From what I remember, all my Dad ever wanted was for me to keep my nose clean, get through college and have a decent career – “Don’t get a job,” he would always say. “Choose a career.” My Mom always said: “Whatever you do, do the best job you can.” I’m glad I followed their advice.
Because at the age of fifty five, those are the twelve words that motivate what I do every day as an advertising creative director. Because I am driven by what can only be called an old fashioned work ethic and the need for my work to stand apart from others, this I believe:
I believe that because I live in America I got to choose to be a writer. And because of my parent’s words, it wouldn’t matter what had I chosen to do, because I would be working just as hard as I do now.
I believe that if we as Americans choose our careers instead of just taking jobs we will be a happier more productive people. And I believe that if we were brave enough to wash toilets or change bedding in a hotel or pick up after and baby sit other people’s children, or pump gas, mow grass or any other of what we now consider menial jobs, then we wouldn’t have other people coming in to do those jobs.
From what I know of history, the Roman Empire was destroyed by it’s own refusal to see it’s inner workings not working. Over the past sixty years we’ve managed to whittle away that great can do attitude that helped us produce an infrastructure that completely marveled the rest of the world.
Oh, we’ve been to the moon and all. And yes, some really marvelous people have provided us with technical wonders to grace our lives. But all of that help has made most of us even more sedentary.
I am always asked: “How do you do it?” after writing and producing as many as seventeen or eighteen radio and television commercials in a single week. And yes, that is a lot for one person. I do it by working what I call farmer’s hours. Some days as many as fifteen hours.
Now it’s been said that I may be a workaholic. Not so. I don’t take my work home with me. I have just as much fun away from work as anyone else. But when I wake up in the morning I look forward to what surprises my career has in store that day and doing the best I can – and oh yeah. Keeping my nose clean.
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