86: What To Do With An Idea: A New Service Or A New Brand?

Pattern of Purpose podcast episode 86 cover art

One of the most challenging tasks we have as entrepreneurs is sorting promising ideas from distractions. With no one giving us creative direction, we’re left making executive decisions that shape the trajectory of our reputation and profitability.

Former client, Marcy Wacker, joins me to talk about the decision to seek out an advisor as she evolved her work. After 20 years of freelancing and teaching, she created a mentorship program for designers to provide the type of guidance and support she could have used along the way.

On this episode Marcy and I discuss:

  • How creatives personally identity with their work,
  • The process of shedding things that are no longer useful to you,
  • Determining whether your ideas fit under your existing brand framework...or not, and
  • Why working with someone else can give you the courage to pursue something new.


A dedicated design educator for more than 14 years, Marcy Wacker has impacted the creative lives of nearly 1,000 students. She currently teaches typography, design for print and digital media, and professional practice at the University of California, Davis and Sierra College.

In 2019, Marcy founded The Whole Creative, a mentorship program that helps designers find purpose and meaning in their work. Through a variety of programs and one-on-one engagements, the initiative gives designers a space to explore and expand their gifts and take control of their creative journeys.

On the professional side, Marcy has more than 20 years of experience in the graphic design industry. As principal of Refreshing Creative, she helps open-minded organizations craft visual brand stories that create connection with the audiences they serve. Marcy is also the founder and host of Pop-Up Art Retreat­—a space for creativity, collaboration, and community; the Design Workforce program coordinator for Design Sacramento; and a frequent industry speaker on topics including professional practice, design education, and the business of design.


Some things feel safe simply because they’re what we know.

It’s more important to consider how you want to feel than what you want to do.

When you’re doing multiple things all the time you’re never really doing anything well.

Storytelling allows someone to know you and understand you without having to meet you.


I think we’re all gifted with intuition and we know what’s right and what’s not for us.

Even though we know better, we overly formalize ourselves to the world. To be legitimate we feel we have to look and act a certain way.

One of the things I learned early on in therapy is that we live by certain rules and as we grow and evolve we have to change our rules.

There were things I was carrying around with me that I didn’t need anymore. After working with you I had enough understanding of who I was and why that was important.