11 Cooperation Rules for Designers and Content Marketers

Over the years I’ve had quite a few projects where as a marketer I needed to communicate with design teams directly. Sometimes it worked like a charm and the result outperformed our expectations. But often there were issues. We still delivered, but it was more stressful than it should have been.

There were miscommunications and problems that could be easily avoided had we known how to work with each other the right way. That’s exactly why I decided to put together a list of best practices that will help streamline cooperation between marketing and design teams.

What kind of tasks marketers and designers have in common

First, it’s worth mentioning what tasks do marketers and designers work on together. Arguably, marketers cooperate with designers far more than with any other specialists. Simply put, whenever a company needs any kind of creative output, the two departments collide. And here are just some of the work types in which designers and marketers tightly depend on each other:

  • Landing pages
  • Blog content visuals
  • Infographics
  • Competitor research
  • Company presentations
  • Banners for promo campaigns
  • Production of new products

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Whenever there’s a need for high-quality branded content, marketers need design help to make it the best version possible. And whenever a company needs to design a new entity, it’s crucial to evaluate it from a marketing perspective.

One can even go as far as to say that if you want creative work to perform best in the cut-throat environment of today’s web, you need to have designers and marketers put the right and left sides of their brains together.

The 11 rules to follow for efficient design-marketing cooperation

As I was saying, marketers and designers think a bit differently, so there can be massive miscommunications along the way. Below are the rules that I distilled for myself in the last 3 years. These rules proved to make the work easier and more enjoyable for both sides. And this kind of work always brings better results.

1. Use their language

Naturally, marketers are more used to verbally expressing their thoughts and requirements. And designers tend to gravitate towards visual examples and analogies. And this difference can be used to greatly benefit the product they are working on. But first, you need to understand that in order to be heard by your partner you need to try and use their communication toolset.

So if you’re a marketer putting together page requirements for a designer, don’t just practice your skill of writing, look for examples that you like, solutions that can be used for inspiration and anything that can visually show, what is it you’d like to them to make. This is especially good since you don’t necessarily need to gear up on all the design terminology. If you just show them an example of what you like, the designer will know loose leading from tight leading when they see it and you might not.

And if you’re a designer, try to explain your thoughts with words and be patient with us when we ask many questions and request clarifications.

2.Specific requirements and feedback

Both marketers and designers, when creating tasks for one another need to do their best at extracting all their expectations and hopes for the end result and putting them into specs. And when a task is completed, don’t be shy and provide as much real feedback as you can. The perspective of a specialist on the other side of a spectrum helps us look at a problem differently and often results in unexpected benefits for the company.

3. When possible, start with content

This one is controversial, but I’m a strong believer that when creating a website page, or basically any other branded entity, it’s better to start with the content that will need to be displayed. Of course, it may not be the final version, but marketer needs to at least know what message they’ll need to broadcast, what sections they need to have and what content will fill these sections. Then it’s easier for a designer to visualize the data and present it in the most user-friendly and appealing way.

If you’re not convinced that content should come first, let me show an example. The most common case of when design comes before the content are the website templates. You buy a theme with a dozen of neat “lorem ipsum” pages with predefined layouts and start to fill them with your own content. When you inevitably need to adjust the order, size and positioning of blocks the design is instantly off and the page loses all its charm. If you ever used a ready-made website template, you know that that’s exactly what happens. So to make it right, you’d need to have a designer adjustment to the page before the release. This isn’t necessary when the page is designed specifically for the content.

So to eliminate unnecessary iterations and make the design creation easier, I recommend starting with content whenever possible. Of course if the entity you need to create is content-based. If it’s a rock band poster – you can start with design.

4. Proofread final version before sending

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to avoid all the typos and unfortunate phrasing when sending a larger body of text to a designer. But you can do all you can to avoid mistakes:

  • proofread your work yourself
  • ask a colleague to proofread it
  • revisit it with a fresh eye a day after you’re done.

The reason why it’s so important is that often the layouts on the page and overall good look of the sections depends on the volume of text in them. If you’re going to change those AFTER you’ve sent the alleged final version of the texts to a designer, you may very well expect their rightful annoyance.

So keep in mind that design looks best the way it was intended. And the best way to ensure it is to provide your designer with the content of highest possible quality.

5. Ask all the questions you have

When it comes to cooperation between designers and marketers – guesses and assumptions are your greatest enemies. The more real questions are asked, the higher the chances that you’ll be on the same page and deliver the optimal results. It’s better to ask a silly question than to uncover a misunderstanding too late in the process.

So try to verbalize all the important information about the content you’re working on. Everything goes: from your understanding of the target users and a big picture role of the page for the website to possible changes that will need to be made in a couple of months.

6. Always discuss deadlines to align expectations

We’ve all been there:
Even though the deadline was yesterday, the work you needed to be done isn’t ready yet. It’s maddening, but you’ll be even more disappointed if the work isn’t submitted to you since you didn’t clearly discuss the deadline.

Of course, you can just say that you need something ASAP. But keep in mind that both designers and marketers can go too deep into the rabbit hole. The thing is that you can improve upon creative work pretty much endlessly. And the longer you work on something, the more imperfect it’ll feel to you. So limiting creatives with deadlines is a good thing.

Even if it’s obvious to you, it’s worth reiterating that any type of work(design or marketing) needs to have an agreed upon deadline. And preferably it should be documented via email and during a meeting with more than two people in the room. This isn’t to show that you disrespect the other party. On the contrary, if you do respect them, discuss and come to an agreement on mutually acceptable rules of cooperation and work submission.

7. Discuss possible revisions beforehand

Creatives are often slightly hurt each time someone asks them to adjust the work they did. But sometimes it takes several iterations to get a page or any other content polished. It’s worth discussing beforehand that a task may be moved from “Reviewing” back to “ToDo” as many times as it’ll take to create an acceptable solution. That that goes both for marketers and designers.

8. Ask for opinions/comments/feedback

I know how hard it is to ask for help and accept critical feedback sometimes. Especially if the person critiquing you isn’t working in your field. But in a professional environment, you have to fight your impostor syndrome and embrace any feedback and comments that may come your way. Designers and marketers have a dramatically different vision and understanding of data. So don’t be afraid to point out the things you don’t agree with in copy or design and ask why it was done this way. More often than you think, you’re thinking inside a box and a suggestion from outside may very well help you.

9. Involve each other in discussions

I’m not saying that designers and marketers should sit in during all the scrum events of each other’s departments. But it might be a good idea to involve designers in marketing meetings where you discuss informational architecture and other things that may influence design. This way if you come up with an idea that contradicts some ancient but crucial design best practice, you might save dozens of work hours which would be required to uncover the problem otherwise.

10. Get a grasp of each other’s work

From my observations, more and more marketers start to get a pretty good grasp on design terminology and tools and designers, especially UX, tend to study the marketing books. And it’s a great practice that brings the two closer together and helps them speak the same language.

Even if you’re not working with each other directly now, the two fields are getting closer together, so it definitely can’t hurt study the basics. Just like HTML and CSS knowledge isn’t the most important thing for both designers and marketers, but it certainly helps. So read up to have a basic understanding of design principles and tools that your colleagues are using.

11. Avoid one-time freelance

I learned this one the hard way. But in retrospective, it seems obvious that a one-time freelance contractor, no matter how good, will not be able to dive deep into your project and deliver the result you need. So if you have to outsource work to freelancers from time to time, I strongly recommend to start building relations with several people, or one company, rather than use a different person each time.

Final thoughts

The competition for the eyeballs and minds of users online keeps getting more fierce in all the business domains. This means that design and marketing teams will have to work even closer together in order to deliver messages and experiences to the audiences in an optimal way. The lessons listed in this article proved to be effective in my experience, so I highly recommend to implement them in your work process. Do you have any other advice for streamlining cooperation between designers and marketers? Let me know in the comment section below!

Making drastic changes in life

I recently saw a big flaw in my attitude towards big life decisions. Once again.

I used to think that the jobs I had were the defining parts of my life in which I should find the reason for being. And I just didn’t get why I wasn’t happy, why none of them gave me full satisfaction and the feeling of living the complete life I felt I could have. Only after a long search, I started seeing that even though our profession is the go-to response to the identity questions, that’s not really a good answer. Because saying “I’m a marketer” is a huge understatement of who and what you are.

And that’s not to say that we shouldn’t work hard whatever we do.  Because we should. But at the same time, our generation has the most freedom to do whatever the fuck we want at any given moment. And we should use this freedom. At least till we turn into family people and get limited by commitments and responsibilities to the point where we can’t just flip everything off and try something radically new.

At the same time, I’m all for taking on responsibilities in general. But only the ones that make you more whole and happy in return, not blindly grabbing all those the society says you should have at your age. Because the standards change. And if 40 is the new 30, then 25 is the new 15.

One of the big reasons for my depression was the fact that I didn’t see any substantial meaning in being a marketer and in devoting the whole of myself to it. I felt that there’s so much more happening on the inside that wasn’t utilized by simply doing my job as good as I could. But I would stubbornly concentrate all my energy on work, neglecting relationships, friendships and all the other things I was lucky enough to have. Even though I was physically there for the people I loved, I kept thinking about work, constantly digging a deeper hole of insufficient meaning for myself.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of meaning in honest work, in growing, in becoming the best possible professional version of you. But this doesn’t require all the immense energy sources your body and mind are producing for love, socialization, creativity, etc.

I learned it the hard way.

A couple of months ago I thought that marketing as a profession wasn’t fulfilling for me, even though on paper it’s kind if the perfect fit. So I put that career on hold and decided to go to China to become a coach. I always thought that coaching is kind of cool, so my logic at the time could be condensed to “why not, I’m unhappy anyway”. And so, feeling courageous and slightly judged for irresponsibility, I came to China.

Imagine my shock and despair when after a month in a completely new culture, with a completely new social circle and a completely new career I felt the same things I felt at all my previous jobs. Unfulfillment, boredom.

I clearly saw that yeah, I can do this, and yeah, I can be successful in it. But what’s the point? Where does this path bring me? Is it the best way to use up my time? Do I feel that my life is or will be meaningful here, far from all the loved ones?

I’ll level with you, I got really scared for a little while. I felt that this was just the way I am: unhappy, emptied and burned out. And the only choices I saw were:

1. To force myself to do something I saw no point whatsoever in doing.

2. To live in constant stress of getting used to new challenges.

And then it struck me. What if the meaning of life isn’t only in work? What if the spheres I neglected are just as (if not more) important than getting to the top of a corporate ladder?

You probably think that this was also the moment I felt sorry for going to China and for changing everything in my life so drastically and so quickly.

Well, not really.

I felt good. I felt relaxed. All the resources I poured into this trip were justified that very second since I’m not sure I would have realized the same things have I kept on going down my old path.

Catch my drift?  Would I have stayed, I would’ve been miserable for who knows how much longer. Which brings me to the main point I want to make in this text.

Even when you’re young it’s very easy to settle down and get used to stuff. A job that pays well, a city you don’t like that much, okay people. It’s easy to start telling yourself one or several points of the following:

  • If I change everything it can get worse
  • It’s just a normal life
  • Many people are far less happy
  • Many people live like this so that’s fine
  • I have invested a ton of time into this so I can’t quit

For some people, it works. But I also know for a fact that many people like me try to convince themselves that everything’s fine but don’t believe it.

And guess what it means.

It means that you’re not in the right place. It means that you can and should look for a way out, for a drastic change, for a new route to take. It means that all the reasons listed above that feel like concrete walls you can’t break – are just in your head.

If your being asks for change, it will get it. No matter how much you struggle to fight it, you can’t win in a fight against yourself. Some part of you loses either way. So why not trust yourself and at least consider the way your subconscious hints you at.

I think it’s worth completely changing surroundings when you feel stuck. When you find yourself in a new place with people you just met and doing stuff you’re not that good at, some survival mechanisms kick in and you start growing like crazy. And in this pumped up adrenaline-filled state, you have a decent chance to jump over several steps on a ladder which you were trying to conquer for years before that.

The truth is that some people never find ecstatic happiness. Some people do just live okay lives in okay cities with okay people. And for some people it’s fine. But imagine how sorry you’ll feel if you don’t try and see if you happen to be one of the lucky ones.

What if your fulfilled life was around the corner and you decided that the job you don’t like that much pays well for now?

You know what’s the scariest thing that can happen really if you find the strength to do what you want?

I will tell you cause it happened to me. You will start over. That easy. But this time with the new insights you gained, new experiences you had, and a ton of stories to tell.

What I learned my first 2 weeks in China

It’s been slightly over 2 weeks since I’m in the People’s Republic of China. I’ll share some of the things I would have wanted to know before coming here.

Cuisine

  1. There are literal millions of places to eat, ranging from pompous restaurants to ugly dirty holes in the windows and scooters with boxes of food on top of them. The rule of thumb generally is to try and eat in the places with the most locals. And even there it feels like a lottery on whether or not you’ll get sick. Often it’s a place you’d never eat in if you were just listening to your understanding of hygiene, but it’s accepted that the food there is okay. And even though there’s plenty of places to go to and you can find some food at every corner, you just risk less when you eat at the same places as the Chinese.
  2. As I’m not a big fan of eating in dirty places, no matter how authentic they are. And for a while, I didn’t have a kitchen to cook for myself. So the choice kind of boiled down to eating at international chains like McDonald’s, getting ready-made meals at stores or just getting by on bananas and dairy products. That sucks. Make sure that you do have a kitchen ASAP if you’re moving here.
  3. There’s drastically less meat than we’re used to in everything. If feels like you’re punishing your body for something by eating carbs all the time. Noodles, rice, sauces, some weird stuff you can’t identify. And the weird thing is that you get used to the carbs so you keep on eating them which isn’t all that good for you. So you better start cooking for yourself soon.
  4. If you’ve eaten Chinese food before, you won’t get shocked or really even surprised by the food here. It’s the Chinese cuisine you know. And pretty soon you’ll get tired of it. Try eating Chinese for a couple of days straight where you live. It gets old really quick, it’s not for everyone.
  5. It’s rather cheap to eat out but it’s still even cheaper to cook for yourself. Don’t worry you won’t be missing anything groundbreaking from the local chefs.

People

  1. Beijing is the capital, so generally, people are here to make money. Everyone’s in a hurry, on bikes, on cars, or bicycles, on foot, you name it.
  2. People don’t really lift their heads from their phones. They may be driving a school bus or crossing an extremely busy road, it doesn’t matter. They are always on the phone. Playing stupid games, watching tv shows with full volume on in a public place, they don’t care. The phone here really became a part of the body. Without a phone and internet connection you’re lost, without any money, means to contact anyone, without directions, transport, translator, etc.
  3. People don’t speak English. Very-very rarely can you find someone who’ll understand the very simplified sentences. Of course, there are people who have great English, but they are so rare that you’ll feel almost like they don’t exist at all. But then again, if you’re coming to a sphere like IT, it’ll probably be okay.
  4. People are very open to communication and some will want to take pictures with you. Kids will look at you in wonder. It’s fun.
  5. People sleep wherever and whenever they feel like it. When we have a lunch break, Chinese coaches just lay down and sleep for a solid hour on a football field with people running around and yelling. I have no idea how they do it.

Technology

  1. Be ready that the second you put in a Chinese sim card into your phone it will get significantly slower. I don’t know why that’s just how it is.
  2. There are cameras everywhere. Literally, no matter where you stand, if you look around, you’ll be able to find at least one camera. On the one hand, it makes you feel safe and you can be rather relaxed even in crowded places like subway, but on the other hand it’s very “black mirrory” and shows us exactly where the whole civilization is headed in terms of mass surveillance.
  3. UX, UI and user flows in apps and in other digital products are very different and unintuitive if you’re used to the way they do it in the West.
  4. The vast majority of vitally important online products and services aren’t localized for English speaking users.
  5. Beijing is extremely digitalized. Even the smallest stores and business owners prefer to get paid through WeChat and each has their own QR code printed out and ready to be used. And it really does make life much easier. At the same time, if something happens to the phones or the electricity in a big city, it will be paralyzed.

Ecology

  1. I’m no scientist and it’s hard for me to gauge how bad the air here is, but it’s obvious that even on sunny days with a clear sky, you can see that the skyscrapers in the city center are kind of in a fog. It’s not that dense, but it’s definitely there and you’re breathing it. At the same time, relatively few people wear face masks. I hear they don’t help all the much, so maybe that’s the reason.
  2. There are many parks and the air there is much better, at least it feels like it. Overall, I expected Beijing to have fewer trees while in reality, you can tell that the authorities make an effort to have more things producing oxygen.

Communication

  1. People are friendly and ready to help. But the problem is that the language barrier happens to be too high to ignore it. So you may try and try to explain something simple using your body and hands but it just isn’t enough. But then you can always turn to a translator app on your phone and it will all be all right. There’s even something comforting and humbling in surfing through millions of people, who are not just complete strangers but even won’t understand you if you use your communication instruments.
  2. If you meet someone who looks white or hear your native tongue somewhere in the crowd, it’s completely normal to come closer and meet the new people. Honestly, in 2 weeks here, I’ve met 10 times as many new cool people as I did in the last several years in Ukraine. Meeting Europeans or Americans or Mexicans, you instantly feel like they’re a member of your social group and it’s a pleasure to talk proper English or Russian. I have even met a guy from Ivano Frankivsk with whom I can speak Ukrainian. It’s extremely heartwarming when you’re that far from home.

Transport

  1. Beijing subway is very intuitive and developed, so even if it’s your first big city, you will be able to find your way from one station to another. The signs with directions are everywhere and if you have your phone with the map in your hand at all times you may even feel relaxed there. Even though the subway is really fast, it still takes a ton of time to get anywhere.
  2. There are thousands of bikes for rent laying around the public spots. You unlock them through, (once again) your WeChat and go anywhere you want. It’s really cheap and given that your destination might be an hour walk from the subway, they are extremely helpful. It feels though as if the rules don’t apply to people on bikes and bicycles. They can be riding in the middle of a highway, on the sidewalk, in the bike lane. So you got to always be aware of the possibility of some biker looking in their phone, driving directly at you and not paying any attention.
  3. People who know they are settling in Beijing get themselves electric bikes that for now don’t require a driver’s license. At the same time, you can go up to 70km on a fully charged battery and that’s more than enough for a regular working day. I’m not sure what they do in winter though.
  4. I haven’t had a chance to ride on a bus here yet, but they should also be just fine. Just like buses in any other developed country.
  5. If you’re going somewhere and can split a cab ride, it will be really cheap, but keep in mind that distances here can get out of hand, so make sure to ask or check the price beforehand.

The Regime

  1. You really feel that big brother is watching you at all times. And as long as you know that you operate in the legal field it’s fine. But if the authorities do want to find you or learn more about you for some reason, they have access to all the possible information. They know where you eat, where you sleep, what subway stations you enter and exit, where you work and who you’re talking to.
  2. Communist propaganda isn’t too aggressive here. You can see a red flag or some Soviet attributes here and there, but it doesn’t really catch the eye. The reason being that at the same time you’re surrounded by an immense spectacle showcasing all the capitalistic achievements of the world.
  3. From what I hear, to the government, Chinese people come first. So if a foreigner gets in a fight or even touches a local in a wrong way, they will be found guilty. And there are examples of people who spend time in prison for a minor misbehavior not even getting a chance to be deported. So that’s that. That’s why you want to avoid any kind of drama and conflicts here.

Final thoughts

Even though I don’t like big cities and love Ukraine, I really like it here. From the first day, it felt right and interesting. Spending some time here is definitely a perspective-shifting experience that will stick with you for a long long time, if not for life. But be ready to face at the same time a very different and very similar reality. Completely digital yet very personal, hectic but relaxed.

Why I left everything and went to work in China

I went to work to China to work as a coach to feel alive again. To experience new culture and look at my life from the farthest spot possible and reevaluate the things it consists of. I went to China to escape the office work that had me sitting on my ass for the bigger part of my life, talking to pretend specialists about the things no one cared about.

I know people who would do this kind of work gladly and just get paid for making a serious face and pretending to listen during meetings. And that’s fine. I totally get that. It’s just that for me, at the age of 18-23 it was soul crushing. And not that much because of the work itself, but because I tried to find the reason to live in it and in its fruits.  

It’s hard for me to write about where is all started for some reason. I know all the reasons perfectly well, but I’m kind of tired thinking about them.

Nonetheless, several months ago I finally figured out that my job and my relationships weren’t right for me at that time. Even though everything was objectively going fie, I was really unhappy. Truth be told, the main reason for it was me. It was my forth year working in marketing and over the years I kept getting more stressed out, critical of myself and unhappy. Even though I had some amazing work opportunities and climbed the career ladder rather fast, I wasn’t enjoying it.

I won’t get too deep into all of the reasons for that, that’s for me and my shrink to discuss, but in a nutshell, I wasn’t able to just come in and do my job halfassedly. I had to deliver, I had to always prove something to everyone. I had to push myself to the verge rather than just work and do a decent job of it. I had some great bosses, some coworkers became my good friends, and my fiancee at the time was an extremely kind and the sweet person.

For now, sounds like I’m just humble bragging, right?

Well, I’m not. Because for three years or more, I was very, very depressed. I limited MYSELF and stopped meeting new people, I became reserved and bitter, I had an awfully hard time getting out of bed every morning and none of the things I did or had were making me happy. I felt royally ungrateful and pressured myself into feeling even worth for not being happier. Not a good strategy, FYI.

At some point, having gained 17 kilos I didn’t need, having developed mild health issues, having made everyone around me significantly less happy just by being miserable myself, I saw that something was wrong in my life and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Because if I did and kept on going the same route I was going, I’d become the type of person I dreaded becoming most. Namely, someone who’s given up, who accepted the status quo, who doesn’t care about neither their close ones nor themselves. Someone who stopped in every sense of the word and turned from a promising kid into a disappointing grown up.

The thing is that what society accepts as doing good isn’t always what you need. You may want a family and a career at some point. But if you’re not happy pursuing that now, why do it?

I’m being longwinded, I know. But I want to give anyone reading some context and possibly show them that there are ways to fix the awful state of a long-long depression. And it doesn’t necessarily mean working in China. It’s about believing that it can get better and therefore finding the strength to fix the things that are out of place.

Because speaking from experience, I didn’t think it I would ever get better. I was dead sure that this half living state was forever, that it was just the way I was and nothing could be done. So whenever anyone told me that I will feel better at some point, I was just getting more and more angry at the world that didn’t see the effort I put into daily functioning and how much it worth me.

I know that there are many of us out there who maintain decent social lives, look good on social media, build careers and stay in relationships at the same time feeling absolutely devastated. I’ve been there and it’s awful.

So, to cut a long story short, after I broke up with my fiancee and put most of my marketing projects on hold, I already felt significantly better. But now I needed some proof of concept to show me that my newly gained freedom is really something I imagined it would be. That’s why I googled around and found an agency that would help me find a job in China (doing whatever, I didn’t care all that much).

I wasn’t specifically keen on going to China. It’s not like I dreamt about working there or even visiting for years. I just thought about the biggest change of surroundings I could make, that biggest shift I can make in the shortest period of time. And China seemed like a far better spot than the stuffy old Europe.

For some reason, on every step of the way, when the perspective to go to China was getting more and more real, I wasn’t anxious or stressed out. I just chilled, saw the girl I really-really liked and finally felt relaxed and calm. It was so unlike me that every so often I’d snap out of it and ask myself why I wasn’t panicking. But this new happy state of being was so unbelievable and refreshing for me that I just kept on living.

The 2 month of preparation, while extremely packed with events and emotions, were the calmest times I’ve lived since I was probably 13. I just knew that I was doing the right things in my life on a bigger scale. I felt like I moved the huge pieces that were holding me back, so everything else started falling in the right places automatically.

As I was saying, I felt skeptical about this trip working out. On each and every step something could go wrong and I wouldn’t be able go. But at first the agency found the company where I’d work, then I passed all the interviews successfully, then the documents started moving between cities and all the to-dos required were just happening. Strangely enough, me not stressing out didn’t make this whole venture harder to happen. On the contrary, I just showed up, did what I had to do, everyone else did their part and it all kind of happened.

Because going to China to work isn’t rocket science, despite what it looks like from inside the box. It just takes one person willing to come and a couple of other people willing to give them work. That’s it. The bureaucracy and papers may be messy. But overall, it’s very doable.  

Only while I was flying over Beijing, it struck me that all this is really happening. That I just decided I wanted it, did all the needed steps and here I was, looking at this amazingly huge entity from the sky, with 21.7 million people sleeping right below me. For several minutes I was overwhelmed by the fears I used to live in. The ones that try to block you and rob of any joy you might feel.

But then, they faded away. And you know why? Because in the last months I learned that even if something in China will be making me unhappy, that’s not a problem. I will either fix it or change it. I learned that leaving in fear of being unhappy in the future limits you incredibly in terms of the choices you have today. And even if you are unhappy because of the choices you made in the past, it’s not that big of a deal. Take new conditions into considerations, work out a new acceptable plan and stick to it. If the plan doesn’t work – adapt.  If you fail at something, don’t give up and try again.

I artificially limited myself for several years. And I know that a ton of people in their twenties do to. That’s no way to live your life. You can and should be happy. It’s not something only the chosen ones are worthy of. You just have to try. And of course there can be tough moments. Deal with them and move on. I promise you, it feels so much better to feel alive than to feel unrealized but secure.