I love my work. I always have. When I was in college I drew out a chart that listed things I was good at and things that I thought I could get paid to do. My career treasure map pointed me towards becoming a creative person at an advertising agency. I had no idea what those people were really called. Turns out they are basically called creative people at advertising agencies.
I started my career as a young copywriter. I loved that I got paid to be creative. I loved writing. I loved making something out of nothing. I loved seeing my work on tv, on billboards, and in magazines. Perhaps most of all, I loved the dress code. You definitely had to wear clothes. But what kind and how much was totally up to you.
As my carer advanced I loved my work even more. I loved directing creative teams. I loved the strategic thinking and problem-solving that fed the process and drove client success. I loved traveling to amazing locations and developing deep new friendships with clients. I found they deepened quickly when you face life-threatening conditions together in a blizzard at 10,000 feet with no matches and no way to call for help. #BadSituationGoodStory
I loved pitching new business. I loved putting on a show and sharing my love for smart ideas that help develop brands and grow businesses. And I loved hearing, “Adam’s got a lot of energy!’
When I became a Chief Creative Officer I loved leading a creative team across multiple offices. I loved the opportunity to help create culture and processes and Weness. I loved digging into how the entire business worked and influencing major decisions and initiatives. #MoreCowbell
Then, when I became an entrepreneur I loved creating The Weaponry, an advertising and ideas agency. It has been the most exciting chapter of my career. I got to bring everything I had learned over the first 19 years of my career together, and create a new team without baggage or historical limitation. I loved creating The Weaponry brand and assembling a team of Weapons that clients love. I didn’t love the name The Weaponry while trying to enter India at 2 am and appearing to be a threat to their national security. #BadSituationGoodStory
I loved writing my first book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I loved the entire process and all that I learned. I have loved talking about the book and the lessons in it that have been so valuable to me. And I love signing copies for people with personal messages the way I used to sign high school yearbooks. Only with less, ‘Science class with you was hilarious!’
However, my absolute favorite day of my career came in the first week of June 2000. I got on the elevator at work that day and saw a beautiful woman on the right side of the packed elevator. When she smiled at me my whole life changed. Birds sang. Fireworks fired. And I forgot what floor I was going to. That new coworker, Dawn, and I began dating 6 weeks later. One week after that we told each other we were in love and started talking about marriage. Then came Ava, Johann and Magnus in a baby carriage.
Dawn and I have now been married for 20 amazing years. She inspires me to work hard. She has been my biggest cheerleader. (Measured in cheer, not in pounds.) And when I brought up the idea of launching The Weaponry she was fully supportive. Despite the fact that she had the most to lose. She could tell how much I love this stuff. And when you love your work this much, the work loves you back.
Find work you love. Find a place you love to do that work. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. It’s a recipe for a life you’ll love. Happy Valentines Day!
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+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.