Dear Me, On My First Day of Advertising #2: Rachael Donaldson

/ Comments (15)

Dearest Rachael,
Welcome to advertising.

When I peek into the prism of your soul I want you to know that being the real you is always more beautiful than trying to be someone else. Don’t let anyone else define who you are. If they try to, or if they crush the light in you, move on and seek similar ethos. Your instincts are really good, learn how to listen to them.

Lean in every chance you get (someone else will write this book). When you stumble (and you will) get up and lean in again. Everyone stumbles. Don’t run from the hurt or the lesson, absorb it and your strength will flourish. This will be far from easy but will set the stage for your true path in life, not just advertising.

Oh, and don’t be so fucking Type A that you miss the great moments in the every day. You’re surrounded by amazing people, experiences, shoot locations and food (don’t even get me started on the food - there will be many, many client dinners and even though you’re working, you’re also eating at places you won’t be able to afford yet, so enjoy it). Be present instead of always focusing on the next day, the next presentation, the next promotion.

Take vacation time. It will never ever be a ‘good’ time to leave the office. Travel fills up your creative reserves and exposes you to life experience that makes you a better person, not to mention better at this job.

Be confident even when you don’t feel like it, because everyone else in the room has fragile, creative egos too—not just the creative team—and confidence is magnetic.

Smile. Be bright. Be courageously you.

Much love.

PS: stop putting off learning Photoshop and some light coding, you won’t have time later.

To read the entire 2013 'On My First Day of Advertising' series, click this.


This is fabulous Rachael ... just like you! Smiling and bright. You make the Denver ad biz a better place to be. Thanks for all you do.

love, love, love.

Beautifully written and SO true!

Especially like the part about not focusing on everything coming next but be present for what's happening. it's a crazy, cool business we're in but lots of times forget to enjoy that part of it.

Beautifully written and so freaking true. Kudos.

Great words of wisdom!

Many thanks to Rachael and all the other creatives in this series for sharing their hard-won insights with the rest of us. Thanks too to the Denver Egotist for providing such an invaluable platform.

I have a question -- not just for Rachael but for anyone who cares to answer. At the very end of her essay, Rachael advises her younger self to "stop putting off learning Photoshop and some light coding, you won’t have time later."

As it happens, I'm a copywriter who is looking to augment my abilities by learning a little coding. The problem is, as a devout non-techie, I don't know where to start. It's all so confusing.

I live near a state university that is offering continuing education courses that includes classes in coding. But when I expressed interest in enrolling, they indicated that the program was not for people without prior technology training.

So where does a tech neophyte go to learn the rudiments of coding? Is it something I could learn from one of those "Coding for Morons" books? Are there online educational alternatives that aren't a total scam?

Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

love this. all of it great advice.

Awesome to see someone from the strategy/new biz/account side of the house featured on the Egotist. Great input (as always) Rachael!

Hey there Trevor Roberts, there are great resources to learn code, try:
If that's not a good route, a University course or BDW are stellar

Thanks for your sunshine, RD! Great piece.

Mega-thanks, MrktFrsh. Looks like some terrific suggestions. I’ll definitely check them out. I really appreciate you taking the time to help.

Sorry, Rachael, I didn’t realize MrktFrsh was you. So I not only have you to thank for an inspiring essay but some terrific advice on where to learn coding. Thanks again.

No problem Trevor ;)

Brilliantly said! Best business article I've ever read.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Link = <a href="">This is your text</a>
  • Image = <img src="http://imageurl.jpg" />
  • Bold = <strong>Your Text</strong>
  • Italic = <em>Your Text</em>
Rocket Fuel