"There's a natural mystic blowing through the air." -Robert Nesta Marley
Content for the win | Vol. 3, No. 9

September 2014

“You can’t become an entrepreneur expecting a miracle, or some kind of instant, magical rise to the top because your idea was revolutionary. Even the best ideas in the world require patience, skill and endless effort to earn that level of success.” -Jayson Demers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom

Last month, I explored possible pivots, including the re-invention of the American sports bar. This month I'd like to focus on the need for perseverance. 

I started poking around Portland's ad agencies in 1995, nearly 20 years ago. In the beginning, I was seeking feedback on my portfolio and ultimately a job as a junior copywriter. The feedback at the time was consistent: "You have talent," the creative director would say, "but your perseverance, not your talent, will determine whether or not you make it in this business." So true...

When you are in the middle of your struggle to make it--whatever "making it" means to you--concepts like perseverance can seem nebulous. How to remain patient and positive, and how to see the big picture—these are the things we must know to survive the work journey. 

It's easy to suggest that one remain humble and focus on what matters most, but how do you actually achieve this in an industry chasing fame, and what's hot at this very moment? It's a cliché, but you need to make it about the work, and not about you. Do you love the challenges that this kind of problem-solving provides? Or is it too much of a pain to negotiate the details of commercial art with insensitive clients? 

From my perspective, advertising offers its conscious practitioners a chance to make a difference for companies and causes that deserve the attention. That you can also make a living while pursuing these higher objectives is wonderful to me.

Poet, Hart Crane, worked as a copywriter for a short time. He said, "I got so I gagged every time I sat before my desk to write an ad." The drama in his line is absurd, but like Crane, I can definitely see the downsides. Yet, having persevered through many of my own career valleys, I also see the benefits. 

  1. Put this on your "must watch" list of films: The Battered Bastards of Baseball. The documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the Portland Mavericks single-A indie baseball club in the 1970s. 
  2. This list of "nine things successful people won't do" is one to bookmark and revisit. Emotional intelligence is a key ingredient in the happiness we create. 
  3. When you visit Cannon Beach, make time for dinner at Newmans at 988. It's the best restaurant in the state.
  4. "There is no place like Nebraska." BTW, the Cornhuskers are 5-0 right now.
  5. Did you know that former NFL quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, is a Walla Walla winery owner
  6. eBook sales accounted for 23% of all book sales during the fist six months of 2014. Hard covers accounted for 25% and paperbacks dominated with 42% of sales.
  7. Pendleton Woolen Mills is enjoying some success on Instagram.
  8. Use Twitter analytics to see which of your Tweets resonate with your audience. This Tweet and this one did very well with my audience @davidburn.
Bonehook is a guide service and bait shop for brands. We help companies find, shape and share their best brand stories. To book, call 503-970-3862. 
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"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." –Epictetus

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