I haven’t waxed philosophical for a while, but i’m going to today. This won’t be long, but something has been on my mind lately and I want to put this idea out there. It’s a simple one, but a big one.
And it starts with a story.
When I was in grad school, I took a class about creating videos. The context was educational videos, but the professor, like me, saw that marketing was a form of education and gave my group a long leash for our final project.
On that group was a guy named Myron. Let’s compare and contrast me and Myron before we go any further.
I was then, just as I am today, a jack-of-all-trades. Do we need someone to get those shots? I can do it. Edit that sequence? I got it. Design a cue card? Done. Help craft the story? Write a script? Clean up audio? Yep. Yep. Yep.
From day one, Myron identified himself as a storyteller and creative director. He fit best guiding the process and story from start to conclusion. He made it clear this was his thing.
But at the time, I really didn’t think that Myron was that great at creative direction.
A few years later, we had all graduated. SlopeFillers had been started, I’d just met Corey Ryan and would soon be joining Ryan solutions.
For whatever reason, I looked up Myron around this time and noticed that, sure enough, he’d found a position as a creative director as his first gig out of grad school. I may have questioned his skills, but the employer hadn’t and saw enough in him to hire him.
Fast Forward to Last Week
Last week I had an interesting moment where this story came full circle. And the interesting part came when I compared present day Gregg to present day Myron.
Present Day Gregg
I’d spent a number of years as marketing and communications director, but am still in a bit of a jack-of-all-trades dilemma. Now the SVP of Strategy for Inntopia, this uncommon title has forced me to accelerate my effort to find the answer to “what am I and where do I fit in all this?”
Present Day Myron
Today, Myron is a really, really good creative director for a really impressive agency. The last decade of his career is a string of similar titles at various companies. He’s stayed focused, he’s improved significantly, and he’s quickly climbed the ladder.
Now, looking at that story, it might be easy to say:
“Gregg, you both have been successful in your careers. What moral are you getting at in this story?”
The moral comes not from looking back, but looking forward. Myron knows exactly where he’s going and where he wants to be. I’m still figuring it out to a degree. So while I’ve been successful to this point, I feel less confident in where I’m going and, most importantly, what I should be doing now to get there.
My advice today is simple. Take some time this off-season to think about where you are today and where you want to be in 5 years. Find who you are – your true north – focus on that, and start moving.
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