Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Chief Cook and Copy Writer

February 4, 2010

Ah….it feels good to be back. Or does it?

My sweetheart had a serious car accident. In a second, priorities shifted. But now that he’s better, reality  has shown its large ass and I’m reminded what the entrepreneurial experience is all about. After 27 years on my own, why am I still surprised how intense a day can be? It’s like the bus pulled up and everyone got off at the same stop. Clients need copy changes. Media needs to be planned.  Staff need a paycheck. In order to give them one, bills must go out. And surely, there’s a Yellow Pages Sales Rep who needs to be cursed.

In a small agency, you don’t have time to bask in gossip, awards, or winning new business. You learn to spin plates, buy time, reason quickly, stash snacks in your desk, keep beer in the fridge, teach clients to work on your time table, not theirs, and do it all with a certain amount of grace. That last part I have yet to master.

Today, I made a dent in the pile, engaged a potentially awesome new client, and planned tomorrow. I left my desk after 12 1/2 hours, numb and brain dead, but thankful that tomorrow I won’t have to answer to some ego crazed Art Director, put up with some annoying intern (no, not YOU Mags!) or a too-familiar office girl. It’s my nest and along with the stress comes the right to surround yourself with cool people who love makin’ the work. No Assholes Allowed.  It’s good to be  back!

Please…take a number!

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Makin’ creative

January 11, 2010

We were a company of 12 at one time, and now we’re down to three, along with a team of brilliant freelancers who are at the ready. This is by my design. But every Monday morning, I look around and wonder …where’d I put that creative, anyway?

Big agencies have big teams to develop big ideas for big clients. But it’s all relative. Our small clients have much at stake: keep the doors open, sell stuff, make payroll, stay in business…just like “big” clients.  And, they expect us to deliver a solid message that brings warm bodies through the door. Maybe our role is even more vital since these small companies depend on repeat, long term customers. They battle Super-WalMart and other Big Box Stores daily. Small businesses look for their niche and a way to survive. They look to us to make their message meaningful and effective.

Example: I have a mom and pop furniture store who is open only one night a week, closed on Wednesday and Sunday, (yeah, I said closed Wednesday) and open only 8am-5pm the other days.  Yet, in spite of the way they force customers to conform to the way they do business, and with all the Big Box competition they have, they’ re still the ones to beat.  I must be a genius.

When you’re as small as we are, time is the valuable commodity. There’s not a lot of time to bounce ideas, experiment a little, write, re-write and re-write again…not a lot of time to savor the process of making the work. While I get bored and frustrated with that one (long-time) client who wants the same “show and tell”  TV, it works.

I got into the business over 27 years ago because of the creative process. I love being a real part of video projects, touching the many different aspects of making the work. But the “give and take”, “lets try this and if it doesn’t work lets try something else” days are long gone. In order to survive, we must churn out “new and different” as best we can because even in a small town, clients expect your best effort.

We’re open, but not on Wednesday or Sunday.

Only in Hooterville.

A small moment to whine.

April 22, 2009

The thing about entreprenuerial advertising (in a small town) is that you get through a day with maybe a few moments of insight,  inspiration, and a nice comment (or two)  from a client(s) who liked something you did…then go home after 10 or 12 hours, collapse and look for the energy to do it all over again the next day with the hope someone paid their bill…and second guessing if what you’re doing is the best you can be doing. I’m living the dream of owning my own business…27 years this July. 

images-21   OK…I’m better now. Get me some coffee.

A Typical Adchick Day

January 29, 2009

So, a day in entreprenuerial advertising went something like this:

Wake up late, grab coffee, race around to get out the door.  (Just me, no kids, no pets, no significant other…what the hell am I doing?)

Get all the grocery items for the price-item TV doughnut that MUST  be shot today to make deadline.

Hit the post office on the way across down (our drive time is about 15 minutes) … check the mail box.  No Checks.  Payroll is Friday. Damn.

While  cool camera guy works his magic with canned corn, I finish buying February media for the last client, fax off the schedule.

Field a call from some girl named Holly selling space in the County  Fair Book … honey, it’s JANUARY!  The efffing Fair is in August. Leave me alone … and by the way, NO! 

Field a call from a client who loves his new web site and had two minor changes, then he tells me his business is rockin’ and he loves what we do. Sweet.

Look over  the last round of logo changes for a new product.   Hope the 60+ male clients will choose the right one (after all, the audience is 25-45 women). We show them what we want them to see and hold our breath.

Eat microwave soup at my desk for lunch left over from shooting the grocery store ad.

Try not to spill soup on the papers I prepared for my 1:30 meeting.

Meeting goes over two hours…but these were motivated clients and I walked out with a bunch of new work.  They like me.

Field a call from my most conservative client.  He decides cautiously to continue to run some ads in February.  Gee, thanks.  Glad you decided to keep the doors open.

Whip out a press release for a favorite charity.  Easy.

Late in the day. Here comes an email from the health care marketing girls.  Their “Marketing Committee” met. They have a few “suggestions” to the last three TV ads.  (They should all be selling Mary Kay…wait, maybe I should be selling Mary Kay.)  Bitches took the icing off the cake. I feel my blood pressure jump and resist the urge to kill someone.    My cool camera guy, however, is just that. Cool. No big deal.  He makes their “suggestions”.  

I weigh my choice between red wine or a workout.

Whaddya think I decided to do??                       images-15