Dear Me, On My First Day of Advertising #13: Mike King

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Dear Me,

I am writing to you from December 2013. I am now in my thirties, married and have a 7-month-old baby. But that’s a different letter. Today we’re going to talk about your career in advertising. By this year, you will have worked at five agencies. Five. So yeah, I have some advice for you.

1. Hone your writing skills. You’ve probably been skimming through a 2003 Archive saying, “I wish I’d have done that” about a visual solution for what most likely is a fake client. But the truth is, you’re going to need to know how to write a good headline, radio script or website in a pinch more often than not.

2. Scare yourself. You’re going to be presented with opportunities that will bring you out of the state and out of your comfort zone. Feel them out and if it feels right, don’t be afraid to go for it. A new city, new agency and new people will teach you more than you thought possible.

3. Get serious about digital. Don’t just concept microsites and banners, learn to create them. Even if you’re terrible at it. Trying means learning and learning digital will be more important than you could ever imagine.

4. Sweat the small stuff. The details matter. Do your research. Triple check things. Stress over words that seem insignificant. Spend hours finding the perfect music or voiceover for a project. The little things can make a big difference. Sometimes, all the difference.

5. Be more creative outside work. Write that damn screenplay already. Or that book. Fuck, write a blog if you want to. Actually learn to play the guitar. Collaborate with friends on stupid ideas. Creativity outside the office fosters creativity inside of it.

6. Fail smarter. This is one of the most worn-out expressions in the industry, but it’s so damn true: Accept failure. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Let it light a fire under your ass and push you forward.

7. Don’t use exclamation points. Never try to make your own sushi. Travel more. Ride your bike. Drink good beer. Help people. Make shit happen. Have fun. Be happy.

Best regards,

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


This man knows his stuff.

I've worked with Mike.
He's a great writer and an even better person.

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