At a certain point in our careers, there are no more promotions to seek. No more pay raises to demand. No more competition to be had…. At the peak of our careers, a sense of achievement can be offset by the sheer terror of falling down to the bottom again.
For over thirty years, Debbie Millman established herself as a creative leader, on her own terms. Designer. Educator. Artist. Brand Consultant. Podcast Host. But unlike many others, Debbie did not just invent a brand. She focused on building character, creating a great reputation, and ultimately mastering her craft.
The iconic host of one of the world’s longest-running podcasts, Design Matters, joins me in this episode to share the ups and downs of her incredible journey, the lessons learned, roles played, and her plans for the future.
If you don’t know yet, Debbie is also the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. She has an upcoming book based majorly on her podcast Design Matters, called Why Design Matters.
Highlights of our conversation:
- Finding out what you truly love to do
- How speaking publicly about childhood trauma on Tim Ferriss’ podcast shifted her healing process forward
- Why we become more intentional about our time as we grow older
- Debbie shares one of the most profound pieces of advice from an interview guest she’s ever talked to, David Lee Roth (When you’re on the top, there’s only one way to go).
- Debbie shares why how her success came as a result of self-loathing and over-achieving as a young person
- Why is it more important to evolve as a person than as a brand? What’s the difference?
- [00:25] Meet Debbie Millman
- [10:17] Debbie’s work in her words
- [16:15] How does Debbie play multiple life roles responsibly?
- [23:58] Debbie talks about the most challenging times of her life and how she sailed through every one of them
- [29:27] Debbie shares how she overcame inner self-pity and self-loathing
- [34:21] Debbie acknowledges that her drive for achievement came from profound self-loathing
- [36:40] Debbie recollects the first time she ever fell in love with a woman
- [41:30] Debbie’s process for creating her upcoming book, Why Design Matters
- [49:12] What characteristics make Debbie stand out from creators all over the world?
- [51:07] Why is it important to choose the people you surround yourself with?
- [55:30 Debbie shares why she finds herself interested in the process of making
- [57:45] What is it about creating a state of urgency for things in your life? How does it help?
- [58:52] Debbie’s thoughts on Creating A Brand Called You (also a masterclass on Creative Live)
Listen to the Podcast
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