Cococello is Deb Pang Davis. Independent print and digital designer, educator and soon-to-be-author.


What I Learned this Week #19 2010

“Paralysis Analysis”

Last month, I joined Marie Forleo’s Mastery Program 2010. As her tagline says, she helps “Women Entrepreneurs Live Rich, Happy & Hot”.

I wasn’t sure about it at first and after just a few weeks, there’s enormous value in being part of her fantastic network of women. The short version of what I like about her: No bullshit. Kind. Giving. Practical. Supportive and just freaking smart about business.

This week, a member of the group touched how we can make ourselves crazy.

We get caught up in comparing ourselves and essentially researching our brains out and getting sucked down this vacuum online where you could spend hours figuring out how to do this or that; comparing yourself to other similar businesses and perhaps even wondering if you should completely redesign or rebrand.

It can become extremely paralyzing even though you feel like you are “doing work” and “making progress”. One woman in the group called it “paralysis analysis” which I found to be such a perfect term. And another woman shared this quote: “Stop preparing to get ready to begin”.

I wrote down the last quote on a sticky and put it on my computer to remind me the next time I go down the research path, I need to put a limit on “research”.

Editing is Design

When it comes to websites, it is incredibly easy feel like you need to do what other people are doing.


  • A rockstar photographer has his blog as his home page or has one large photography with tons of thumbnails referencing deeper stories or portfolios on his site.
  • A new and popular restaurant has their twitter stream on every page of their website and constantly tweets their specials.
  • A consultant is using a really popular theme or template and you feel like you need to use it as well. 

Just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it is right for you or your business. Sometimes, taking away content or a piece of functionality is the solution rather than adding more content.

Make sure the next web designer you work with understands that your website is part of your marketing mix and not an opportunity to follow trends, make a statement about design or force you into integrating every tactic available to you.

Pick up the Phone

OK, this one is a work in progress because this is such an easy trap to fall into: Someone emails you and it kinda rubs you the wrong way and you aren’t quite sure why but something about it bugs you. Or, you might have emailed someone and that person hasn’t gotten back to you right away. It is super important and why doesn’t this person get back to you?!

Email is so so easy and so lacking in intonation. My husband suggested this:

People tend to read emails in the mood they are in.

So if you send an email to another person and that person is in a cranky ass mood, suffering from sad news or just had their boss chew them out, there’s a good chance your email may not have been read with a clear head.

Escalating emails are the worst. Back and forth, back and forth and where does this get you? Annoyed. Angry. Frustrated. Next thing you know, you are down a path that probably didn’t need to happen.

Even if you have this idea in your head that a phone call would make things worse and you are not crazy about confrontation or conflict, just hearing the other person’s voice on the other end can help with your relationship.

Seriously, taking that extra step to pick up the phone can make a world of difference.

Web Design Fail: Multiple Doors

Photographer Crush: Matthew Benson