The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

This story gave me a completely new perspective on what it is that makes me happy and got me thinking what is the reason we are working so hard in life. I think you might enjoy reading it too!


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


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The Power of Encouragement


“In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be against him. He had never been able to attend school more than four years. His father had been flung in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger. Finally, he got a job pasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with two other boys – guttersnipes from the slums of London. He had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Story after story was refused. Finally the great day came when one was accepted. True, he wasn’t paid a shilling for it, but one editor had praised him. One editor had given him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.

The praise, the recognition, that he received through getting one story in print, changed his whole life, for if it hadn’t been for that encouragement, he might have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories. You may have heard of that boy. His name was Charles Dickens.”

 Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)

No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.

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Go All The Way

All The Way – a Charles Bukowski poem from Willem Martinot on Vimeo.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even try”

Before starting something new, make sure you have figured out Why you are doing it. If the Why is not strong enough, chances are you will grow sick of it and failure is inevitable. Remind yourself of that Why throughout the journey, Why it’s worth doing the things you do. If the Why is strong enough, you will most likely overcome the obstacles that will come in your way and continue to grow. Whatever it is you need to do, do it with all your heart. There’s so little competition.

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The most epic build-up speech of all time

I like how Al Pacino starts this speech with “I don’t know what to say really” and then goes on to deliver a speech that will literally blow your mind and get you flying off the couch and start doing push-ups on the living room floor. I read somewhere that the piece of paper he’s holding in his hand is the actual script and that this was all improvised by Mr Pacino. Now if that’s true or not I don’t know, I choose to believe it is.

If this doesn’t get you pumped up to do the dishes, clean the house or whatever it may be then I’m not sure what will!

What’s your favorite speech that gets you fired up?? Link it below I would love to hear it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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6 Daily Tasks Industrial Designers Do

Sometimes I get the question “What exactly do you do as an industrial designer?”. Well working as an ID can involve a lot of things and not every day is the same. Here are 6 tasks that I do on a daily basis.

1 – Client Meeting

So we got a new project. This starts with a meeting with the client which some times takes a bit too long for my taste. I have a very short attention span. What I need to know as an ID are what the product is going to be used for, who is going to use it, preferred materials/textures, cost of manufacturing and if the client already have some design input they will let me know. Then, if I haven’t started doodling already, I jump into step 2.

2 – Sketching

Not all designers get to sketch a lot these days. Being an ID often means that you need to have basic mechanical engineering and 3D modeling skills. For me personally I sketch almost every single day. If not at work, then I’ll probably make a couple of doodles at home simply because it’s too much fun not to. But sketching is an essential part of working as an ID and usually this is done early in a project when we are looking for ideas and designs. We do a couple of crazy concepts and a couple of reasonable ones. I use pen and paper for quick ideas and when I think a design is interesting enough I jump into digital using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop.

3 – 3D Modeling

I’m glad to be surrounded by engineers at work that tell me “Hey man, that design is not going to be manufacturable it’s way too expensive” and basically let me know when I’m going off the grid with a sketch or render. I usually respond with an “Okay…..and sad face”. When we feel we have a design that’s interesting enough, we go from 2D to 3D. As an ID you focus mostly on the visuals and ergonomics of the product and try to combine this in a beautiful way. Always think less is more. The simpler the design is the better and this will keep the mechanical engineers happy. It’s hard, I know. Make a few 3D mock-ups in Alias or Rhino for example and when you’re ready we go to step 3.

4 – Discussing with the engineers

I have a saying that goes “I design products and make them beautiful and then they get engineered”. This isn’t very popular among the engineers. Anyway, we have our 3D mock-ups and now we need to know if this crazy design is going to meet the budget for manufacturing or if it’s too complicated. Usually what happens is we bounce back and fourth between designers and engineers and meet somewhere in the middle. The designers are happy with the aesthetics and ergonomics and the engineers are not going to go insane trying to model this thing. Everybody’s happy!

5 – Drink coffee

Coffee is essential throughout step 1-6. I prefer dark roast with a touch of creamer.

6 – Client Review

Big day. Now we present the process and final results to the client from ideation sketches and early ideas to 3D mock-ups and final designs. We also explain WHY it turned out the way it did. From here it’s up to the client to decide whether they accept the design or need more tweaks or scrap the whole thing. If so, it’s back to the drawing board and step 1.

This is a very generalized layout of what I do at work. Not all industrial designers do the same things of course. Do you do it differently? I would love to hear how your design process goes!


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5 Steps to Create the Life you Deserve

It’s over. Years of dedication, hard work, sleepless nights and partying at the frat house has gone by quicker than you could ever have imagined. You’ve been dreaming about this day and looked forward to it since the first day you set foot on the campus. You finally got your diploma. Congratulations!
I am going to be honest with you. That piece of paper with your name in calligraphy  is nothing but a waste of high quality paper. It doesn’t mean anything. Especially in the design industry. Not one single employer that I’ve worked for has ever looked at my masters degree diploma. None of them said “oh, please don’t forget to bring your diploma, it’s important to us”.
When I was I little kid I told my brother, on a chilly winters day in the suburbs of Stockholm, that one day I’m going to work as a product designer somewhere warm and close to a nice beach. Fast forward 15 years and I am blessed to say I now live in Florida, working as a designer with the office 5 minutes from the crystal clear blue Atlantic ocean. It wasn’t my diploma or education that got me here. Let me tell what did.


1, Visualization

It might sound childish and stupid, but to visualize your dreams and where you want to be in life is more powerful than one might think. Turn off the TV for a minute or two, think about where you see yourself a year from now. Who are you with? What’s the weather like? Where are you in the world? Are you happy? What about this place makes you happy? It doesn’t take much, 5-10 minutes a day is enough. But you need to do it every single day. If you really want it, it comes naturally. This is called day dreaming. It’s when you let your thoughts sail off to someplace in your mind and you visualize yourself there and you get this subtle smile on your face until someone calls your name and you snap back to reality. When you do this every day, it gets imprinted in your brain and you’ll see that you will start to take tiny steps in that direction without you even knowing it.

2, Taking Action

This is something a lot of people forget. Day dreaming only gets you so far, what we need now is action. Think about what you can do now, this minute, to get one step closer to your goal. Maybe you need to talk to your family about your plans. Just putting it out there in the open sometimes makes it feel more real. Or maybe you should research who can help you and give you advice on your journey. The Internet is pretty amazing and you can contact almost anyone in the world if you put some effort into it. Ask for advice from people who already did what you are trying to do. I am certain they will be glad to help out. Research, send emails, pick up the phone, start a blog or whatever it is you want, as long as you take that first step and keep going.

3, Surround Yourself With Positive People

Time is the only thing we can’t get back so I try to make sure I spend it with positive people that inspire me and motivate me. It doesn’t matter what your goal is – to loose weight, to start a business or to move to a new city, you need to be around people that will build you up and push you forward. The rest is just noise that we don’t have time or energy for. One of my favorite quotes is “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. I couldn’t agree more. I try to be the dumbest person in the room and listen to what others have to say and constantly learn and grow as a person. Every single one around you is more knowledgable than you in so many areas. Try to find those areas in everyone and learn from them. This doesn’t necessarily mean only physical interaction, but to read books, listen to podcasts or go to seminars as well for example.

4, Corporations Are People

Sometimes when you think about companies and huge corporations it gets a bit overwhelming. But when you think about it, all that a company is is a bunch of people just like you and me with feelings, interests and struggles. Say you’re applying for a position that you really want and you’re trying to make the best impression with your application, editing it over and over, making small adjustments and fine tuning it until there’s nothing of you left in it. Stop and think of the person who is going to review it. What if you where the person in charge of hiring, what would you want to see in an application? There are probably hundreds if not thousands of people applying for the same position, how do you stand out? Research the company or the person in charge, see what their core values are and try and implement some of that in your application. And don’t forget to send a follow-up email or phone call a couple of weeks after the application has been sent just to make sure they know you’re the right person for the gig. Go the extra mile and do something that’s above the expectations of your application. Make yourself memorable. The diploma is less important.

5, Get Uncomfortable

Leaving Sweden for the United States alone without knowing anybody was uncomfortable and scary. Trying out the new roller coaster with triple loops is scary. Working out is uncomfortable. Speaking in front of a large group of people is scary. Something I’ve notices is that the reward you get from stepping out of your comfort zone is so much more valuable than anything you could have done comfortably. Staying in the safety of my home in Sweden never would have introduced me to the amazing people that are in my life now. The triple loop roller coaster had me laughing harder than ever when I got out of it. Speaking to an audience is only scary the first five seconds you’re up there then it becomes a pleasure. Getting yourself to the gym on a rainy day is uncomfortable but I guarantee you’ll feel amazing afterwards every single time. Just get in there and do whatever it is you know is the right thing to do and don’t let fear stop you.

These are 5 steps I try to incorporate in every day. The world is a big play ground that’s yours to explore and whatever limitations you think you have is all in your head!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What’s your dream or goal? Make sure you write them down in the comment section below or just simply send me a message through the contact form. Looking forward to it!

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5 Essentials for Every Designer

There are a few things that I need in my life as a designer and creative professional. Here are the basic 5 things that I use every day!


1, Pen & Paper

Before jumping into the digital world, pen and paper is definitely the way to go. Whatever you’re sketching products, cars, fashion, landscapes or maybe concept art, it’s always a good idea to just throw down some ideas on paper. This will loosen up your arm and unleash your creativity faster than you think. I usually use a BIC Round Stic which can be found everywhere and for the paper I grab whatever is around me may it be a napkin, printing paper or if I’m really lucky – marker paper. If you temporarily have what I call sketchers block, check out my linked video on how to unblock your mind and get into a sketching frenzy down below!



2, Markers

Now that you have some scribbles on your sheet of napkin you might want to add some shades in there to define the sketch more. For this I personally use Copic markers. They do tend to bleed a bit while sketching over the pen lines but I always go back and fill those out as a final step of the sketch. If you don’t want to do this step, Chartpak markers do not bleed. Just make sure you wear a gas mask while using those, they do smell pretty strong.



3, Wacom Tablet

So now we have an amazing sketch in front of us on paper and we want to jump into digital to really make this piece as detailed as we want it. For this I take a photo of my sketch and just import it into Photoshop. Most cell phone cameras are sufficient by todays standard but you could use a scanner if you have one laying around. To sketch I use an ancient Wacom Intuos 3 wide. I can through it in the wall or run it over with the Jeep and it will still be working. I love it. You can find used ones on Ebay for around $80-100. Good deal! Just make sure the power chord is not all worn out. This tends to be a problem with these older tablets.



4, Software

For the software I use mostly Photoshop to render stuff out. If I’m doing line work and quick ideas I think Sketchbook Pro is the better alternative. It has a better flow to the lines and it feels more natural to me for some reason. I did try Painter back in the day, I like it for making illustrations and paintings since they have some really nice standard brushes that represents the real life brushes you would use to paint on a canvas. But for product design, car design and concept art Photoshop is great. You can now subscribe to Adobe CC which is the full package of software for a reasonable monthly price instead of buying it for a larger, one time amount.


5, Inspiration

I know I sometimes need a push to get going with my sketches and designs and it depends on the day where I get that push from and what i want to sketch. Sometimes closing my eyes and listening to a song is a good way to set up the mood in your mind for example landscape paintings and concept art. I think I’ve listened to M83 Oblivion OST about 200 times and all of a sudden there’s a spaceship on my canvas. When working on more industrial design related projects I like to check out Pinterest and a couple tumblr blogs and take a couple of designs I like, mix them up in my head and see what comes out. Another great way which I think a lot of people don’t think about is exercise. It doesn’t have to be an hour heavy lifting at the gym, but just going for a walk or a short jog will definitely get those lines going!

I would love to hear what you guys are using for your sketching and where you get your inspiration from! Feel free to write it down in the comments section or use the contact form. Also let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them :)

Happy sketching!
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What's Your Passion?

Emails from Marouane will include ideas about inspiration, motivation, spirituality, entrepreneurship and sketching tutorials. It's a personal insights into the world around us.

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