Thursday, February 20, 2014

Get Lucky

I won something! I got word late last year that I had been nominated for Mansmith's annual Young Marketing Masters award. After a few rounds of judging I found out I had been selected as one of nine awardees. For the award ceremony, each of us were asked to prepare a thank you speech that talked also about lessons learned. Here's was mine:

The one thing I’ve learned in my career is to get lucky.
I know Han Solo said “There’s no such thing as luck.”
But we can get lucky.

Getting lucky doesn’t mean waiting around for something great to happen.
It means searching to find that one thing you love to do – or at least something you enjoy,
enough to do it for 8 hours a day, or in our case in advertising, 10-16 hours! a day, and sometimes weekends, too.
It means knocking on doors, not giving up when people say no because you have no advertising experience, and trying until someone takes you in and gives you a shot.

Get lucky –
means always reading and constantly studying,
keeping up with what’s going on in our industry that changes so fast, to develop a gut feel for what’s up next.
And coming across things like digital and riding on, thinking that might be what’s up next.  
It means being ok with experimenting and failing, even when as the digital person nobody knows where you fit in the organization and you end up with seven bosses in three years because there’s never been a Digital Account person or a Digital Planner in the agency before.

Get lucky –
means finding like-minded teammates who also really enjoy the nerdy advertising challenge of identifying marketing issues and insights,
and who will spar with you to help you find the answer to the tough brief that was due yesterday – because everything was always due yesterday!,
Finding the dream digital team who will miss meals, dates, sleep, to get our best work out the door,
who always invite you for a drink when you’re stressed out,
and who also toast with you to the things that have gone brilliantly.
It means finding amazing mentors who teach, who coach, who say no, who shout yes.

Get lucky –
means getting older and getting to become a leader and hopefully getting to pass something on to the next generation whose turn it is to have no experience yet in advertising.
It means expanding horizons to be able to find the best new challenges, and coming to grips with getting out of your comfort zone to take them on because sometimes they turn out to be across the sea.

It means staying close to the awesome parents who told you it was ok, and that you should, do what you love – I was and have been very, very lucky.

Thank you again! 

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