Motivators

I called out sick today and followed suit with my fail-proof get-well routine. 5 kinds of tea, 4 bulky blankets, 3 party Motrins, 2 pairs of socks, and 1 uncompromising Orange is the New Black binge. Shamefully -and I say that because I’m earnestly trying to cut back- after all that, I wandered into the minefield of post-grad Facebook stalking. Healthy doses are natural, informative. Knowledge is power, right? Well, WordPress, I’m not not obsessive, cucumber-esque as I’d love to imagine myself. I look at exes, and the new girls in their pictures. I look at old friends, and the new friends they’ve made and moved on with. I look at people I graduated with, and the goings on they’ve wound up in. And every so often, I’ll specifically look up one or two people to see what’s new or what’s boring, only to find that my e-ass has been defriended. For a minute I feel betrayed, as if a disproportionate amount of effort was taken to go to my stupid profile and click a stupid button to keep insignificant me out of their insignificant feed for good. Extra insult to injury ensues when I see all of our mutual friends that made the cut. But if I reflect on these defrienders, who they are in my real life, I’m reminded that they’re people with which I’ve disagreed and competed: people I’ve challenged and have been challenged by. Some people who in the moment I would’ve sooner offended on purpose than offered an olive branch; you ask them honestly, they would’ve done the same. Sometimes bygones are bygones and we can all get along in a world inimitable of our own; or we can jump ship and never see those pricks again. Either way, the world keeps spinning. But if you’re like me and quick to get butthurt over these things and have to stop yourself from texting your boyfriend with this incident at the top of Today’s Grievances, remember one thing: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Winston Churchill nailed it. Argue about the sound and implication of words. Debate whether or not Miley is racist. Question the thinking of your team. Consider chocolate or vanilla.

You may lose people along the way, but if they can’t stand the differences then they miss out on the overlap.

In the Spirit of Things

For the mysterious way opportunities present themselves, either when we least expect them or as the residue of hard work.

For change, asking only to be embraced.

For the support I didn’t realize I needed.

For the trials of dissent and disorder: the mind expanded, the empathy cultivated, the action compelled.

If a Million Years of Jeopardy has Taught Us Anything

what is that questions are paramount? ding ding ding.

At my new job, there are days where I’m terrified to ask anything, wary of inviting counter-questions like “where in the world did you come from?” and “who do we need to fire in light of your hire?” it’s scary, but we have to keep asking. to ask is to learn, and whatever job we find ourselves in, we do our best when learning. let your brain be the sponge it was made to be.

One day when I was sifting through emails, I spotted a response to a question my supersupersupervisor had asked a director in a different department. Without context, the answers didn’t carry much weight, just unmemorable protocol or prattle, who could tell/care. I nearly tuned it out. but just for kicks, I checked out her original email and was taken aback by such thoughtful inquiries, questions that I’d never even think to ask (duh, you’re not a supersupersupervisor, but still, I’m hopeful, and not brain-dead.)  it’s not just the answers, either – it’s the answered.

where’s the bathroom?

what floor has the good coffee?

how many sick days is too many sick days?

what are impressions?

what are GRPs?

what’s the difference between impressions and GRPs?

who coined TGIF?

which Friday is bagel Friday?

what kind of bagel would Einstein eat?

Ogilvy?

Sinatra?

how am I doing?

how can I be better?

what’s next?

Love and Pasta for All!

Love and Pasta for All!

If you haven’t heard, burn your Barilla. After Chairman Guido (oof) Barilla announced he would never stand for a gay family in his company’s ads, US communities and rights groups rallied and said in so many words, “We don’t want you, either.” In the midst of this, Bertolli saw an opportunity to paint their pasta in a more inclusive light: a proverbial rainbow, if not a literal special edition.

I was just talking about this kind of thing with a friend: is it gimmicky and cheap when brands do the right thing, because they seize a moment and academically understand it’ll up their stock? A calculated risk for an exponential gain. There’s almost a stigma on acting honorably in marketing practices because it knowingly generates positive buzz. At the same time, speculative scrutiny is a byproduct of public sphere real estate; everyone’s aware of a good deed, everyone’s aware of a monumental screw-up. It’s like Brad Pitt working with Habitat for Humanity, or Charlie Sheen doing anything.

At the end of the day, being popular for being good sets a tone for good-doing, and what’s so bad about that? Good is so in.

Jon Hamm Likes His Stories and I Don’t Mean Soap Operas

Jon Hamm Likes Stories and I Don't Mean Soap Operas

Crossing all crossables that this post was conceived by the Jon Hamm we all know, love, and cyberstalk. And if it isn’t, well, good luck JH2 living up to one of the hottest names there ever was.

If you ever wonder why marketing research matters -and I mean qualitative, piece it together, talk to your freakin’ mom on the phone for crying out loud- this is a good account executive summary.

Step Up

Starting a new job = always an adjustment

Getting good at it = moving a mountain. Surmountable of course, but not without the right attitude, support, and shoes.

And that’s all I got for media math today.

Seriously, whenever I’m having a rough day and feel like I’M NEVER GOING TO GET THIS I try to remember the baby steps. That’s what these all are anyway, right? Steps? I’m not going to be an assistant my whole life, possibly not in this department my whole life, who knows about this company for my whole life. In fact, that’s what keeps me going: the knowing that it’s all taking me somewhere, even on the days when “keep on trudgin'” is a more apropos take.

My personal baby steps get me through, little tokens to reel me back in and remind me I’m making it, something, some “it.”

1) Nailing my shower schedule. Squeeze one in at night and get an invaluable 30 minute snooze bonus in the AM.

2) Taking my morning coffee out to the terrace. Zen out, tune out. The vultures will be there when I’m back to my desk.

3) Remembering to drink water. If I learned anything from college it’s that H20 is the secret to a successful all-nighter. I’ve since traded in all-nighters for early mornings and long days, but the results remain the same. Like my boyfriend endearingly reminds me, “Pee clean.”

4) Painting my nails in the bathroom. *Admitting this may remove me from candidacy shortlists everywhere, but I have to be real with you. I’ve been in a pinch and needed my Mermaid’s Dream fix a day ago. Call it obsessive, but thinking about my cuticle demands for 5 minutes will help me focus on my cubicle demands for the rest of the day. I blame Sheryl’s Sandberg’s exquisite fashionability.

5) Investing in a box of KIND bars for overtime. No happy hour makes for very unhappy hours. Hunger exacerbates this.

6) Reading an article a day that has NOTHING to do with my company.

7) Online shopping and real estate hunting during my lunch break. How do you think these hot lady execs get anything done? Well I don’t know, but I like to think Sheryl Sandberg has some very hip tabs open behind her vortex of important emails.

8) Making friends, or at least a joke that gets someone to laugh.

What are your baby steps? What are the little accomplishments you make every day that help mark your progress?GETINGAME_large

I have a Big Problem to Solve, Not I have an Idea

David Cummings on Startups

Earlier this week I was on a panel with Dr. Paul Judge at a Google-sponsored event titled Georgia’s Digital Economy. The moderator asked a question about evaluating startup ideas and Paul responded with a great answer:

I don’t want an entrepreneur to come to me and say “I have a great idea.” I want the entrepreneur to come to me and say “I have a big problem to solve.”

Too often, entrepreneurs get caught up in having a big idea, but there isn’t a big problem to go with it. The next time an entrepreneur tells you they have an idea, tell them you want to hear about a big problem instead.

What else? What are your thoughts on having a big problem to solve instead of an idea?

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Rework for Hire

 

Apple Hires Creatives in Major Marketing Department Expansion

Upon seeing the headline, I had a knee-jerk APPLY APPLY APPLY moment.

GO ON LINKEDIN AND FIND ANYONE WORKING FOR APPLE. YOU KNOW GUYS FROM THE GENIUS BAR. YEAH, RIGHT? YOU ALMOST WENT TO SENIOR PROM WITH ONE OF THEM, AND THEN YOU DECIDED YOU WERE TOO COOL, STUPID. CALL HIM RIGHT NOW.

Then Diaz reasons with me: “Working at Apple could be limiting for a creative.”

LIMITING? THE GUYS WHO INVENTED INNOVATION?

WHAT ABOUT THEIR FIELDS AND PASTURES OF IMAGINATION REALIZED?!

THOSE GUYS? LIMITING?

You got it, kiddo. No offense, and you’re not wrong; those guys like what they started, too, and want to keep it that way.

How would working for Apple be anything but stifling for a creative? Sure, Apple innovates in ways we don’t just see, but feel. Their sleek, unmistakable branding is top-of-mind for many and is so fresh and clean that they make OutKast look unkempt. But maybe, for where Apple is now, there’s nothing very creative about being an Apple creative. The company has their brand messaging, their black OR white. Changing Apple brings forth great criticism–who doesn’t have a friend who can’t shut up about the new iOS icons? And change is creative. Momentum is creative. Adaption is creative. Staying power may be good business, it may be the only move, but how do the creative envelope-pushers out there do their job? Grow? Benefit? Working for one of the most creative brands we know doesn’t seem to help the guy trying to expand his horizons, much less his portfolio.

As someone who loves and appreciates the creative process, I’d personally opt to work, or rework, for Dell or Sony, brands that are a little less visually arresting and may be more open to fresh ideas. They may not jump off the page yet, but they’re certainly a jumping-off point. It’s easy to continue a legacy, it’s rewarding to create one.

The best thing a company can do is believe in its people, even the newcomers.

Even the interns.