05 2 / 2013

Love your Mentor

It’s tough starting out in this business. It’s competitive, it’s mentally exhausting and it can be a financial struggle. The process can be so difficult that it might be more than you can handle. But often times, the greater the hardship you face -  the greater the reward is. And that’s where a mentor comes in.

A mentor is one of the most valuable people you are ever going to meet in your whole life. EVER. So listen up: 

Always give your mentor the utmost respect

Imagine your advertising career as if you were walking on a tight rope 100 feet in the air - for the first time. Scary right? Well your mentor is the meshy net that’s underneath you. He or she is your lifesaver. They will keep you from falling. And plummeting to the ground.

They are the ones who will show you the ropes and who will keep you walking in the right direction. 

If you’re on the lookout for a mentor, or have one in your midst right now - here are 5 reasons why you’d be lucky to have one and why they deserve your admiration.

#1. They give you your shot. This is what you’ve been WAITING for! This person is actually giving you a chance. Without them, you are an advertising hopeful waiting to get your foot in the door. 

#2: They believe in you. They are giving you a chance because they think you could have potential. And there’s no greater feeling than having someone see the passion that’s inside you and the greatness that is just waiting to get out. 

#3: They give you the freedom to grow. Mentors determine your learning curve. They give you challenges that they feel you can handle, when you’re ready. It’s a kind of guidance that gives you enough room to enhance your creativity, without overstepping either of your comfort levels.

#4: They give you their knowledge. When you get a mentor, you also get their years experience and knowledge. They pass on nuggets of information that they’ve learned along the way. And if you’re smart, you’ll take them with you.

#5: They give you experience. The only way you’re going to know if you can do a task is if you try it. Mentors let you try things. They watch you move along as you either fail or succeed. Expect to learn lessons in either outcome.

Another thing to point out is that mentors don’t owe you a single thing. They are helping you out of the kindess of their hearts. So appreciate them and be grateful.

To this day, I am extremely grateful for my mentor. She is one of the most talented creative people I know and I am so lucky to have learned from her. She gave me my start and for that I give her my never-ending thanks.  

 

23 4 / 2012

To anyone who is in advertising or who wants to be in the ad industry: You can’t watch this and NOT want to watch more. 

The Pitch on AMC premiers April 30th.

05 4 / 2012

Is Pete Campbell at your agency?

I can’t stand Pete Campbell. The silk pyjamas, beanpole figure and slick haircut just say “sleazeball” to me. But most of all, I don’t like what makes Pete Campbell really Pete Campbell: his character.

Now I know that Pete Campbell is fictional - created to make things more interesting at the ad agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. But what I realized is that many of the characteristics of this make-believe man actually exist in some real-life ad folk. And it’s a shame because who really wants to work with that guy? 

In my opinion, here are some things to watch for that could be categorized as being Campbell-ish: 

  • Selfishness
  • Greed 
  • Deceitfulness
  • Manipulation
  • Discontentment
  • Smugness
  • Jealousy
  • Ambition 

I know the last one sounds like a positive quality, but in Pete’s case, this “good” attribute has an adverse effect.

The good news is that the Pete Campbells of the world usually don’t last long in one place. At least one of the qualities mentioned above will intentionally put him on the path that he’s determined to go on. 

If you have a Pete Campbell in your agency, just remember: he’s a silent partner. Let your creativity, talent and passion be your voice.