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Squarespace web designer Justin Mabee on investing in his work and in himself

Justin Mabee is a Squarespace web designer. (headshot of Justin)

Meet Justin, a Squarespace web designer and one of those people who feels like a longtime friend, even if you’ve only just met. In this member spotlight, Justin shares his insight on the importance of investing in your business, as well as some of his favorite digital tools and apps for making the most of his workday. Read on to learn about his goals for the future, what inspires him, and more.

What’s your profession?

I’m a Squarespace website design veteran, having worked in the platform and built sites for nearly 12 years. I build websites, help clients build memberships and courses, and assist with product and service strategy, as well as minor graphic design.

Describe a typical work day for you.

I work from home, so most of my days are spent in my home office, working on new sites for my clients. I typically try to work on 1-3 sites a day, answering emails, miscellaneous minor maintenance for other clients, and chatting with other Squarespace designers to help them with their projects. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

I think one of the biggest challenges for me is finding new work. When you’re actively working on projects for clients, it’s hard to dedicate time to marketing. Then when your projects are finished, you realize you should have been marketing yourself to secure more clients for afterwards. It’s a regular catch-22 that I’ve found myself stuck in for years. 

Do you have a morning routine?

Yes! I get up around 6-7am, let our two dogs outside, and then I make a pot of coffee. I bring my wife a cup of coffee, take any vitamins or medicine I need to, grab a yogurt and granola, and head up to my office for the morning. Sometimes I’ll start the day with a YouTube video or a few TikToks to get my mind awake. I’ve also recently started watching a few tech influencer videos to start my day on the right foot.

What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?

I’m always trying to find new apps, programs or services that help make my life easier with my work. One that has become essential to my flow is Raycast. It’s a launcher for apps and quick actions, and it incorporates AI as well so I can do quick calculations, copy a snippet of code, or grab some fake text to put on a website. It makes it really easy to learn my muscle memory and make small tasks quicker to process through.

I also firmly believe you have to invest in your job and in yourself. While you might not always need the latest and greatest computer, software, phone, or tech device, if you rely on that technology for your work, it’s best to put your most investment into it. Your productivity will skyrocket if you just put a solid effort into giving your business what it needs. That can be technology, or it can even be a website. Invest in yourself, in your education, in learning new skills and tricks to help you be better and more successful.

What do you listen to during the day?

I have ADHD, and I spent a lot of time over the years listening to my favorite music during workdays so I could sing along and not be distracted. But even when listening to music, I became distracted over time. So within the last few years, I’ve really latched onto the EDM community and particularly dubstep. It’s just electronic sounds and chaos in my ears, but the chaos tends to drown out all the distractions in my head, allowing me to have deep work sessions and get projects completed. 

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

A coworking space near my home allows me to take a day each week to get out of the house, recharge my batteries, and do something different with my day. Interaction with other people is slim when working from home, especially if you are only connecting with clients each week on different projects. So getting to know people from the community and the coworking space is paramount for my mental health, and it’s just a change of scenery too, so I don’t feel stagnant at home.

What’s in your digital toolbox?

My daily drivers:

What inspires you?

Seeing what other people are creating is very inspiring to me. For a while I got discouraged when I saw other designers and developers creating things I felt like I couldn’t make. But now it just inspires me to make my own version, to create my own path. 

A photo of Justin and his wife in Iceland in an open landscape - Justin Mabee, Squarespace web designer

What are some of your goals for the future?

One of my biggest goals for the future is to move permanently to Iceland. My wife and I got married there in 2018, with our honeymoon in Paris after. We took a bunch of friends with us and we’ve been back to Iceland twice since. We try and go back every year in November, while going to other places in the world on the way. I’ve fallen in love with the quietness of the country, the vast beauty of an untouched, wild landscape.