Tuesday, January 25, 2022


About five decades ago before he self-destructed and bet on baseball games then lied about it, I read a quotation by the great baseball player, Pete Rose.

For about twenty years Rose was my favorite baseball player. As a player myself, I tried to model myself after him. 

Rose didn't have the most talent or the best skills. He wasn't a natural. What he had were two things I've tried my best to emulate.

1. TWTW. That is, The Will to Win. 

2. TWTW. That is, The Will to Work.

Those two characteristics were expressed in a quotation. Rose said, "I'd run through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball."

I like that.

And that's the way I feel about doing my job the right way. (And the right way is doing good work that makes a material difference for the businesses I serve. And the viewers I am speaking to.)

I'd run the hell in a gasoline suit to do the right things for my clients and their business.

Since the beginning of January, GeorgeCo., LLC., a Delaware Company, has been hard at work on any number of assignments. Many of those are individual efforts. Just me and a CEO or a CMO trying to hammer something home. To figure out what they're about and why they exist. Or the gnarly job of delineating what makes a particular offering different.

I did a lot of work like that when I was still at Ogilvy. It's a high-order of value. Though very low of the "cool assignment" meter. 

There's a lot of sweat involved and writing and writing and writing. Then taking a walk around the block eleven times and finding a way to articulate why I did what I did.

The best assignments, however, are the ones that aren't solo flights.

On one of them I'm working with a long-time account person, Hilary and my long-long-time partner, Sid. The three of us had a big assignment for a big brand due on Monday, January 24th.

Sid's in London. I'm in New York. And Hilary is in San Francisco. And for much of that time I was three sheets to the wind in Turks and Caicos.

And the work was due the Monday after the Monday I returned from the Caribbean.

It's a funny thing how life goes, or how life can go. Many times the best things that ever happen to you are the things you'd never prepare for, yet they happen all the same.

I was relatively unprepared for being fired and never ever had any intention of starting my own agency. The last thing I want in my life is to worry about renting an office and leasing a color copier, or whatever it is you have to do to be considered a small business. (Other than turning 50 percent of your revenue over to the Feds and the State.) 

But here I am.

And frankly, the best part of my career is taking place now that I no longer have a career. 

First off, clients are calling me. Not vice versa. 

Second, they don't come to me with KPIs and such. They come to me with ontological questions like "who are we? What do we stand for." 

Third, I don't work with people I don't like. And I don't have a stratum of people whose job it is is to make sure I'm doing my job. Like I said, I work with grownups who are generally self-motivated. And who get well-paid because they're self-motivared.

Fourth, I'm not dealing with 21 levels of clients and their spouses. I usually deal with two or three people, including the CMO and the CEO.

Fifth, these clients have come to me because they like my particular oddities. I don't have to put a lid on my personality because a joke is going to thrust someone's nose out of joint.

Finally, a podcaster just sent me a question. It lead me to yet another list. That's how I'll end today's post, listing--as usual. 

15. What's your favourite project of all time?

I love all my projects. My personal belief is that true creative people have two things in common. 1. We like solving problems. That's why so many of us play Wordle or do the crossword. An advertising brief is a problem to solve. And 2., good creative people are generous. With their ideas, their brains, their references and imaginations. Good projects allow both problem-solving and generosity. 

The third part is when you work with people you love. The fourth is when you work for clients who appreciate what you do.

That's about all there is to it.


No comments: