How Empathy Launched A Viral Movement – Emily McDowell



How can you infuse more empathy and more of your authentic self in your work? Emily McDowell, writer, illustrator, and founder of Emily McDowell & Friends combined her past pain with her love for writing and doodling to create greeting cards that perfectly encapsulate life’s emotionally awkward moments. She talks about how your creative work can solve a problem, why your business should be based in something you love, how to build awareness of your crazy thought spiral, and how to stop the addiction to your own suffering.

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  1. When you’re feeling lost, go back to what you loved to do as a kid.

  2. You’ll always care about what other people think of you. But care more about your mission and your purpose.

  3. Start with making something you love.

  4. A successful product solves a problem.

  5. Your own story is more powerful than you think. Sometimes going into the details makes it more universal.

  6. Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

  7. Stay in your own lane. Stop looking around and focus on your vision.

  8. You don’t need to know how to get there. You just need to know the next step.

  9. Build awareness around your crazy thought spiral. You don’t have to stay addicted to your own suffering.

  10. Believe that you can break out of the life that’s holding you back, and believe that you can make your dream job a reality.



  • Find Emily’s work at a retailer near you

  • Follow Emily on Instagram

  • Emily’s awkward dating card for Valentine’s Day (aka the one that started it all)

  • National Stationery Show

  • Empathy Cards

  • It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Brene BrownDaring Greatly

  • University of Santa Monica (USM) Spiritual Psychology Program

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