What I'm Thinking
Figments of my imagination and other musings.
Whenever I am asked about how I handle stress in an interview, I think of this story.
During my time as a Peace Corps volunteer, I spent my weekends as a volunteer trek guide for a non-profit in Guatemala that raised money for street kids and a boys’ home in the city of Quetzaltenango. We led tourists on overnight treks up volcanoes and across the highlands and cloud forests.
Journals have a strange way of popping up from what ever dust-covered box they’ve been hibernating in and dropping some long-forgotten wisdom on us. Tonight was no different and I found myself thumbing through one of my journals from my Peace Corps days when I served as a teacher in Guatemala. An entry from my last month there – after almost two and half years of service – spoke up tonight. While these experiences are personal – I feel there is value to sharing this. A reminder to slow down and find those moments in your life worth remembering.
I recently spent time traveling around Europe and my mind and phone's photo library were constantly being filled by the street art I encountered around every corner. Here are some highlights from Ireland, Spain and Iceland.
It is funny which projects inspire us. I didn’t expect that when I was asked to pick up a plaque design that it would become one of my more impassioned pitches. But that is exactly what happened when an agency that I was freelancing for asked me to add some designs to what they expected to be a letter pressed award set in a wood stand to celebrate a monthly Highest Best award for employees.
I loved record stores. Well, really CD stores, that is actually what I was buying. But it wasn’t the satisfaction of walking out with a shiny disc of new music in my hand, for me, it was always the hunt.
I want to talk about the future of small agencies. It is a question on my mind lately – what is next for small ad and digital agencies in this ever shifting and increasingly complicated space?
If one has not stuck to a tried and true timeline from university to career to retirement – why should we label this as a negative path – a black mark on one’s resume? Is there nothing to learn out in the world that does not come with a paycheck or a pension? I beg to differ in this blog post.
It is fair to say that LinkedIn has changed the game for the job seeker. No career-focused tool has given one access to their network like LinkedIn has. In comparison, the traditional resume alongside LinkedIn, looks like a horse-drawn cart next to a BMW M6 Gran Coupe.
When we discuss company culture, at its core, we are talking about people. I believe that it is always people that make or break a company. This translates across every industry. Zappos did not break a billion dollars in sales in just a decade because they sell shoes. Tons of companies sell shoes. Zappos has exceled because they built their brand around a culture of people that provide great customer experience. Zappos lives by the “belief…that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand, or passionate employees and customers – will happen naturally on its own.”
I knew when I decided to apply to the Peace Corps, just over a decade ago, it would not be easy. It’s in their branding – how could it not be the toughest job I ever loved? But I truly did not comprehend what that tagline meant and how challenging (and rewarding) that time would be.
This is a tale of my love/hate relationship with the Guatemalan Chicken Bus during my time serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, up in the highlands of Western Guatemala.