“STOP COMPETING WITH OTHERS. START COMPETING WIT YOURSELF.”
I remember my very first boss, Mr Richard Newman. A man who could reduce me to tears with his criticism but a man who I am eternally grateful to putting on track in my career. I remember there being three or more people at my level or just above that I spent many minutes (He was not a man to waste time on trivial things like my mind and the tricks it would play on me!) in his office talking about why this or that wasn’t fair because I thought I was working harder and being given twice the work as anyone else.
I remember him looking at me once and just saying, “Why do you care what they are doing? The only thing you should be worrying about is improving your ability every single day. You have just wasted, how ever long you have been obsessing over this, about people who will not help you improve, you will not remember them in years to come and who will probably not even be in this business in a few years. You have the talent to be good but unless you put that energy to better use you will end up in a job you hate comparing yourself with every single person you meet rather than fulfilling your potential.” His voice always grew louder as he neared the end of a sentence. He never yelled but the emphasis was obvious that ‘I am not waiting for an answer, this conversation is over! So go and think about what I said before you open your mouth again. I look back on some of the moments I spent listening to Richard go through what can only be described as the advertising equivalent of Al Pacino speeches and I smile. A great man I owe so much to and whose lessons I have carried and even passed on to some people I have met. Have a creative day!