A few years ago I was having a serious conversation about my career with a close friend. I was talking about a job opportunity I was contemplating that would involve me and my family moving to one of the major cities in the United States. Chad, my son Magnus’ Godfather, asked why I was considering such a move and the impact it was likely to have on our family’s quality of life. Not to mention the impact it would have on the Christmas Eve tradition our families enjoyed together.
I told Chad that I was curious to know what my career might hold if I was in a major market. Chad took a long pause. And then he said slowly, in words I could easily understand,
I don’t think your career has ever been limited by your location.
Chad was right. My career has been full of interesting opportunities and adventures that have outsized the markets that I have lived and worked in. But without Chad’s comment I may not have recognized that myself.
I was reminded of Chad’s statement last week because my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, had a particularly interesting weekend. Here are the 3 big things that happened.
#1 Two of our Weapons flew to the other side of the planet to film a video about an impressive business in Bangalore, India. It was a trip that helped alter my world-perspective. I met amazing people, saw incredible sights and ate incredible food. And, now that I’ve seen the first rough cut, I can say I helped capture a really great video.
#2 A team of our Weapons were working with a former President of The United States. We sent a crew to the Plains Peanut Festival in Plains, Georgia. A major part of what our team did in Plains was work with President Jimmy Carter. Our team filmed President Carter, photographed him and his family and friends at various activities that weekend. Our team also wrote The Peanut Proclamation, on behalf of The Peanut Institute, which president Carter signed. Working with President Carter was a pretty great consolation prize for our team members who didn’t get to go to India. A trip to India was a good consolation prize for those who didn’t get to work with President Carter.
#3 At the same time as the international travel and the Presidential peanut-ing, our team was launching a new campaign for the sporting gear brand Mizuno, and their support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The work we created included 11 videos, which featured Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch. Jennie is not only the face of American softball, and a business woman, she is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, a contestant on the most recent season of Dancing With The Stars, and a wonderful human being. The videos also included profiles of 4 women who have been battling breast cancer, and 2 women whose mothers have battled breast cancer and won.
This was not a bad weekend for an advertising and idea agency headquartered in Milwaukee. That’s because we refuse to be limited by our geography. What I have found over and over again is that if you do great work, are great to work with, and live up to your commitments, great work will keep coming your way. So don’t think you need to live in the largest, most crowded, most expensive, most traffic-infested cities in the world to do great things. You just have to do great things, and the opportunities will find you.