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These things i know

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Lessons from a life in advertising. The emotional highs of working in the creative industries blind you to the poor decisions you can so easily make.
So in an effort to help anyone starting out make better moves. I’ve summed up a few hard earned life experiences my younger self could have done with knowing about.

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These things i know

  1. 1. 1 The emotional highs of working in the creative industries blind you to the poor decisions you can so easily make. ! So in an effort to help anyone starting out make better moves. I’ve summed up a few hard earned life experiences my younger self could have done with knowing about.! LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN ADVERTISING Philip Slade / Linkedin / HomeSlade.com / @Piehead
  2. 2. LONDON IS A SEPARATE COUNTRY.
 Brilliantly culturally internationalist 
 and an amazing inspiration, 
 but it’s not Britain. When I began my career you were faced with a stark choice, move to London or pretty much forget about getting any kind of foothold in the UK creative industries. Much has changed since, but the influence remains. I’ve spent most of my working life there. But you need to get out and travel, to create advertising that influences you need to experience the world, which includes the rest of the UK. There will come a time when you have to leave. After all moving your physical base is a great creative refresher. 2
  3. 3. SEEK FORGIVENESS, 
 DON’T ASK FOR PERMISSION.
 You get paid for bold thinking; accept that occasional bold direct action is also necessary 3 I blagged my first job in the industry as a junior designer on a pop magazine with some outright subterfuge. I had no experience in the sector at all. Zero technical skills but blind faith in myself meant I aced the interview. ! Didn’t last long before I was found out and was let go, but I was up and running in London by then.!
  4. 4. 4 I got my first big break at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, and every morning I would step over the words ‘NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE’ carved into the floor of the entrance. I experienced an agency engulfed in a total belief it could change the world with its ideas. I spent a lot of my time working on the British Airways business a client that back then totally brought into bold ideas. Decades later I returned to Saatchi’s having retrained, as a Planning Director. The agency was now part of the Publicis network. It no longer seemed to have the belief in the creation of the impossible. Companies move on and get new corporate agendas. ! But as a creative thinker you must never lose the belief in the power of what you might create next.
  5. 5. TEMPTATION
 You will be tested. Be strong. 
 Be yourself and aim to come out the other side mostly intact. 5 Advertising is home to a disproportionate amount of demigods, bullies, egotists, fakers and enough free booze and chemicals to rival the music industry. It’s way to easy to give in, I know, I did to pretty much all of it. But I came back from the edge. This industry is not for the weak willed. You need to focus on your own well being. Take the time to be you. Your work will get better. !
  6. 6. YOU WILL LEAVE A LEGACY
 Its just not the one you choose. So everything you do matters, every tiny thing. 6 I’ve worked on multi-million pound campaigns that took years to see the light of day. But a brief from my beginnings in 1993 for Laphroaig whisky, that had no time and no budget is still around today. The brand has new owners and the account has past through many different agencies since. But the campaign and its central proposition keeps going and winning awards. However the counter point is a pretty shonky campaign I did in 2010, which at the time thankfully sank without trace. Until last year that is when the brand, clearly short of cash re-ran the f*cker, plastering it all over the London Underground. !
  7. 7. NOT EVERYONE PLAYS NICE
 But you should. 
 You owe it to your soul 7 I was a co-founder of a start-up that went through the roof; we were the toast of London, great clients, loads of awards and epic parties. Little did we know our financial director was stealing from us. Eventually she got caught and did 5 years but not before she had taken £2.4 million from us. We didn’t even know we had it at the time, we having too much fun. The fall out wasn’t just financial the partnership fell apart. This industry can bestow great riches but true happiness comes from being part of creating great work.
  8. 8. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
 Never stop learning, feed your brain with new experiences 8 One night coming home I saw ad in the evening paper. ! The film director Danny Boyle was holding auditions for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. I couldn't sing or dance and wasn’t sure if PowerPoint skills counted. But I did want to be in the Olympics and that’s what propelled me into a year of extraordinariness. ! At the end of it all, after performing in front of the world’s largest live TV audience I felt renewed. I had new skills, new friends and a whole new perspective on the world.!
  9. 9. 9 Your future is unwritten* ! There is power in the belief that everything and everyone can be improved. This is not blind optimism, it’s the creative fuel that gifts you the power to make better and create change. ! ! I have done good and bad. I have been careless with those who loved me. It’s easy to be torn apart by regrets but don’t be. Face up to it, you will make mistakes. Despite everything I won’t have missed it for the world. You are your experiences, make them count. ! ! !  ! * Thanks Joe Strummer Joe Strummer / Milan 1980 / all rights Jane@eBeckman.com Philip Slade @Piehead HomeSlade.com Linkedin/in/PhilipSlade

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