Humbleness Humility is the key. Please hear me on that. But false humility is just pride in disguise. If you do something that you're proud of you need to take ownership of that thing and accept the praise you receive. There's nothing worse then when you compliment someone and their response goes something like this: "Oh me? No I'm not that good. I just got lucky." The results of hard work and dedication don't result in dumb luck. God did not give us our talents to simply disregard them as something that happened by accident. So the next time someone compliments you on what a good job you've done, look them straight in the eyes and say: "I know. Thank you."
You guys rock. That's the first thing I want to say. After my last post about leaving my current job in a step of faith I have received nothing but encouragement. So now that I have a clear plan of what I'm going to be doing next on my professional journey I thought the least I could do would be to fill you in.
I will be taking two weeks off after my last day at my current job to catch up on some freelance work as well as spend some time resting with my wife. But starting June 01 I will become the 4th member on the UX team at Fellowship Technologies. After much prayer and consideration I see this opportunity as the right move for me and my family right now. But that's not to say I didn't struggle with feeling like I was selling out to "the man" or anything. The notion of freelancing full-time still intrigues me and is something I want to pursue someday, but right now we need something stable while my wife finishes her degree.
The UX Team that has already been assembled at Fellowship is something I am looking forward to. For the past 2 1/2 years I have been a lone ranger figuring things out for myself. Not to say that it hasn't had its perks, but one can only go so far on his own. So this transition into a team environment is something I'm really looking forward to. Plus, I will be working with people my own age that I will actually have something in common with. My fellow team members include: Matt Vasquez, Nathan Smith and David Brooks.
Walk by Faith not by Sight
I am continually blown away by the grace and favor that God has given me. By continuing to seek His will, I made a decision of faith last week without any secure plans ahead of me to quit my job. I knew that a position with Fellowship was in the cards, but they still hadn't given me a firm decision. So my plan was to work freelance full-time. To which I received an immense amount of support and encouragement in. But in following my heart I found something better than I expected. Sorry, I don't mean to keep repeating myself here, but I just hope to encourage you to stop being afraid, trust God, and let go of all that's holding you back. I don't mean quit today, not by any means, but start praying and see where God might lead you. I know I've waited for over a year now before making this move.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
Last but not least
I still plan to do side work, but more than likely I will be very picky about what projects I work on. (If you have already contacted me about freelance work or would like to you can email me at: hello[at]kylesteed[dot]com.) I think that's one of the greatest advantages to working full-time, you can pick and choose very carefully about what other projects you want to work on. Also, I have no immediate plans of returning to school. This last semester really proved to me that school is a waste of time. Being in my current situation I can see how school is only slowing me down from what I really want to be doing, and what I'm already doing. It's sad to me that we put so much pressure on kids to go to college and get a degree. I don't want to go off on a huge tangent, I will write a post on this topic, but I know people who have their degrees and either (A) aren't using them or (B) still don't have a job.
I know this much. I am blessed to have a vision for my life, a wife that supports me and the skills that pay that bills. Or something like that. ;)
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17
I write because I want to. I don't have to tell you anything. But the term "transparent" is becoming more and more popular these days. Gary Vaynerchuk, Jason Fried and Aaron Irizarry come to mind when I think of being transparent. But what we call the internet is really nothing more than a glorified mask that we wear to hide our true personalities. Meaning I can't convey to you a certain emotion or feeling without using a stupid emoticon. Sure a picture is worth a thousand words, and I respect the art form of photography. But what I'm saying is that we can't really get to know each other just over this digital medium. But Kyle, how can you say that? You met your wife on myspace and only met her 5 days (in person) before you tied the knot. Then call me crazy.
My Current State of Mind
So amidst all this noise online I have found myself being more silent lately. Turning more inward and focusing on my photography. Trying to figure out my place in this world. Wondering what really makes me successful and what hard work is really all about. I have this constant feeling that I'm right on the brink of something huge.
I'm looking forward to SXSW next week. Getting to see friends old and new. I'm preparing myself for the overwhelming sensation of that many nerds all in one place. But I'm expecting some seriously great times to be had. I won't be anywhere without my camera. Also, my good bud Chris Wallace will be launching his new themes company called UpThemes while we're there. So if you're going to be in Austin next Friday please come out and help us celebrate.
One last note
I'm really thankful for the friends I have made online. I only hope to strengthen those relationships by meeting you in person and sharing some coffee/beer and some good conversation.
A Little Background
Chris Wallace and I had been talking about doing a t-shirt design competition, and how fun it would be to stir up some trash talking. Originally we planned on having a week to get our designs ready, but we ended up only having a few days.
The rules were simple, design a t-shirt based around a verse out of the book of Romans. Any verse we wanted. Next was to upload the design to RedisWhite.com and give the people a week to vote. At the end of the week whoever claims the victory will have their shirt printed and sold on RiW, as well as the chance to place something on the losers site for a month.
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" - Romans 6:3
This verse stood out amongst all the rest because of the visual appeal it has. The cryptic way it defines our new life in Christ as death. It's saying that while we were alive (in our flesh) when we come to Jesus Christ we must die and then God will raise us back up again. Just look at the next two verses:
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection." - Romans 6:4-5
I wanted to design the truth, not the obvious, so by placing the skull on the left it represents our flesh (death) and the face on the right represents the new life we have in Christ.
Hello and welcome to the new version of Kyle Steed on the web. This has been, at least what feels like, a long time coming. What started as simple sketches in my journal months ago has now blossomed in to a fully functional work of wonder. But I'll save the mushy design details for later. In this first part, of what I plan to be a three part series, I want to focus on how my life has affected the new look of my site.
This time it's personal
When I first started out blogging nearly two years ago I wrote about the simple things in life, what my favorite tv show was, the new movie I just saw at the theater or maybe a new band I just started listening to. It was me testing the waters of documenting my life online and how to approach it. There wasn't really much of a focus on what I was writing about.
Compare that with more than two years later where I have narrowed my writing down to three main topics, and I feel that I've somewhat found my voice in the creative community.
More than words
Another lesson I've learned in life is that my actions speak louder than words. And I wanted to convey that somehow in my new design. Hence the new portfolio slideshow. That's one thing that always bothered me about my previous designs. I had not created a decent way of showing off what I could do. Not that I mean to boast, but if I'm not going to promote myself, then who will?
I think that old saying "content is king" is a great way to start a blog, but if you can do more than that, then I would encourage you to do so.
Getting out more
One of my main goals in life is to get out as much as possible and spend time with those I love. There is nothing more important than building relationship with real people. So with that in mind, I don't want to constantly sit at my computer and worry about what to write/design next. I want my blog to be able to handle my absence for a week or so and not feel like it's growing stagnant. And I think with the creation of my custom home page template I have found a good solution.
So I'm looking forward to what lies ahead in life, and my goal is to stay as transparent as possible through my writing and designs. In the second part of this series I will go over, from start to finish, the design decisions I had to work through, some good and some bad.
Today I wanted to let you guys know about the Dallas Wordcamp that will be going on next weekend (June 27 and June 28). Please register if you haven't already, there are going to be a ton of great door prizes and some great speakers. Matt Mullenweg will be speaking on Sunday afternoon about the state of WordPress as well as a Q&A session. I look forward to seeing everyone there.
Also I touch on an all too common subject... being honest. More importantly about not being afraid to voice our honest professional opinion. We don't have to be a jerk to say how we really feel, but if we never speak up no one will know. There's no such thing as a mind reader.
Managing my client relationships is something I'm learning right now. And I have to say that I haven't always been the best at it. It's easy for me to be laid back and wait for them to contact me instead of being more proactive. But the more independent work I get the more I see how important it is to stay in touch with my clients and make sure their needs are being met. Putting just a little bit of extra effort in can go a long ways.
Please forgive the camera shaking. I was holding it by hand and didn't realize how sensitive it was. I need to use a tripod next time.