What would I tell a 20-year old version of myself? Never back down, because NOBODY knows ANYTHING.
I heard Casey Neistat say that yesterday in a panel at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity and man did that strike a chord with me.
And now my keyboard is taking a beating as I hack away to codify a few mantras I’ve learned to live by in my communications work but haven’t been able to express clearly until this morning.
Here it goes…
Don’t wait for creative validation
Everyone has an opinion on creative work and it’s easy to get intimidated by those with more experience. You should ask for opinions – but it’s up to you filter out constructive input from condescension, and to go back for more advice from people who you know offer heartfelt input instead of soul-crushing takedowns that serve only to stroke their own egos.
Don’t wait for someone to understand your audience better than you
Even if you’re sitting on a mountain of precise data which has led to finely honed insights, creative executions will always have an element of gut feeling – the sense that your approach just feels right for the objective at hand. Trust your gut and if you’re off a bit, just recalibrate the next time around.
Don’t wait for everyone to get on board with your approach
Instead, form a coalition of the willing within your organisation – of people who are pure of heart and are in this business to do great work with great people. People you want to spend time with and know in a deep way, even if you still don’t want to spend evenings and weekends with them.
Don’t wait for your organisation’s culture to reflect the ideal conditions for doing great, meaningful work
Instead, build that culture yourself. Even if it stays within a tiny bubble of people you’ve converted to go on a journey with you, embrace that bubble. If you think about it – ALL meaningful things in this world happen in bubbles first and then grow from there.
Data or no data – we’re not scientists, we’re artists.
We’re creative communicators and NONE OF US KNOW ANYTHING which basically means ALL OF US KNOW AS LEAST AS MUCH AS EVERYONE ELSE. We don’t wait for things to happen, we just do things.
And we got this.