Designer and writer Paul Jarvis has a useful website. Here are some posts and resources of interest, and some thoughts I agreed with.

Paul Jarvis book cover artwork

Paul talks about how to build an audience from scratch. Many of you are, or once were in this situation. If I found myself transported back to when I became self-employed eight years ago, this is close to the advice I’d give the younger me.

It’s important to say no from time to time.

“Saying no sometimes means I get a feeling that the client could be tricky to work with, or not jive with how I work. It’s ok to turn down projects I have a feeling might not go well, because chances are they won’t. And if they don’t, it’ll end up costing more to do the work than if I had just said no first. Not everyone is a perfect fit, and I’m certainly not a perfect fit for everyone.”

There’s a page comparing ebook sales on Amazon versus other platforms. Mailchimp is listed as the favoured email list management tool. I recently signed up with preferred AWeber. More on that later. (Update: read how I increased subscribers by 1,000% using AWeber.)

Work better. Good productivity tips.

Solid thoughts on how to succeed at anything (posted on the Medium platform — worth a visit for the unfamiliar).

“Pay your dues and if you want something, earn it by doing everything you can while expecting nothing. Acting like you’ve put in your time and now deserve more than someone else will get you nowhere but thought of as an ass pretty fast.”

A quick bio: He’s a “practicing yogi, touring musician, has a tattoo (or two), and is a non-preachy vegan.” He currently lives in the woods, on the coast of Vancouver Island, with his wife Lisa and pet rats Ohna’ and Awe:ri.

Paul Jarvis

Catch him on Twitter.

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May 23, 2013


I’m a big fan of Paul and I’ve talked to him recently. His best advice to me was “always do work you’d want to put in your portfolio”. Genius!

This is a great resource David, thank you for sharing. Paul raises some very interesting points. Build an audience from scratch is a great read, as I do tend to struggle with this aspect.

I really do enjoy helping people anyway I can, however that post made me question ‘am I really translating that fact or do people purely see me as wanting to get paid?!’. Definitely food for thought. That being said, I was influenced by a great designer ;)

That reminds me of those Yes/ No tshirts girls used to wear not so long ago.. How often do you wish you’ve said no at the beginning.

My favorite part of “Build an Audience from Scratch” was this section:

“Too often people make the mistake of trying to build an audience for their business by thinking about themselves first. By thinking about making money first. By thinking about what’s in it for them above anyone else. By thinking about how they can reach “X” number of followers to stroke their ego. This attitude comes across in how they interact with others, use social media and how they promote what they’re selling. People see through this type of behaviour.”

It’s all about helping people. Do the right thing, without worrying about what you’re going to get out of it. Be a good person and people will be drawn to you.

Great post David.

Brilliant insights in “Build an Audience from Scratch”! Especially “My new business would be based on helping others first… because I know that’s how you can build a loyal client-base and following”… Been there, done that and it works!

What a great excerpt, Kurt, thanks for sharing.

I see this on the social networks quite a lot, mainly from the larger corporations and it really doesn’t entice me in to following them. Your excerpt explains exactly why.

I have heard about Jarvis and read one of his articles somewhere, but now I see he is a very good reference for creative professionals. It’s worth spending some time reading his thoughts. By the way, I believe the link for “Build and Audience from Scratch” has changed. Here is the new one:

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