Karen Vick, Island Design
Tell us a bit about you! Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Karen Vick, I LOVE helping those who do good increase their revenue through graphic/web design, digital marketing and digital strategy.
Where were you before DSS?
Frazzled, running around in circles, taking on more than I could and not serving the people I thought I was helping, with my best.
Why did you sign up for DSS?
I wanted (needed) guidance on how to better manage my business and learn how to serve my clients well.
What are the people in DSS like (including instructor + fellow students)?
AWESOME! I have learned so much from Marie, Michelle and my fellow DSS students in the past year! I believe I have found friends who “get” the ups and downs of working solo… I don’t feel alone.
What were some of your breakthroughs?
The biggest breakthrough for me was finally getting a handle on what I needed to earn to sustain myself and make a living.
I also am more confident about saying NO to projects that are not a good fit. It’s still a little terrifying but, I’ve learned to pause and make careful assessments of my options and current circumstance to help me in the decision making process.
My accountant confirmed today that I did a whopping 61% increase over the year before!
What are your takeaways from working with Marie?
My takeaways from working with Marie:
- You don’t know what you don’t know
- Document & track your goals and progress
- Be bold even (especially) when it’s uncomfortable
- Empathy is good especially when combined with wisdom.
- I control my destiny, not the clients I work with
I learned so much from Marie’s transparency!
She opened up her business to us throughout the year… from her finances to how she works with her clients!
What was your favorite part of the DSS experience?
The sense of community has been invaluable. I didn’t know this existed!
How have you applied the strategies you’ve learned?
Tied to my biggest breakthrough of knowing what I need to earn are Marie’s lessons on the business side of things. In particular, looking at the numbers and keeping a close eye on where I am relative to where I need and want to be.
So, I have implemented tools to help me see this without a sense of dread even when business is slow.
What would you say if you were recommending DSS to a friend?
I would tell them that DSS is what’s missing from art school.
Knowing design and marketing is great but, knowing how to RUN your design and marketing business as well is even better! You get that with the course material, the one-on-one sessions and the community of DSS students sharing their highs, lows, wins and failures.
How do you feel right now?
I feel excited about the future. I don’t feel the overwhelm I did this time a year ago. I know what it takes to be successful, I just have to go do it with confidence.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been saying that 2015 was my year of learning and 2016 is my year of implementing… so now it’s about putting into practice what I learned!
Karen Vick, Island Design