Always a student
Never stop learning. I hear so many people say this, a search on Twitter shows about 4000 tweets where people have put those 3 little words out into the world, but it’s one thing to tweet it and one thing to actually DO IT! Learning is not always fun, it’s not always easy and it takes a certain type of person to be able to sit back in a meeting or brainstorm session (especially when you have reached the top of your game, like I have – wow, it feels arrogant and kinda cool to say that. I have reached the top of my game, woohoo!) and say to someone junior to you, “Wow, that’s cool – I did not know that”.
There was a time where I put the pressure on myself to be the person on the room who knew all the answers to everything, and you know what I figured out? It actually stunted my learning. I wasn’t open to learning things from other people because I had this huge grudge with my industry, that as a strong, smart and outspoken female being made to feel like even though I had the answer if I came from a male they MUST know better. So I fought harder, I worked harder, I read up on everything I could to be able to be the person who knew everything and had all the answers. I learnt a lot and I do know a lot more than the average person in my industry just because of my sheer fight and my will to succeed. However in the last two years, I realized that I don’t know it all, I will never know it all and I don’t actually want to know it all. I want to be open to hearing peoples opinions on things, and not take someone having a different view on things or not agreeing with my idea as a personal attack on me. I want to make sure I am always a student, always open to new ideas, new ways of thinking and new takes on roll-outs of projects and it has been hugely beneficial. I have learned more, I have grown more as a person and it has made me a better marketer, advertiser and strategist. It’s amazing how we can stunt ourselves so much, without even realizing how a little shift in your mindset can grow you mind SO much.
So here is my challenge to you:
1. Give everyone from the intern to the director a chance to voice their opinion and debate it. There is no black and white in this world. There are many ways to climb a mountain. Treat people how you would like to be treated. Put yourself in other people’s shoes when you were an intern, you wanted to be heard, right? Right! Hear them, listen to them, they are people with great ideas and new ways of thinking with brains that have not been affected by the big bad world yet.
2. Read, read and read some more. If you don’t know it or if you think you know it, read up on it to learn new things or different ways of doing it. I read so many articles from so many different websites that I genuinely don’t read books anymore (not something I am proud of) because I spend all my time reading up on things, seeing peoples opinions on different things and opening my mind up to new ideas that I can actually use.
3. The world is hard, some people are shit. Don’t let that kill you, I did for a while and you know what, I won’t let it anymore? I will no longer let one or two peoples opinion of me and my work make me feel insecure. My work speaks for itself. Insecurity makes you feel inadequate and stalls your personal development. Don’t let it.
4. Try new things. I mean this is true for EVERY industry, not just mine. If you don’t feel challenged anymore, or terrified of what you have to roll out then it’s time to start looking at different avenues of your industry to start exploring. For me right now, it’s media – I know 70% of things when it comes to paid media but the other 30% terrifies me and makes me feel like a newbie, I want to fix that and learn IT ALL!
I have set a few goals for myself this year with learning new things, and I am scared about it but also REALLY excited. So here is to personal growth, professional growth and being an all round better and smarter human.