How to get on in the world

First off, don’t wait for permission.

Reach out and grab it. Power is never given, it’s always taken.

Take a bias for action. Let everyone else sit about and wait for fortune to come in and pull up a chair. Go out and grab fortune. It favors the brave.

Choose spirited clients who want to make a little history. Reach high. Don’t pander to the lowest common dominator. Look for small teams that can produce excellent creative work across all media.

Avoid large agency groups, stagnant committees and office politics. (Except maybe for lucrative freelancing on quick projects, pitches, saving-a-campaign-from-the-jaws-of-failure.)

Steer clear of human resources. Seriously, human resources was what the Nazis called the trainloads of innocents sent to concentration camps. Nobody wants to be on that train.

Seek out big problems that need big ideas that can build and strengthen a brand with each iteration. See a brand as a story tree. A brand’s underlying principles are the roots, core values the trunk, emotional benefits the branches, media the leaves.

Either all the elements are synthesizing and growing a healthy, vibrant tree that attracts people. Or the tree becomes unkempt, withered and dies. It no longer brings people together. Don’t work on dead trees.

Realize that whatever experience and insights you find in one category can be introduced into another. The history of innovation is essentially taking a learning from one area and applying to another.

Challenger brands are fun to work with. Push them to avoid competing with an incumbent with more money and market dominance. Establish a new market where there is no competitor.

Make differentiation and positioning key attributes.

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