May 6, 2011

Being scared is just a state of mind.

As I sit here enjoying some bit of alcohol during Cinco de Mayo - but not enough drunk enough to go into my I love everybody posts - I realize I haven't written about one key thing that happens to all people who work in advertising.

I'm talking about one word: Fear.

You see, when I started working in this business, something was wrong with me. Although I don't know what it was, I sure know what it felt like: scary. I was scared out of my ovaries. At what? Who the fuck knows? I worked, every single day, scared.

Scared about presenting to people and clients in general. Scared about committing the ultimate sin, a typo. Scared that my concepts sucked donkey balls. Scared that I got to work late. Scared that I went over an hour on my lunch time. Scared that I wasn't creative enough...

It was crippling. This is why I need to write this post, because I know that a lot of students are just joining us and have no idea on how much mistakes they will make, so if I write this, maybe you learn from my mistakes and avoid soooooo much! Does this make sense?

Wait. * Sip from white wine *. Ok, let's move on.

Listen boys and girls. You cannot, and I repeat CANNOT work afraid. You cannot work under the premise that if you don't deliver you will get fired, get a memo or be a failure. You know what? Life is 50-50. You cannot function fearing the worst, all the time. Ad agency life is tough. TOUGH. But you cannot fear the reaper every step of the way.

Get a one hour 10 minute lunch and don't worry so much. Stand up for your concept, even if it's not in strategy - it's not about if you are right or wrong (ok, if you're not on strategy, you're wrong); it's about having some sort of balls and showing them. Scream and fight all you want. Get to work late (once in three months and with a very good excuse). Do a crap ad and own it - it's not your fault, you do not suck, it's just that we are not gems of creativity all the time and it's ok to acknowledge it.

I was one of those who was so afraid of everything, I never truly grew up. It was until the moment I decided to do some very difficult and painful things at one point of my life that I realized that being scared leads to nowhere. You don't move. You don't experience growth. You just stay there. Not being able to move. When I decided that enough was enough, when I faced my fears and went all in, I realized that there were many years when I wasted my career and my opportunities because I didn't believe in myself. How simple, how cruel.

To all my young padawans out there... Don't be afraid. It's ok. Be your best and be your worst. Do one great campaign and three suck beyond belief ads. Let your creative director rip you a new one from time to time, but once in a blue moon, fight for that concept you truly believe will get approved.

So what if someone gets pissed off about your hour and a half lunch time, so what if your ad sucks. Life is not perfect all the time. Neither are all of us.

Be imperfect, have fun. Much love. Me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...