The more I got involved with business, the more I got
shocked at how dumb a lot of businesses were. Even
the ones that had so much money. -And its because they
lacked a creative, imaginative approach.
– Robert Redford
This statement by Robert Redford has been pinned near my work spaces since I tore it out of INC. Magazine in September 2003. I remember reading that article and having an inspired moment when I read what Mr. Redford said – out loud, for everyone to read. I had thoughts of photo copying it and mailing it to several different people. I wanted to triple-circle the line with a marker and color it in with a highlighter and say – ‘Look here! This is you! You’re dumb! Robert Redford even said so!’ – Fortunately, I never did that and just pinned it on the wall instead. There are more than a dozen pinholes in the torn out page and there will be dozens more. That line “…it’s because they lacked a creative, imaginative approach,” is my permanent reminder of what separates one type of business from another. -The ‘dumb one’ being the ‘other.’
I came to realize that it is not always ‘dumb,’ but simply a lack of understanding, ability and knack for having a creative, imaginative approach.
Two years earlier I walked away from a steady paycheck to pursue a vision that had been tempting me for a long time. I drove away in a very used car and started applying for bartending jobs. I have never looked back or had regret.
During that first year ‘on my own’ I learned more about courage, discipline, responsibility and integrity than I had ever learned before. I also learned about humility and gratitude. All of these words are also pinned to the wall where I work. They are no longer just words, but the foundation for everything I do. I believe they are what keep me from being ‘dumb.’
My career is a meandering one, but with a purposeful flow. After graduation I took a job as a journalist for a local paper and it wasn’t long until I was free-lancing; the beginning of what would become a common ‘free-lancing’ theme for my path.
While free-lancing as a travel writer I was introduced to photographer Rob Bossi, well known for his work with clients such as L.L. Bean, Eastern Mountain Sports, Timberland, Gortex, Lands End, Eddie Bauer, Merrel, Eureka, Moss, Nikon and Target, as well as, a variety of editorials and published stock images. The two years I worked with Rob allowed me to continue writing, but also understand the visual arts. It wasn’t long before I was aligning taglines and catchphrases with the images I worked with every day. There were many times I was also sitting around campfires with art directors and writers from some of the biggest companies in the world.
Having continued working on personal projects during that time, I was presented with the opportunity to work as the Director of Marketing for The Music Hall, the fifth oldest performing arts theater in the country. That was my chance to combine writing with art and it proved to be one the best opportunities and jobs I have had. My responsibility was not only promoting the historic theater, but the performers and performances including Bruce Hornsby, Harry Belafonte’, Spalding Gray, St. Petersburg Ballet, Twyla Tharp, Eartha Kitt, Joshua Redman, Poncho Sanchez and David Grisman and a final performance by Marcel Marceau.
From the action packed stage of The Music Hall I stepped through the front door of advertising agencies and right out the back door. I did this consecutively during what I now refer to my as my ‘dumb’ years. The years that give Robert Redford’s quote personal relevance.
My last traditionally corporate job was the catalyst for venturing on my own. Since that time, almost 20 years ago I have had the amazing experience of developing my own original products, working all kinds of entrepreneurs, being a part of ground breaking ideas and the structuring and restructuring of a variety of business that thrive and succeed today. I’ve said many times that this business is as much a lifestyle as it is an occupation. It is a passion and it is my passion to help you bring you and your ideas into reality. This, of course, has been my calling since the first lawn I got paid to mow, the first paper I delivered and the first sidewalk I shoveled. I sincerely look forward to working with you.