I’m an amateur rider. I’ve relied on my coaches to guide me.  I’ve hacked my horse between lessons  and I’ve never really paid much attention to the details that go into training.  Teaching complicated maneuvers or  better form had been a constant mystery that left me wondering “how did they do that?”.

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This year, I switched disciplines and bought myself a reining horse that needed some finishing,  Suddenly, I found myself watching and subscribing to big name trainers trying to figure out  the mystery of complicated maneuvers and problem solving. Of course, every video I watched  offered slight  variations in approach,  but one thing that really hit home for me was how they ride and train each day with intention.

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The intention to end the session with improvement. The intention to regard every moment with the horse as an opportunity to teach the horse something. And so I realized, after 20+ years of owning and showing horses, what I had been missing was  to ride with intention.

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I could parallel my story as a designer. When I first struck out on my own as a freelancer, my work was client driven. I slowly began to realize that much of the work I was doing was not coming from a place of intention on the part of the client.  Clients would choose designs that they understood, choose words that spoke about them and approved designs based on what they liked. Rarely did they speak of calls to action, or had they thought about who would be using the design.

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So how do we add intention to design and marketing?

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  • Identify your target audience
  • Choose the right platform for your audience
  • Set a goal or action to occur based on your design, and design with that intention.
  • Evaluate the user experience of your design

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When I ride now, my day starts with how my horse reacts to me when I walk into her stall. I ride into the ring knowing what needs to be worked on. I pay attention to every release I give to her, because she learns from the release of pressure. I end my session at a place where she has improved.  And when I don’t know what I’m doing, or if I’m unsure, I get experienced help.