AI Inspired Storytelling

By Raymond Smith

A Few Final Thoughts

This is Part 10 – the last in my series. And I’d like to thank you for reading, ‘liking’ and commenting. The feedback has been wonderful to read.

For my final installment, I’d like to capture a number of random thoughts that didn’t quite merit a full column. I’m also going to finish with a challenge to you.

Random thought #1: If you know what you’re talking about, talk…and do so with confidence. Knowledge is to be shared for the benefit of others. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, just sit tight. A poorly-informed or ill-considered opinion serves nobody.

Random thought #2: Please don’t ever be afraid to raise your hand and ask the big, dumb question. I’ve been in meetings where, after a full hour, the client has outlined the background, their challenge, their solution and their strategy, but completely forgotten to tell us what they want us to do. “Oh, yeah, sorry we want a direct mail package to send to existing cardholders.” Don’t presume everyone else in the room already knows and that you’re the one who’s missed the point. If you don’t know, don’t guess; ask.

Random thought #3: Someone in the room has a simple, inexpensive and elegant solution to the problem at hand. It might come from accounts, or creative, or production, or media. But there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t come from you. If you have a good idea, put it forth, even if it’s your first day on the job.

Random thought #4: Want to build enduring client relationships? Connect with your clients as people first. Ask about their weekend. Remember whether they have kids, a partner, a pet, a particular interest you share. Good business relationship shouldn’t be transactional, but based on mutual respect and even a liking of one another. Try to achieve that, wherever you can.

Random thought #5: Be the same person at the office that you are outside of it. I’ve known people over the years who are a complete joy after hours but a complete nightmare at work. You may believe that’s working for you, but I guarantee it isn’t working for anyone else. Be you, always.

Finally, because nobody in this business succeeds on their own, learn to keep a mental log of the people who helped you out – in ways small and large – along the way. I can remember the very first person who took my phone call, who gave me my first interview, and who gave me my first job.

Remember the person who gave you a shot, who gave you a break, and who forgave you a big screw-up. Remember the people who blessed your idea…or encouraged you to go for it. Remember the person who reached out to you first when you got fired / laid off / furloughed. Remember the person who said ‘of course’ they’d be your reference. And definitely remember the ones who quietly pulled you aside and gave you some tough love, and the ones who gave you real feedback, because they helped you grow.

Remember those who gave you confidence. Remember those who gave you advice. Remember those who gave you the benefit of the doubt. Remember those who took the time.

 My challenge to you: make sure that you do those same things for someone else who’s coming later. Pay it back…pass it along…whatever you want to call it. The next 5, 10 and 25 years are going to fly by. Just make sure you learn, grow and have a great time doing fun work along the way. Thanks again for reading.