Firstly, what does success mean for you? (How much of a role does your creativity play in your career? Do you want creativity to be your only source of income or are you looking at other possibilities?)
As cheesy as it may sounds, success for me, is achieving my dreams. Last year I read the book ‘The Dream Manager’ which if you haven’t read before I urge you to read! In the book, it highlights that people’s successes aren’t always driven by money and status, it’s the simple achievements like learning to drive, owning a house or even being able to spend time with your kids on an evening. After reading the book, I decided my three dreams were to:
1) Public speak to inspire
2) Change the world with meaningful advertising
3) To regularly travel
In order to make these happen, I have to be creative. Having a limitless imagination and a relentless attitude will be my route to success.
How do you cope with the hypercompetitive market of today? (In your area of interest, do you have any techniques on staying relevant? Do you have an agent?)
I wouldn’t use the word ‘cope’ for starters! I try not to look at the hypercompetitive market as a barrier, but more inspiration to spur me on. Living in London I am regularly finding, meeting, listening and reading about amazing ideas and talent. The best bit of advice I can give, soak up everything you can and try not to let time pass you by. Someone once told me, “If you don’t feel like the shittest person in the room, you need to find a more inspirational room”, it always stuck with me as a reminder to never be trapped in a stale environment. Keep challenging yourself until the inspiration runs out.
Promoting yourself and your work should not be considered negatively. Have you found that this is the case? How have you found is the most effective way to make your voice heard among the many that are out there?
Throughout all aspects of life, whether it’s social or in the workplace, you’re going to be met with skepticism when it comes to self-promotion. It’s not something we’re encouraged to do, so we don’t know how to respond to it when we see it. That’s what drove me to start ‘F*ck Being Humble’ an online platform and event series to change the perception of self promotion. I was forever frustrated with brilliant talent going unnoticed just because they didn’t know how to properly articulate themselves or feared the response they would receive if they did share their achievements. To me, the key to standing out would be staying to true to what you stand for and being consistent with how you portray yourself in person and across your channels. If you follow us on Instagram @fuckbeinghumbleldn we’ll give you a whole load of tips on how to do exactly that.
Speaking of staying relevant, do you feel it is true that there is an “expiry date” on graduates for them to be interesting or is there merit in a “slow cook” approach to your reputation?
I think every individual is different and it completely depends on your mindset when you’re graduating and the employers you’re looking to work for. Whilst I know there is a big entrepreneurial millennial movement of people breaking down barriers and creating amazing things, I don’t necessarily think every employer is looking for that in graduates. Sadly I’m far from being a graduate, but from an employer perspective, what I’d look for in new talent is a hungry appetite, fresh ideas and new perspectives to approaching briefs. That doesn’t mean you need to have a social following of 50k plus or have your own YouTube channel, that means showing you can offer something different. A reputation isn’t something you build overnight (not authentic ones anyway) it takes experiences and overcoming challenges to build knowledge, so don’t let rumors of “expiry dates” scare you, just work on your reputation at your own pace.
Hard work and dedication is a must to get anywhere, that much is clear. But everyone’s story is a little different, what’s the one thing you wished you’d learned sooner?
Don’t worry about looking ‘too keen’. Sure, you don’t want to scare off future employers by coming on too strong, but also remember that you are your own best hype-man and you shouldn’t go unnoticed! Just because you don’t hear back from a job application or an opportunity immediately, don’t assume it’s bad news. Find a way to connect with the person you’re reaching out to, share your benefits (not just your features) and try not to take no for an answer.
If you had a miracle two-step plan for success, what would it be?
I mentioned it in my first answer, but step one is to map out your dreams and then step two is to set realistic goals to achieve them. I need to stress the importance of your goals being ‘realistic’ because it’s so easy to be over-ambitious and put yourself under unnecessary stress with unachievable timeframes. The goals I listed above have always been in my mind since graduating, 5 years later and I’d definitely say I’m on track but only just starting to action them. And I’m completely content with that. I don’t feel like I’m behind schedule or life is passing me by because I’m aware of how ambitious they are, and how much work needs to go into them to achieve them in the best possible way. In all honesty, there is no generic two-step plan for success, it’s as many as you need it to be for your own personal goals!
Check out more here: https://www.fuckbeinghumble.com