Name: Gili Wolf
Creative Industry that you are in: Graphic Design
Years in Business: 10 years
Favorite Food: Baked goods of any kind (although they have to be gluten free)
Favorite Color: Tiffany blue. It's a thing.
Favorite Drink: Chocolate chai with cayenne
Best music (singer or group): The Killers
A pet peeve you have: Cliches, and especially trending hashtag cliches.
Name something that brings you joy: The ocean
In 3 words, how would a friend describe you? Kind, funny, creative
to the heart talk...
If you had to choose an animal to represent you, which would you choose and why?
A golden retriever. I'm going with this because a friend once told me that I'm like a big gentle dog that just wants to like everyone.
What is the passion behind your business? We know all businesses have heart behind them, but in what ways does your business give you purpose?
I see myself as a conduit for creative ideas. I don't always know where the ideas come from, but that's what makes them kind of miraculous, and why I feel like it's my purpose to bring them to life. And if my purpose is to create, since I'm a designer, the greater purpose is in sharing what I've created in a way that serves others.
How do you measure your own success? When will you know when you have "made it"?
When I'm living in the "flow." To me, success is a feeling of living out my fully expressed self. I want to feel like I've squeezed all the juice out of life and shared my gifts.
As an introvert in the creative industry, what has been the most difficult for you in growing your business? Have you made any adjustments to work through this difficulty?
Talking to people, especially when it comes to contracts and money. And visibility. I feel awkward talking about myself, particularly on social media. Some people say online platforms are more comfortable for introverts, but that hasn't been the case for me. I much prefer connecting to people in person, so the online marketing world has been challenging because I often feel I don't know how to make the big splash I think I'm supposed to make. I've tried to learn and make myself do these things anyway in the hopes that it will start to feel more normal. I've also been fortunate to partner with another designer who is a total extrovert, so the balance between our personalities has been helpful.
What do you excel in as an introvert owning a business? When did you realize that this is a strength in your business?
I'm a great listener and my clients know I genuinely care about them. I've really good at making them feel taken care of.
Can you talk about a time you felt out-of-place? What thoughts went through your mind and what was the outcome of the situation?
It was at a Tuesdays Together event, actually. I was one of the oldest attendees (I'm a GenXer, the vast majority of the people attending were much younger), and while I have many years of experience, I'm a quiet person to boot. It was hard for me to connect and felt like a fish out of water. However, that is where I met my business partner, who, aside from being very outgoing, felt similarly out of place so we started talking. I feel the one-to-one connections are where you find the gold.
What have you learned about yourself in this business process so far? What goals do you have for your personal growth in the next 5 years?
That the learning, growing, and stretching never ends. Really. Never. In the next 5 years I want to become a master of online marketing and grow the new venture that I'm working on with my partner.
What tip would you give other introverted creatives who are looking to make meaningful connections with others? (Ya know, beyond the small talk) :)
As an introvert, you've probably got good instincts about people. Trust them. Seek out the ones who you are drawn to and strike up a conversation. Again, I feel the one-to-one connections are where the magic happens because you actually have the opportunity to dig deeper and learn something of real value from another person. It's not about the show, it's about what's really going on. Most people crave true connection, and as introverts, I think that's our super power. Other people gain a lot of value from us in that way, so use it!
What is one pieces of advice that you would give creatives in how to find purpose and balance in their life and business? How has this advice played out in your own life and business?
Find the thing you most love to do in your creative work, and make that the thing you focus on. You can build so much from one concept, style, idea. Become the master of that thing that is uniquely yours.