Mixing is an art form in itself and requires a specific mindset. Similar to how a producer envisions the finished product before the first note goes down, a good mixer will envision what the mix will sound like ahead of time.
When mixing a project, I usually like to consult with the clients regarding what the most important elements of the mix are to them. I often ask them for mixes of their favorite artists and what they would like their music be compared to.
I am a strong believer in dynamics and pay particular attention to making sure that mix is breathing, as if a living thing. With that said, sometimes a mix requires it be “balls-to-the-wall”, especially in hard rock, in which case, my approach is bit different. In both cases, I approach mixing as if building a house from pieces that by themselves are just parts, but when put together correctly become an architectural masterpiece.