Young Pro Tip: If you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to leave.


When you were seven, I’d bet you didn’t have a dream of becoming an Olympic track star just out of the blue. You probably saw an event on TV and decided you’d be an all-star hurdler, just like so-and-so.

Or, wanting to become a high-end fashion designer didn’t just come from trying on all the clothes in Target and playing with Barbies, it probably dawned on you when you first saw something like “A Devil Wears Prada.”

Is Fortnite so popular because it has the best graphics ever made in any video game? Or is it because it’s such an achievement to win, against all those other real people?

In the workplace and in life, this isn’t just competition. It’s a drive to be the best because you saw others do it first–and you thought you could recreate it, but better. Set a new hurdle record. Be the most well-known, worthy-of-Meryl-Streep fashion editor. Earn more than any other player on Twitch or YouTube.

Self improvement happens when you see someone better than you.

You can’t evolve if you’re already at the top. Whether as a web designer, a freelance artist, a writer, a coder, a salesperson, a startup founder (the list goes on forever), you can only challenge yourself, improve yourself and your skills, and make leaps and bounds in your career if you’re NOT the smartest person in the room.

Cool logo inspiration, the best website designs, creative rewritings, bold advertising strategies, they happen over and over again when someone decides they can top it.

There is always more progress to make. Be proactive in seeking it out.

Ideas, creativity, individualism, and unprecedented success comes from being consistently challenged. No one got to the top and stayed there by doing what everyone else was doing. Design the best logos. Rewrite all the web design trends. Take risks. Be daring. Work smart, not hard. Be creative. Enter competitions. Win competitions. Boost your portfolio.

If you’re the smartest person in a room, it’s time to find another room.

At Rock Candy Media Magazine in Austin, we seek to award people for leaving those old rooms. We want the people that didn’t settle for being at the top of the ladder. We want the people that then use that as a crow’s nest to find another ladder to start climbing. Take it from us — we didn’t become a top ad agency in Austin by surrounding ourselves with nobodys. We did it by seeing where we still fall short, and striving towards the best, over and over again. Want to give it a shot?

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