Last week I was a guest on 2 podcasts. Both hosts were great and I expect the shows will be worthwhile listens when they come out in the next month. One of the hosts sent me a list of pre-questions to consider. Because I like to be prepared, I wrote out brief answers to the questions. But once the interview began we quickly found different topics to pursuit. Since I already had the answers ready I am sharing them here for a little more insight about me, my career and the 7 books I dig.
- How did you get started with your product/service/area of expertise?
I studied journalism and psychology at the University of Wisconsin and wanted to become an advertising copywriter. A college professor of mine, Roger Rathke, introduced me to his college buddy Paul Counsel, who was the CEO of the advertising agency, Cramer Krasselt. I asked for an informational interview. I borrowed a suit from my college track teammate, now the Honorable Judge Greg Gill. The interview lasted 5 hours. Including an adventure to Paul’s house to meet his mudjacker. (Who goes to the CEO’s house on their interview? This kid!) A month later I finally sent a thank you note. And in response, they offered me a job. It was like the end of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory when Charlie hands back the little covid-looking candy and wins the chocolate factory. Make sure to always send a thank you note.
2. Why were you drawn to this area of expertise?
I am just wired for it. In college, after a couple of rough semesters, I mapped out my natural talents and how I could get paid to put them to work. The work of an advertising creative seemed to fall right at the intersection of my talent and sought-after skills.
3. Which hurdles did you personally face, and how did you overcome them?
Generally speaking, none. I really haven’t had any major hurdles in my career other than the garden variety, like figuring out when and where my next chances for growth and promotion were. Maybe I was too unfiltered at the beginning of my career. I also developed a sweet tea addiction, which almost made me too wonderful for a while. Today I try to keep that between the ditches.
4. What do you think your unique skillset or superpower is that has helped you become successful?
There are probably 4 things that have helped create my career success:
- My abundant enthusiasm. I can get excited about anything. Clients appreciate that.
- My ability to make and keep friends.
- My ability to think strategically
- The creative way my brain works. I make connections that others don’t. It glitches in a good way.
5. Are there any tools or books that have really helped you on your journey?
Yes! I read a lot. Here are a few books that profoundly influenced me.
- The E-Myth
- Call Me Ted
- Rich Dad Poor Dad,
- Think And Grow Rich.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Alchemist.
- The Little Engine That Could
6. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
- Build and maintain your friendships, relationships, and network.
- Continue to self educate.
- Live an interesting life. It fuels your creativity.
7. What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?
How valuable my skills really were.
8. Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you?
- My parents Bob and Jill Albrecht molded the clay. They worked as one unit. So I count them together.
- Roger Rathke: My College Professor. He taught me all the basics of advertising strategy and creativity. I was well prepared for the real world of advertising when I graduated.
- Paul Counsell: Former CEO of Cramer Krasselt, who gave me my start in advertising. He is a great people person. I liked him the instant I met him. And I loved being part of his team.
- Dan Richards: One of my closest friends since middle school. And the first of my friends to become an entrepreneur. I was very close to Dan as he began his entrepreneurial journey. And Dan was also my first client when I launched The Weaponry.
- My high school track coach Jude Dutille, and my college track coach Mark Napier. They helped me focus and develop my limited natural talent into meaningful results. What they taught me about competition and continuous self-improvement I have applied to the rest of my life and my career.
9. What is your best tip for someone struggling to take their idea forward?
Sharpen the idea until it is very clear and easy to understand. Then talk to the people you are making the idea for. See if your idea meets an unmet need. If not adjust it.
Always show up prepared. And if you don’t use everything you prepared for a podcast, you can turn it into a blog post.