Fact: inspiration can come from anywhere. For our agency, one source is definitely Creative Mornings. A morning lecture series that brings together creatives from a variety of industries to discuss a common theme, it happens once a month in 177 cities around the globe. We’ll be posting a recap each month, so check back here or come join us!

A Quick Recap: Humble Beginnings

October’s global theme was Pioneer and in Philly, the lecture was aptly led by Josh Goldblum, one of the founders of the Philadelphia chapter of Creative Mornings as well as the founding principal and CEO of the digital agency Bluecadet.

Goldblum discussed the idea of being a pioneer through the lens of his own roundabout journey from bright-eyed designer to founder of his own company. With humor and honesty, he described how after graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Fine Arts and English he’d show animal skull ink drawings at interviews with design firms. His first job at the Smithsonian, however, was where he cultivated a passion for working with museums and non-profits, which would ultimately inform the type of work he’d seek at Bluecadet.

After freelancing for a while, Goldblum moved back to Philly in 2007 and started his agency out of an old house with just a few people—before getting evicted and moving to a new space. From its humble beginnings, Bluecadet is now a 50-person, Emmy Award-winning agency with an additional office in New York.

Photo by Shannon Tang

Finding Your Own Path

So how does one become an award-winning designer? When asked for some practical career advice, Goldblum shared these words of wisdom:

“It’s not a map; life is kind of random. Find your own path.”

I always thought of a pioneer as someone who paved the way for others in a specific field or industry. Someone of great stature and notability. But after listening to Goldblum, I realized that it’s not just a select few who are pioneers. Each of us is a pioneer in our own respective lives.

Despite being a young designer, I found that certain points he made really resonated with my own experience. It was not too long ago that I graduated from college with no idea as what I would be doing or where I would be going. But fast forward to today where I’ve already surpassed my 1-year milestone at my first job. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and still have much to learn, but it’s comforting to know that the future is not supposed to be clearly defined and that’s okay.

Goldblum also shared his idea of success with a sailing analogy. First, define what success looks like to you, and ask yourself, “Where are you heading?” In sailing, “tacking” is a way of maneuvering the ship and changing the direction. You can’t always sail directly into the wind, hence the need for tacking and sailing in the desired direction. So the best thing you can do is plan, execute your tacks and move incrementally toward your goal.

The truth is each person’s career trajectory and life goals are different. It’s okay to take the path less traveled or to take a couple of wrong turns here and there. Either way, it’s important to remember to be a pioneer and blaze your own trail.