Five years ago we were soaring high. Our valuation was higher than we could ever have imagined during our humble beginnings. But it felt like something was missing. There was something holding us back from realizing our true potential. And then it dawned on me. We were in the same downward spiral as everyone else. Stuck in a never-ending cycle of Power Point reviews, email threads, and business cases. The common thread? The written word. Our communication was being filtered and flattened. We were drowning in type, LITERALLY. That’s when I knew we needed a radical change.
I received a touching email this week from one of the first people I mentored. It’s always nice to hear from old friends and Alice was particularly special to me. Alice (name changed for privacy) was fresh out of business school and working for me when she came to me in confidence. She said, “Carin, I’m not sure I fit in here.” I was stunned. She graduated in the top 10 of the Kellogg School of Management, interned at the State Department as a Data Analyst and then made the bold decision to switch to retail in the last quarter of school. This was everything I admired about her when we first met. It was like looking into a mirror during our interview.
There are articles a-plenty for the “right metric” for each stage of the funnel. Problem is, you end up with one equation for tofu, a different one for mofu, and another one still for bofu. Then you have to take those results upstairs and try not to confuse your leadership team. Feels like a lose-lose situation. You lose precious time coming up with the next big thing to impress AdWeek and your bosses lose brainspace trying to decipher what the hell you’re going on about.
If your like me and own you’re own business (I’m a copywriter) then you’ve probably learned how difficult it is getting your name out there and really connecting with the work that takes your business over the moon and INTO THE STRATOSPHERE.
Copywriters, I’m looking at you. Why is it that every time we talk, the conversation always leads to you describing your life’s dream: write the next great American novel? Wake up! Don’t you see? You have created the next great American novel. Your words–your carefully crafted words–are plastered across Facebook newsfeeds, on blogs, on web banners hugging other content. It’s all part of a wonderful tapestry of the next great literary masterpiece.
I remember the first time I was called arrogant. They didn’t come right out and call me arrogant but I could see through their language. I was ten years old sitting embarrassed in a class of nearly all boys being chastised by the teacher for ‘tooting my own horn’. The phrase was alien to me. All I had said was that I was the best as reading aloud. Nothing was worse than waiting for the kids with poor annunciation to work their way through half a page when I knew I was more qualified and more capable in leading group reading.
Can we finally all agree to stop the delusion that marketers are building relationships with customers? Connection, conversation, conversion. Who are we kidding? A gang of bobble heads whose only product is their ego decided to drown out any reasonable dialog on what makes good marketing with their incessant narcissism and now we are all the worse for it. You need look no further than your latest Facebook post to see the farce playing out in real-time–oh, and don’t get me started on RTM. It goes a little like this:
People always ask me why we have an HB and not an HQ.
It’s certainly not a novel approach. In the last decade, many companies have cited moving away from physical headquarters in favor of virtual spaces. But this lets technology dictate your decision. Technology lacks heart and soul.
We’ve all started out on the bottom rung of the totem pole when it comes to making the supreme cut for that top dog senior manager title. I can recall the countless years proving myself as a landlord for my father’s property management company where I pushed myself to the limits of my working ability each and every weekend. As a former apartment manger (now copywriter), I am driven by those that I look up too. More importantly; I’ve learned that what matters most to higher-ups, managers, and senior vice presidents are RESULTS.
How do you know if you need a mental health day?
It was six months to the date that I had returned from maternity leave. What a whirlwind. The growth of my first child was outpacing my business. This was my thought as I looked out the window of our new office. Our team was growing. We were adding more buildings. New teams. New life. As I watched the sunrise on that January day I had an unabating urge to run back home. I didn’t want to go to my meetings. I was booked in back to back one on ones, usually my favorite day, but I just wasn’t feeling ready. What was going on? This is when I knew I needed a mental health day.