To follow your brain or heart…


You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Greed. It’s one of the seven deadly sins. And I’m afraid I’ve been committing it on a daily basis since I started this blog. Why am I guilty? Because I just want more! I want more comments on my posts. I want more links to my blog. And I also want more people to follow my Twitter account where I link to my blogs.

Can’t I have my cake and eat it too?
Is it wrong to want these things? I think the answer is a little complicated. If the point of a blog is just to get people to comment, subscribe or tweet about it, then you might not be doing it right. If the point of the blog is to inspire others, inform, share some lessons and encourage a community of sharing, then you may be going in the right direction.  In my heart I’d like to try and work on the latter. But my brain says “Optimize! Qualify! Increase readership at the expense of losing yourself!” (My brain also sounds like Gilbert Gottfried).

Who are you?
So it’s time to start focusing on my core audience. Who are you? Well, if I had my way you’d be a low-ranking employee in your department, someone who has to work hard to get noticed, and someone who has a dream of someday making it big. But I’m not picky. If you’re a struggling writer, or you’re a CEO that wants to see what your subordinates think of their job or you, you can definitely come along for the ride.

And the point is?
Alright, now that my core audience is found it’s time to focus on the message. Why am I doing this? I was recently asked that question by a skeptical individual (you know who you are, good sir). The point of this blog is mostly informative – showing you what an Agency Underdog goes through on a daily basis and the hard lessons that have to be learned if you’re ever going to make it to the top. But there’s a side message which is this:  You’re not alone in your struggles to make it big. Everyone goes through it and this is just one story about my trials and tribulations.

Big Picture
Take it or leave it. I’ll do my best to try and turn on audiences to what I have to say, but at the same time, I don’t want mindless corporations following me on Twitter for the sake of having followers. It hurts to be honest, but I think in the end if you stick to what you feel is right you’ll be on the right track to success.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Caribou, Beyonce and Oversized Headphones.

Beyonce Knowles performing

Sing it girl.

Everyone has a morning ritual. Whether it’s waking up early to take the dog for a walk, getting up with the little one, or oversleeping till the very last minute – it’s what gets us going in the morning. Mine consists of getting up at 5am, hitting the off button on my alarm, pouring my already-prepared cup of Caribou Coffee and turning on some music videos (but this isn’t the aforementioned Beyonce part).

After I chug the coffee it’s off to the gym – and this is where it’s especially important to blare some wake-me-up music. Whether it’s Beyonce or Lady Gaga, it just needs to keep me singing at the top of my lungs until I get to the gym. Then, once at the gym it’s time to put on my oversized headphones. No, they’re not of the BOSS variety, but they are padded and quite ugly. I see everyone else with their small little ear plugs. No. None of that for me. I need something that is going to block out all other sounds. And then after about 40 minutes of whatever workout I’m going for that morning, I head back home to finish the rest of the morning routine.

Why was it necessary to give you the play-by-play on my morning? Because even though my job is unstable right now (thanks to last week’s massive layoff), it’s nice to know that I have one part of my day all mapped out. And I also believe that to have a sane and healthy mind, you need a healthy body. Now, I’m no health nut, but I do enjoy working out on a regular basis. And have even thought to myself – If I put as much passion into my workout as I do to my work, I’d probably be able to perform a Half Ironman.

Fast forward to the start of my workday – I also think it’s important not to work on anything the first half hour of your morning. Usually I take this time to sift through emails from the weekend, check and see what’s on my plate for the day (which by the way is a saying I REALLY can’t stand), catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, check CNN or Yahoo for the latest news and then make some oatmeal.

What’s on my plate for today? Well it’s shaping up real nice. I got a little head start on Friday which is so nice because I know I won’t be staying late tonight. However, today should be interesting. In lieu of the massive layoffs last week (where my department only took a small hit, and everyone else got hit hard and now the resentment is being laid on thick), our Creative department (which is also part of the overall Marketing department) just hired a new Creative Director. I don’t know who he is, but if I were him I wouldn’t be too happy to be starting a couple days after our largest economic hit and then have to explain why I was hired while coworkers were laid off. Yeah, that wouldn’t be my cup-o-tea. So like I said – it should be interesting.

So to recap – try this out for a great morning:

1. Caribou Coffee
2. Jammin out to Beyonce on your way to the gym
3. Oversized headphones while at the gym
4. Celebrity gossip
5. Oatmeal – of the Raisin and Spice of Strawberry Cream variety

Well, the oatmeal beckons. But I’ll be sure to let you in on some agency happenings throughout the day.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Give thanks for what you’ve got.

Tradegy strikes Haiti again. It’s unthinkable that an aftershock of that magnitude could hit Haitians, but it happened. Please do everything you can to help those in need. Text, donate, organize relief efforts, whatever is necessary to help. For the full story click here.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Catching up to the rest of the world.

Ahhh. Paid holidays – one of the few perks of working with an ad agency. True it was more of a government holiday, but I’ll take what I can get.

So today is a bit of a catch up. On Thursday and Friday I labored over an article that I was ghost writing for the CEO of our company. I knew he had to submit it to the publisher on Monday so I sent it over at 1pm on Friday and told him to email me over the weekend if he needed any changes.

Fast forward to today. My VP wants a status update on that article. Did it get to the CEO? Did he have changes? Did he submit it to the publisher? Well. Turns out he didn’t. Which, thankfully I had documentation for my alibi. But what about the CEO? Well, after our VP called the CEO to see what the status was on the article, he finally replied to my email with, “Good to go, nice job!”  It seems that he hadn’t even looked at the article until that very moment. Which was fine. I was off the hook, my job was done. So did he submit it to the publisher? No. But it got there because of some smaller fish looking out for him. To which I think – must be nice.

I think a lot of people in an ad agency would have reason to complain about those on the top of the ladder. Always trying to fight tooth and nail to get to the top. I beg to differ. Maybe that’s because I’m not trying to climb that ladder. I’m more of a lateral mover.
But I do have a “fighting” personality. Not the type of personality that finds competition in everything. No – you won’t find that type A girl here. But due to my attention to detail that has only grown with each new position I take on, I find the battles that I know I can win, or think I have a REAL good chance at winning. Sometimes the impulsive side of me takes over, and that’s when I find I learn the real hard lessons like the following:

1.  Never be mean to your co-workers. Burning bridges won’t get you anywhere, and eventually you’ll need help, but it won’t be there if you’re a meany.

2.  Make your heads look good. Is this kissing up? Only if it’s not tactful. Keep it classy, San Diego.

3.  Always have an alibi. Document everything and keep a careful file system. You’ll need it when you least expect it. 

4.  If you know you did something wrong, be the first to point it out. Owning up to your responsibilities is what will lead others to trust you, even if you make mistakes.

5.  Learn how to stick it out. Unless it’s hurting your morale. People hate whiners, so if the situation stinks, try to make it better. 

Well, enough lessons learned for today. Stay tuned for the stories behind these lessons.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Good god. It’s January?

Hello all you fellow agency underdogs. Welcome to the world of James Lynn. If I were a superhero I’d probably be “Most Willing to Please Others Girl.” sounds….awesome, right? Hah. Not really. Anyways, I’m starting this blog because I have been working in an ad agency (which will remain nameless…for the time being) for the last 2.5 years, and I think I know a thing or two. Am I a “social media guru?” Well. Aren’t we all? Cmon now. I have no claim to fame. But I like to tell stories and I like talk about work. Cause everyone’s got a story. And I think mine’s pretty good. And I’d also like to use this as a way to call out some people (Yes, this blog may be fueled by some passive aggressive feelings, but you’ll like it, I promise). 

Alright, well stay tuned and I’ll be sure to give you some great tales as an agency underdog.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment