Stories&Work: Chad Walkingstick
Give us your full name.
Clint David Walkingstick
Share the kind of work you do.
I help companies find their voice and position themselves in the marketplace. Doing so helps them attract their best customers. I do that by being the best graphic designer and business advisor I can be.
I use a clever idea, a pencil, and a cup of black coffee (or homebrew) to design real solutions that solve their problem. I like them to feel confident about doing business, so I deliver design they can lean on.
What’s the biggest thing you had to overcome to find success in your work?
The fear of not being able to provide. It was difficult to get out of my own way. The most sinister hurdle that kept me from doing the thing I’m geared to do on the planet was a good-paying job. I'm fortunate in that I married the right woman who encourages me along the way.
What is the risk in pursuing doing the work you love?
Going completely broke and not being able to feed my kids and pay my bills but that was just the fear of the unknown talking. It's a far greater risk to live a life of quiet desperation by keeping your calling at an arm's length.
I get to experience my pursuit of happiness. It’s a gift I don’t take lightly. Not taking that risk would fly in the face of all the people it took to get me here.
What’s the biggest way your business has changed since you started it?
It hasn't changed, I have. I've realized that I'm ridiculously in control of where this business takes me. I’ve heard it said that if you’re a designer and you’re not having fun it’s your fault. Comfort creates complainers so instead of being one I’ve had to learn to walk with an attitude of gratitude.
I took a hard look in the mirror and realized that I was my biggest problem but I was also my biggest solution. I believe the only person you can control is you. I made some necessary changes in my habits, my finances, and in my career. I wouldn’t be anywhere good without building strong relationships along the way.
Tell us a few things you have to be consistent in to do your best work.
Healthy routines and habits. Those two things shape almost every outcome in my life, positive and negative. Every morning I physically work out, pray through my list, read the next section on my Bible app and read a chapter of a non-fiction book.
It doesn't happen smoothly every day. Sometimes I miss a workout. Some mornings there's a screaming toddler in my office during my quiet time. Sometimes I don't get around to reading my book until after lunch. But I always make the time to get it done. My day is not complete until those things are finished.
At the end of my business day I write a short list of things to tackle the next morning. I believe what James Victore said, “A productive day begins the night before.” My head doesn't hit the pillow until my short list for tomorrow is written down.