#008: Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company and Field Notes

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Aaron DraplinMy guest today is Aaron Draplin, founder of Draplin Design Company

Aaron is not only a successful designer, but also a highly sought after speaker who is currently touring the country inspiring minds young and old. Aaron is also one of the most fun and passionate people you’ll ever meet.

Aaron shares his journey with us and chats about how he’s been able to ‘get away with’ enjoying his job and about the word “successful”. Aaron’s going to let you know why you need to stay down to earth and a few examples of how to do that. He’s also going to share an awesome story about working with one of the biggest brands in the world, and more importantly, why that isn’t the one he’ll remember in 50 years.

Aaron also discusses his anti-love of The National and how The Arcade Fire wear too many suspenders and drops so many pieces of valuable information and life lessons, I won’t even attempt to type them all out.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to connect. This is the TrepsUnite Podcast Episode 8 with Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company and Field Notes.


Key Things From This Episode
1. Carry Your Own Equipment
Aaron says not to “be an act”, but stay true to yourself and be real. He does his own scheduling and says he’s “just a person”.

2. Question Everything
Aaron tells us about getting to the point where everything does not need to be a paycheck. Working with people and brands you actually like and have an interest in, makes life so much better. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m not the right guy.”

3. Aaron’s Failure
Aaron avoided huge failures by taking conservative steps. He took smaller steps and did not go out on his own over night. He worked for years and saved money and worked to make the jump as fail-proof as possible.

“If you gamble, sometimes you lose.”
“Take small steps that, over time, add up.”
“You learn. You patch. You mend. And you change.”

Aaron shares a story with us about being berated by a client, but moving on from it. He learned a great lesson from that experience: “In a position of power, don’t pound on someone.”

4. Aaron’s Advice
“Don’t make 50 of something. Make 500. You might hit it with that one.” Have the guts to go a little bigger. It makes you have to get hungry. Don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew.

Key Quote: “It’s the guy who’s a little more on the edge, that is always more fun.”

5. Take Action
Figure out how you are going to get people interested. What if you just made something cool?

6. “Sometimes You’re Going to Make A lemon.”
Sometimes you screw up. Sometimes you won’t impress your client. Look to learn from every experience and grow.

7. Aaron’s Recommendation
Get in your car and drive to some sketchy town. Go junking. You will find so many amazing things in this world that will inspire you.


Connect With Aaron
Twitter: @Draplin


Music in this Episode
Artist: The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show (CSPS)
Song: Nobody Remembers Fame
Album: Temporary Fix (EP)
Twitter: @CSPSband
“Nobody Remembers Fame” and “Temporary Fix” available on iTunes

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