better.

How Design Influences Our Lives

  • Design encompasses everything from media we consume to the devices on which we consume it.
  • Good design taps into our behavioral tendencies and reflects our needs.
  • Design can evoke strong emotions and enable communication across different groups of people.

From the clothes you are wearing to the device you’re using to browse the Internet to this very website, design is everywhere. Sometimes, it’s overt, such as when we look at posters and logos, but usually, it’s so integrated into our lives that we don’t give it a second thought. But what would our world be like without these designs, especially during the past century? How much of our perception is guided by the designs that surround us?

Design reflects and shapes our behavior.

Ever paid close attention to how our smartphones and tablets are designed? How do you tend to type on them — with your index finger or your thumb? This simple behavior is affected by the design of the product, and how we tend to type influences future designs. In time, we become so used to this modality that we instinctively apply it to new technologies.

Design also guides our basic navigation and movement. Consider how crowds move in an open space versus down a hallway. Different architectural features and civic engineering affect our perceptions as we move through public and private spaces. For example, a poorly designed public space can cause distress and even accidents, while a well-designed one leads to better crowd control.

Design guides our emotions.

Research has shown that colors and shapes evoke specific emotions. Imagine a spa with soothing pastel hues and gentle curves, compared to a gym with powerful shades of red and blue and strong angles. Think about logos such as Nike’s, which communicates speed and grace, versus Coca-Cola’s whimsical typeface and vibrant red.

These are all deliberate design choices that evoke certain moods. These emotional effects help us feel more connected to a brand or product. While we might advise each other not to judge a book by its cover, most of us do — which is why graphic designers devote so much time to creating a compelling cover image. Emotional, thought-provoking design grabs our attention and takes us on an emotional journey.

Design allows us to communicate.

The letters you are currently reading are all products of design. Not only is the typeface an example of design, but the symbols themselves are designs that we have used for millennia. We’re surrounded by communicative symbols, such as the hashtag sign (aka the pound sign), the equal sign, and the “@“ sign. Design represents a shared understanding that enables us to communicate effectively. How we design and perceive our worlds also impacts our communication.

A designer created the garments you wear, then you design an outfit that expresses your personality. The design of apps, websites, and magazines are all created to give readers a user-friendly experience, but the core purpose is communication: to sell a product, to share a story, to connect us to others.

Wrapping Up

Design encompasses almost every aspect of our lives. Without it, we’d rely upon spoken language, disorganized movement, and mundane experiences. Good designers are able to cross boundaries, communicate vast amounts of information, and provoke emotion. They give us the means to stay connected and productive in a chaotic world.

Famous Graphic Designers That Shaped Our World

  • The world’s most influential designers played with typography and images in an unprecedented way.
  •  Great graphic design acknowledges the history and culture of the institution that it’s done for.
  • These designers offered thought leadership and trendsetting aesthetics throughout their work.

Humans are a highly visual species. We’re surrounded by logos, magazines, posters, and other forms of visual expression. These iconic images shape our perceptions and reflect our culture. And they’re all created by graphic designers. Some graphic designers have had a remarkably influential role in our lives — yet aren’t household names. In this article, we aim to change that. Here are the top five famous graphic designers who have shaped our world.

Paul Rand

Widely considered to be the father of modern graphic design, Paul Rand was a professor at Yale University and author of the seminal book Thoughts on Design. Highly philosophical in nature, Rand believed that design should strike a balance between functionality and beauty. Perhaps that explains why Rand was able to create such iconic logos as IBM’s, ABC’s, and UPS’s.

Milton Glaser

Known for his whimsical use of typography and a psychedelic aesthetic, Glaser truly captured the feelings and culture of the 1960s and ‘70s. He created the iconic “I Heart New York” logo that adorns bumper stickers and t-shirts around the world, as well as the logo for DC Comics. In 2009, he became the first graphic designer to receive the prestigious National Medal of the Arts.

Paula Scher

With a fresh look for New York mainstays such as the City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Museum of Modern Art, Paula Scher has established herself as one of the world’s top female graphic designers. Scher focuses on the creative use of typography to communicate the history and breadth of her clients’ work. She also created the new Windows 8 logo to freshen up a tired look into something innovative and user-oriented.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass got his start in advertising but abruptly found himself in the world of Hollywood when he was asked to design the poster for the 1954 film Carmen Jones. That launched his career as a seminal film poster and credits designer. Ever seen Vertigo, Psycho, or The Shining? Bass designed the animated titles for those films. He also created striking posters for the films Anatomy of a Murder and Schindler’s List, to name a couple. Not to be outdone, Bass also created the distinctive logos for AT&T, Dixie, and United Way, among many others. His logos are so good that they tend to stay in use for several decades before a design is needed.

Ruth Ansel

Ruth Ansel shaped magazine design for the century, serving as the first female art director for famous publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, and Vogue. Her signature style blends strong typography with powerful photography, and she’s worked with the likes of pop art provocateur Andy Warhol and esteemed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Wrapping Up

These designers did more than produce stunning designs. They tapped into the heartbeat of our culture and created something with a deeper meaning. We know these logos, movie posters, and magazine covers because they reflect our society’s core interests and deepest emotions. Their designers weren’t afraid to stand apart from the crowd and do something different. That’s what makes them among the century’s most influential designers.