Tom Jepson Creative

37 things I’ve learned


As I approach my 37th birthday I wanted to catalogue things that I picked up, learned, and thought about over the last 12 months and beyond. Some of this list is silly, some of it is not.

  1. My wife has the patience of a saint (I already knew this but it never hurts to remind myself) and, without her support, I would be nowhere.
  2. Going commando every now and again is oddly freeing.
  3. Reading is, for now, one of the only activities I can truly engage with to achieve a state of flow.
  4. Running my own business was inevitable.
  5. I’m happier than I’ve been to go with the flow and assess opportunities as they happen.
  6. I regret not talking to someone about my mental health a long time ago; a year of depression and anxiety medication has put me in a place where I could have been years before now.
  7. I am still learning how to be kind.
  8. I am still learning how to be patient.
  9. I still know that I don’t really know what I want and that’s OK.
  10. I can say I am now - more than ever - comfortable in who I am, flaws and all.
  11. Presence matters to me even if I find it uncomfortable.
  12. I value few luxuries more than a proper cup of coffee and a really good haircut.
  13. The Marvel movies make my heart smile.
  14. I have a growing entrepreneurial mindset.
  15. Everything is a prototype, constantly in iteration.
  16. I am still quite bad at finishing things.
  17. Having pride in yourself and your work is OK.
  18. It’s very difficult to allow a pause in a conversation to reach a point where its uncomfortable, despite it being necessary (sometimes).
  19. The little things we do day to day in our work are more often than not the things that make a real difference to a project or client.
  20. The little things are also really hard to codify and pass on to other people - they’re what make you you.
  21. Going to the movies on my own is a rare treat but still a treat nevertheless.
  22. The more you spend on a bottle of rum, the less of a hangover you get when you’ve enjoyed a little too much.
  23. It’s hard to offer help well but it’s even harder to ask for it.
  24. Running can actually be fun.
  25. Doing nothing is sometimes better than doing something.
  26. If I’m not willing to pay for something - a product, a workshop, a service - how could I expect someone else to?
  27. I’m better than I think, even on the days when I don’t think I am.
  28. There’s nothing more worrying when someone starts a project and says ‘I know exactly what we’re going to do!’.
  29. UX design is one giant ball of ‘I don’t know’ and ‘It depends’ (Another thing I know but it never hurts to restate).
  30. Success and progress can be achieved on your own but it’s way better when you involve your tribe.
  31. Give me a quiet cocktail and a conversation over a crowded bar any day of the week (Literally; I never need an excuse!).
  32. Learning how to disagree well is one of the most important skills anyone can ever learn.
  33. Ideas aren’t worth anything until you act. Taking action doesn’t need to be costly or perfect; just do something.
  34. You never know until you ask; it almost never hurts to ask.
  35. Be responsive not reactive.
  36. Network is everything.
  37. It’s important to look after yourself above all else; if you’re down and out, how can you even begin to look after other people to the best of your abilities?

Here’s to another 37 years.