DIGO Brands Founder, Creative Chief
Cornell University , Industrial & Labor Relations
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
So the question is, how did I get where I am? How did I get where I am today? It's a funny question, right? Given we're all at, um, you know, when I was when I was a kid, I was I was a musician. I played the, uh I played the piano and the keyboard and few of the other instruments and wasn't bands I liked. I like the the pressure of putting on a show of performing, getting in front of oven audience. Um, you know, I kind of hope I hoped I'd be a rock star by the time I was 18. But you know that that period came and went, and I was I was not a rock star. Uh, but, you know, I what? I I love the I love the creativity of it. I loved getting lost and creative, really in ideas. You know, that's what I really loved. And I wrote a short story when I was 12 or 13. It was simple, and it was short. But, you know, it could impress my teacher. You know, I wrote a poem. My mom cried. My dad laughed. I felt like this is power um And so I thought, You know, if I don't become a rock star and write songs, I'm gonna become a writer. Um, now, when I was a college, I went to at the end of college, I went to career development. I was very, very interested in the girl that I was dating at the time and didn't have a short road to money. Uh uh, as a writer. So I went to career development, and, um and it was really helpful, you know, that we looked at my strengths and what I'd succeeded in. And they said, You know, you should consider either going into advertising or or into political communications. They said, You know, if you follow your your values, you'll probably go into political communications. But if you loosen up a little bit, you should try advertising. So that was really I was really the beginning for May. I had never even thought about a career in advertising. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Start my own business. Um, frankly, back then, being an entrepreneur, uh, a t least to me, it meant something very different than it does today. There there was folks didn't dream of, you know, starting a unicorn company with a billion dollar evaluation and retiring by the age of 28. The dream really was toe have your own small business. You know, that was that was really it, Toby, Your own Boston Thio. You know, for me, the idea of creating a business is a creative project. Was it was exciting for me because I could pull all the levers and use the right side of my brain and the left side of my brain also, so it was very exciting.

Can you walk us through your first few weeks, especially challenges, when you started working as a consultant? How did things change over the next few months?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
you know, I I had had a couple of of, you know, first off, just a sort of place, you know, places I was I was in my mid twenties, uh, when I when I first worked as a consultant or freelancer I've had in my first agency job was really hard to get in. It was a crazy place where people had ulcers and we're drinking a lot at the office. And we had a crazy CEO who would would, you know, have everyone follow him around the office and then just yell at people in front of you on If you dare to defend the person, it would be a terrible thing. So excuse me. It was a difficult place, and I really only lasted six months. They were laying people off in droves, but I had gotten in and so on, you know, is making $19,000 a year in this job. I got laid off on Friday, Sunday they called me a new assignment, had come in from Black and Decker, and they needed a freelancer for $40 an hour. So I mean $40 an hour, compared to $19,000 a year I was like, I'm rich. Eso I didn't even know that was possible. So I went back in and I started freelancing for them. Um, I had I had I had a few sales skills. I did a little telemarketing while I was in college. And so I thought, You know, I'll use that. I'm not afraid of rejection. If you talk to 100 people, you're gonna make one sale. That was that was a thing. So I started to try to get clients for myself as a freelancer. And I did. I did a little research. I did a little copyrighting. I did a little marketing thinking. I had very little experience. I didn't know what I was doing. Um, but and I was frankly, I was often very anxious because I didn't know what I was doing. I would sell myself into situations and and, you know, so I felt a lot of anxiety. I got some good therapy. Uh, I'm a very, very calm type A CEO today, but But I learned through that, and I'll just say what I realized was that I was competing with people who had experienced and were positioned by the jobs that they had in a way that I wasn't. As somebody just tried to be a consultant right off, I said, I'm gonna go back and get those credentials. So when I started my agency, um, it was five years later, so I was 33 years old, and, um, I realized that I had learned from the people I've worked with before that my first money should be spent on PR on a PR agent. Because in the advertising business, you want your people hire you because you're famous. Um, that was that was what I believe back then. So So I needed So I needed clients. I could do famous work for I actually, um, took on the account of my car service driver, uh, who who had run a Russian with his wife, had run a Russian Soviet chocolate factory, and they wanted to start a little chocolate business here in the US And their names were Alexandra Nikolai, which happened to be the names of the last Czars. So we called it Alexandra Nikolai. And it was, and it was all about the It was look very royal. And, you know, we did these sort of sexy, luxurious ads with the Serena. It was just a sort of empowered royal woman who could do whatever she wanted. And, um So So? So there was that one. Um, I found the sort of semi freelance freelance assignment working on Pepsi stuff, which was a, you know, sort of promotional campaign. And so that started to pay for things. And I told myself, Just keep your cost low, don't live in expensive lifestyle, and you could always consult if the agency doesn't work out. That was a good choice. About a month in one of my clients and my previous agency left to go to SunTrust, the biggest bank in the South, And I had taken her toe lunch, and I said, I'm not taking any of that agency's clients because I love them. I don't want to burn any bridges and all of that, but she couldn't hire them because she was. Her company was competing with her old company, and she said, You're the one I trust. I want to hire you. I said her. Would you Leslie? Her name was I said, Leslie, do you want me thinking about your business or do you want me thinking about how I'm going to buy computers, she said. I want you thinking about my business. I said, If I send you a bill for the first six months of which do you think you could, you could pay it She said, I'll get it done. And so it was an enormous amount of money that really funded the beginning of the business. So she was a tough New York woman, and this was a Southern. This was a business run by by Southern gentlemen who didn't like being interrupted at the golf course about important business matters. So she didn't last very long there, even though she was amazingly successful there. Eso There was lots of terms. I was. We were either making $70,000 a month or losing $70,000 a month, and our runway was never more than two months for the first couple of years. But I always had the confidence that I could sell again, and if I didn't, I could be a freelancer and then start from there again. And, you know, miraculously, it worked out

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) do you use at work? Do you prefer certain tools or services more than the others? Why?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
one is sort of the mental software with which you run a business and the other is is actual technology tools. I'll kind of start from the bottom up and just talk about technology tools. Um, one of the great things about being a you know, a consultancy meets agency, and we truly are that in the sense that we dio, we do Growth, marketing, behavior change, marketing, um, brand consulting, building brands, advertising and design. So it's a it's sort of broad. We tend to focus on behavior change marketers, um, as a as a consultant or or agency. You can't force your clients on C on the plants of the platforms that you favor, you know, at least not for at least not for things that air that air that maybe quarter their business where you seem incidental. So, for example, we worked with Salesforce. They had to deal with Google, were in Google, hang out to Google, meets that's it. You're not using zoom or blue jeans or whatever Samsung. There are blue jeans. You're on blue jeans. Okay, so, um, you know when you're working with Salesforce, you'd better be using salesforce you so clients have their preferences. Well, I've the the advantage that I see in in being engaged on multiple platforms is that it keeps you savvy about the differences in the advantages of each. So, for example, we use slack. Um, but we also use Microsoft teams, and there will be people to say we get all of this through Microsoft. Why would you slack to why pay that extra money one. It's not that much extra money to there. There are advantages. And seeing that and seeing and living in the different worlds and very few disadvantages of using both that I could that I could see. Um, we use way switched from salesforce, actually twos, Ojo, Uh, for, you know, for our crm. Um, Salesforce is the best, but SoHo, let's sort of the right level for us. We're not a large, You know, three, 300,000 person company SoHo was made the design easy for our crm. It made it easy for our people to work with. It didn't require as much customization and development on our sides, but we went in that direction. We're huge fans of self worse, but But that's what we chose there. Um, where you know where ah Mac shop as creative firms tend to be. But there are some things that you can't you can't do is well on Max, you know? So, you know, analytics and that sort of stuff runs runs on. You know, the scene is, um So So there's that as well, but were largely in the in the apple apple ecosystem. Um, I personally love Google. Uh, you know, Google for, you know, the docks and the sheets and the share ability, ubiquity and all of that. So, you know, that's ah, uh, you know, if you think about it, it's like filing cabinet. Um, that's for me. That's Evernote. Um, you know, share a ble, you know, documents and all of that. Um, Google's the center for me on that, you know, you know, now allows you to have to share, you know, share your documents and work with them. So I'm doing that, too. And then, you know, the the the sort of chat project feature. I prefer slack. Although teams is good too. Zoom me, My my preference for for this sort of thing. Although we do really well with teams and all. Um, did I miss any tech areas thereWP engine, which I think are the same people that Amazon uses for security and on all of that in the background, it's very affordable. We've talked about maybe going over the square face. And we're thinking we're, you know, comparing pluses and minuses right now, Squarespace makes it easier for us being an agency. We're very aesthetically driven. And we we want to avoid, uh, even simple development challenges. Uh, eso I have tow kind of, uh, I have to fight for the for the difficult things that are worth it on by Think progress might be a difficult thing that's worth it, but I don't. I love so at the intellectual level, I love objectives and key results. I would say Learn about that. You know, if you don't know about that two students, um, you know, there's a lot of formality and bureaucracy and time wasting that slips into meetings. Ah, lot of tactical focus when folks should be talking strategically. So I think thinking about what's the objective we're trying to achieve here. I mean, you've come to come into it like, for example, the way you've managed this. I know exactly what the objective is. And I know what the results you want. You want answers to these questions, and and I know what they're used for. Uh, to me, a lot of agendas don't Don't Don't have those basic elements of What are we doing this for? What's the objective? What are the key results? So So I find that really useful for cutting through the complexity. I think if you think that way, you know, coming out of school, you if you you know, if you think that way, you will stand out. If you just ask basic questions, you know, on keeping why are we here? What are we trying to achieve and how will we know when we achieved it?

What are the profiles of your clients? What kind of projects do you handle? What skills are needed in these projects?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
faster. So I imagine. I imagine, uh, we we share this, you know, I did. I did My Gallup strength finders and the number my number one strength, which really needs my number one interest is learning. I love to learn. I feel deprived if I if I if there's no learning agenda and what I'm doing, um, you know, if it's a routine eyes task, like washing dishes, that's fine, because my mind could be working. But But I hate those things in the middle that actually take mental energy, and I can't learn. Um so partly I've constructed my career's reason I started an agency is because I could choose my clients and I wanted to choose people I could learn from, You know, back in 1996 when Steve Jobs was sort of a failure, I put a picture of him on my computer screen and said, You know, I'd rather suffer worker working for someone like Steve Jobs than suffer from boredom, working for somebody who wasn't changing the world. Um, and And that became the goal. So I've actually gotten to I worked on the first social network, which most people don't know about you. You'll see it on Wikipedia was called six degrees. I worked on the first, uh, you know, that technology went on and empowered a lot of the other more successful social networks. But I worked on the first one. I worked on the the first online banking offering the first no fee credit card. The first delivery from the Internet to your door, you know, which was called cosmo dot com launched that brand and so many other firsts. Um, worked on Netflix, worked on eBay, worked on Salesforce s. Oh, I love So for what you need when you're when you're working with a team establishing a new category, um is a tolerance for ambiguity because the truth is you don't know and neither is anybody else. It's all mental experiments. You are participating in evolution, and you're just trying to stay one little step ahead of death. Really? Uh, and I love that level of challenge. I love to be with people who are smarter than me who was working on a problem that's bigger than me. Um, so that's another thing, too. You need a you need to be able to deal with discouragement and come back the next day and say, I get to do this. I get to be on this team, I get to learn And it might not work out, you know, it might not work out and all those other ways, but, um so, personally, I really loved that our clients as we've grown, we, you know, we realized alright, creating new categories of behavior change. Um, it requires more. It's more than just preference. It's a whole new way of thinking, a whole new way of doing. And we start to think, you know, the world keeps trying to addict us two things that are not healthy for us, And lots of really smart people are working on that all the time. Um, I wanna work with the companies that are helping you move in the direction you want to that are empowering you to learn things and, you know, make decisions and form habits that really help you. So you know, Weight Watchers is a is a current, highly successful, uh, client echelon fitness, which is connected fitness. We're doing work and behavioral a mental health, helping to build brands and models. Uh, there. And so you gotta You gotta understand the basics of branding, design and advertising. I've actually created a curriculum for what I'm calling master change agents. And I don't even know all this stuff, frankly, and I'm the closest we have. It's again. I like it. It's over my head. Like when you think about what an expert should know in your category. I'm sure there's a whole bunch of stuff there that you don't feel that you know. Well, Einstein said. I'm not really that great at math eso. So to me, I don't. I'm never being expert. I'll always be a student, and I that's an attitude I think works really well.

How do you reach out to potential clients? What are the roles of people you reach out to? What are their typical concerns and how do you address them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
um, right now they're challenged in two directions. Um, they're challenged looking there. Well, three, really, they're challenging the president. Their challenge when they look back and they're challenged when they look forward. And here the president is obvious, right? We're in a pandemic. Think everything's changed and disrupted and all of that. So the president, you know, presidents, they're probably trying to do more with less in some industries, a lot less. Um, the challenge with looking back is is actually compounded in many cases by AI and by the by the the digitization efforts that so many businesses have gone through because the learning and the data is of doubtful relevance to the president future because of how much things have changed. So there is a black swan there, and unexpected changed. That is, that's screwing up the perfect system. Everybody had. Let's use all this data to learn and predict and oh, my gosh, unpredicted, predictable reality. Happy world. Completely different. So regal Cinemas. How can I predict how many people will be in that theater? Couldn't They're closed. Um, so that's a challenge. So looking forward, they need the construct strategic plants and then Brandon Marketing plans in order to build the business. And they're looking and there's chaos and confusion and uncertainty, and it's unprecedented. That's the biggest word. You could see what they're obsessed with because they put it in all their ads. Unprecedented, unprecedented times. Um, but that's what they're that's that. It's because it's what the marketers air dealing with. I don't know how to predict. So our job, first off the core of our marketing, is just to help. People who we believe are are are people you know, people who wanna be changed, leaders who who share our values, who are change agents in the world, and we want to help them. We try very hard to be there to help them when the other agencies aren't when they're looking for jobs when they don't have money to spend on us. Um, that's where we really kind of open, you know, Open it up. You can use our database will refer. You will help you. Um, we find those people interesting, and it's rewarding to spend time with them, and we learn from them. So So it's not a completely generous or or a completely strategic move on our part You know, we feel like there's a There's a percentage of the world that we that we want to spend time with their there. We find the people that inspire us. So we better treat those people especially well because the rest of the people are never gonna hire us anyway. So we treat That's one. Then we use thought leadership linked into great platform for me. I think I've, you know, I've got something like 30,000, um, connections there. Um, what's that? You know it Z I started early. You know, I used to just fill journals, and I just thatIt's one thing that is it's sort of I mean, I think what brought me to writing in the first place is that I didn't hear truth enough in the world, and it's lonely, you know, it's lonely when you're, uh it's only when you're a kid and you're not sure you're the only one like you, uh, in the world. And, you know, uh, and the only one who thinks what you think feels what you feel and all of that and and writing and reading is a great way to find out. Oh, you're not alone like your people. You know, authors sort of tell the truth, even in fiction. Sometimes I thought, I want to do that. I want to help other people feel appreciate it, understood, connected, not alone and all of that. So I think that was initial impulse, you know, too, right? Um and you know, so that the ability to just say what I really think in social media, um, in a social way. I don't I don't like the stupid attack quality of so much social media. I'm gonna be thoughtful because I am thoughtful. Um, and I'm gonna be wrong sometimes. and that's okay, because I'm wrong a lot in life. I like to get my ideas out there so other people can tell me, you know? Oh, that's not your first answer, you know, And that's that. That that takes courage today because people can use anything you say against you today. And, um, but I kind of like that challenge of I feel if I'm speaking from my heart. Hey, my heart is not broken. So if I if I feel like it, really, it represents heart. Well, then if I make an error, um, you know, im educate me. You know, I want to hear I wanna I actually love all the perspectives I want to know.

What skills and qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
roots of curiosity like we, you know. But curiosity is often discouraged because people who are curious or disruptive they're the kids who keep asking why, Right, there's there, there, the kid who won't put his hand down in class or her hand down in class Or, um uh, so I mean, I I've I've always put up with an awful lot from somebody who is a fast learner and curious. Lots of I mean, I've had young, you know, young people come in and they don't understand anything, and they want to understand everything. So they challenge everything with questions, and I think most, most places that sort of person won't do well, that person sort of person does very well with me because I see the learning happening and I love a great student. In that sense, eso curiosity is the first emotional intelligence eyes, The second or third I would say I think, um you know, we're in a social business and we're in a business that's about, um, you know, persuading, uh, people on Duin ing people. And so, you know, I'm not looking for you don't have to be an emotional genius walking in the door. But you have to care about that stuff. And you have to be. You have to be an emotional fast learner. Um, and then thirdly, I would say resilience. And, you know, and I would I would actually call it impatient patients or patient and patients, because it's it's, ah, the sort of person I'm talking about. Um, suffers, uh, suffers a bit early in their career. Um, and you know, you're you you guys caught, you know, universities, education, um, prepares them with the big questions and prepares them to be strategic thinkers and pretend, and then they come in and tactically, they know very little. And, um and not only that, no doubt they're gonna have some tactical weaknesses. They're gonna be slow and putting together their presentations. They You know, when I got in, I could proof read, but I couldn't spell. It was a great proof reader from now, but was a terrible speller was a good writer. Uh, you know, I was I was a good editor, but not as great a writer, you know, because my stuff was unwieldy and big. Um, you know, the client would turn to me first for strategic advice, and I could be fairly confident about it, even though I was new. But then I remember one of the early meetings that my my boss said, and then Mark, you'll route the mechanical, which is, you know, thing that no longer exists in advertising agencies. It was literally a mechanical version of the ad itself, you know, on a board now it's all electronic. And I said, Mechanical What? I have no idea what that basic thing waas. So the point I'm making is that your brains and your curiosity will want to drive you right to the top, and your lack of tactical knowledge and experience will mean that you report probably two people in the middle. You spend a lot of time with working for people in the middle who may be more tactical than strategic, who may be more experienced than brilliant, and you will need to see the bright side and learn what you can from them and make the most of your moments with senior management. A smaller place like ours means you're gonna be in the mix more, but it's also it could be more frustrating because you taste, you taste it more often. You know, you taste that sort of high level conversation more often on Ben. You're evaluated based on how well you deal with tactical stuff. Just one quick story. First argument I ever got in with the woman who became my wife. We were working together, and we were not even dating at the time. But, um, she we had a young guy came in from the Midwest with a funny name. It was sort of thick, sad and very corny for New York. Um, and he was just full of confidence and and sail skill. And I was I was the head of creative. She she was an account supervisor, and he was an entry level account person working for him, and I just Justus I had marked her as a someone who is going to go places I had marked him as somebody who's gonna go places. His confidence was was incredible. Uh, and it came time for his first, um, review and, you know, and he was he was not going to get a race, and he wasn't getting a great review because he wasn't filling out his forms correctly. He wasn't filling out his his his creative briefs correctly. He was doing it his way or whatever. And so, you know, my you know, my point was this guy patience is limited. He is going to be at the top of an agency, if not his own. Um and And while you can train him, you can't frustrate him. He needs a raise. His quality needs to be recognized and she said, you know, and quite rightly, but I'm giving him direction. He's not really following it. He needs toe. He needs to do things well in order to make the most of himself. Anyway, it resolved while he ended up somewhere in the middle. That guy has founded, you know, three different successful agencies by now. She went on to be a senior client on the client side, and I started an agency after that. That's now 25 years old. So? So we all did well. But you will be frustrated if you're that kind of person and you've gotta put it in its place. Thank you so much.

How has the demand for certain skills and technologies changed in your field? What kind of consultancy work or jobs would see big growth in the upcoming years?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
very skills that to find my my difference in my success in the first five years of my career, um are are now virtually obsolete. Um, what I I started in direct marketing agencies. And, um, I won by being able to better predict and invent than other people what would generate the best response, whether it was an ad or a banner ad or or whatever. Um, you know, I I was a many genius at that, you know, I was I was left brain and right brain, and I was focused, and I could, you know, I was the one who said, Don't say it's free. Say it's free for life and that would be, like 100% better. You know, um, there is now a good friend of mine. Jason Heller is now the president of a company called Preciado, and Prosciutto has an AI that does that better than any human has ever done it. Including may you, you give them your control at your bet, your best performer and the it generates, like 10,000 test cells. And then the AI picks the seven that it thinks will work best, and 90% of the time it outperforms the control. So you imagine running that again and again and forget it so that that kind of performance marketing is increasingly automated. Fortunately, I moved up and I said, All right, you know what these people are underestimating is a brand and and the brands part of the strategy. And so I started moving up and putting into context. And so I'm operating at a level where it doesn't matter me whether machine does it or a person does that old stuff. Eso I would say You have to keep learning and you have to keep moving in your career, and it's hard to predict. So we need creative people. We need strategic people. We need people who are learners. Um, well, you know, it's, uh, comfort with technology, obviously, is just hugely important now, you know. I mean, I think I sort of feel little sheep is saying that because I think that's become a cliche. But it is really true. I mean, it's it's really true that you know that that technology is the third language. Now, you know, and you have to know it. You have to know it, and you could be incredibly helpful. Um, you live in in my business, but in a lot of businesses to, um, don't underestimate, don't overestimate, but don't underestimate your cultural knowledge. The you know, the fact that you are that you're passionately engaging with culture that somebody made probably isn't or somebody 35 probably isn't. Um, you know that that's important, too, because because you reflect some of the audience and and and probably also something you tell us something about the future is well, so you you you bring something important into the workplace in that sense to Yeah, I always I always tell people I always say, uh, two people in the U. S. You know, uh, there are a billion people in India plus all the people in the United States.

Can you tell us something about your latest book, either published or upcoming? What is it about? Do you have any specific audience in your mind for it?

Based on experience at: Author, DIGO Brands
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
But the premise of the book was that I would write a book for 100 people and the 100 people would be the people inside my organization. So a book written for 100 people that I think should be of interest to anybody who wants to be a Matt. What I'm calling a master change agent. What do you do need if you want to change your own life? Someone else's lives, Um, the lives of a lot of people through marketing the lives of your community through what used to be called social marketing. I'm not calling behavior change marketing, um, or your nation, the world. What do you need to know? What are the what are the core skills and concepts? Andi, and how do you do it from beginning to end? So that's my book. It's getting a little bit encyclopedic, but it but on identifying those those core those core behavior change marketing skills for change agents. And you know, I hope is that my hope is that people people who want to be part of change and who are excited about being part of change. And as we know most people don't like change. Uh, but change is awesome. Change forces you to learn, so it puts you on your toes, Um, and changes. Absolutely necessary. So that's why I'm writing for, um and I think it will be out in 2021. Yeah, so I

What are some of the best ways to promote a book as an author? What marketing channels, agencies, and strategies do you use to market your books?

Based on experience at: Author, DIGO Brands
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
I worked on Jim Patterson's team. James Patterson's team at J. Walter Thompson. James Patterson, the best selling author in the world, was the was the head of creative and and and, for a time, the chairman of J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency. So he was he had a similar career. I remember while editing work for Thompson clients, the first ads for his book kissed. The girls were getting edited in the same places. Um, so he used advertising, which is really interesting. Gotta have money to do that. Um, it's important. I I love the 1000 true fans theory. I'm sorry. I don't remember who came up with that, but but it wasn't May, um, I think you you build your network, you figure out who your target audiences you build your network. Social media is helpful for that. Getting a list is helpful for that. Um, but you figure out the people you're really going to serve and take care of, and you figure out how to create content for them, and then you leverage your net your your network. Um, hopefully you can leverage your network to generate enough revenue that you can then creates, um, paid advertising a swell. I think when people like like, this is a great example. When when people reach out and they ask you thio talk and to serve, um, do it. That's the other thing, too. I I learned about as a as a very young like a less than a teenager in the 19 seventies. I heard the story of Wayne Dyer, who, by the way, someone on a conference call quoted yesterday. But Wayne Dyers first book was your erroneous zones, and he could not get, Hey, this best selling author. He became a best selling author, could not get a publisher for the book, so he self published it. He put a bunch in the back of his little Volkswagen at the time, and he drove from town to town. He went to the radio stations in these little towns. He knocked on the door, and he said, I'm Wayne Dyer. I'm an author. I brought my book. I'd love to get on the radio and talk about it, and sometimes they said yes, and little by little, it's sold enough. Where a publisher said he's got a platform. I want that book now There was no social media then This is This was this is the way he did it. But that inspired May. I thought, Wow, you You know what you can You can go right around the publisher and the advertising budget, and you could go retail, go right out to media. It connects to what I said. The first thing is you're gonna PR for I think that's it. I think you think I think Look, if you're if if ultimately you want you want a publishing contract because you want to be about aI mean, have you sold anything to anybody? Have you sold any books? So if you can solve those problems, they I would finish with this with this story. So I you know, I don't hide the fact that I I was I had anxiety problems in my twenties, you know, My and I and I went and I got I got good therapy and help, and it made a big difference in my life. I don't hide it because I I want folks out there who you know, Thio to do the same because a big part of my success is my ability to deal with things that stress out other people. And now I'm resilient and you know, whereas before I was less resilient, I felt that way. Now I'm more resilient, So it's good. But I had a shrink. Who who said to me, Why are you digging dishes? Ditches? I said, You know, you know what? It's a job. I don't you know I don't have skills. I didn't finish college. It's it's a job. Yeah, and he said, But I heard you can play the piano. I heard you were with the band. I said Yeah, I play in bands, but putting a band together is difficult, he said. You know, there are restaurants and bars in this area and they hire final players. Don't you go into them and see if you get a job. So two weeks later, I went back to see this this guy and he said, So did you do it? I said, Yeah, I went toe. I went toe seven and they all took my I made a card. They all took my card, but I haven't gotten any calls or whatever he said. Go back, he said. No one knows you're serious when you come in one time, when they see your face second time, they'll know you're serious. I said, Really, I was just there, he said. He said, Cry it. So I went back to the same seven places and one guy literally said, Oh, I didn't know you were serious. Sure we're looking for We've got a spot open on New Year's Eve. You can you can have it. It's a half hour and it's $50 or whatever. I got three jobs, but what that principle of come back? Ask again. Give people a chance to get to know you and feel that. Oh, this is really this person's riel. Don't take no for an answer in that way it was. It was a major, major piece of learning for May.

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
8% style like I was really good, but I I knew great. And I knew that that that I was never going to be that, um And the other thing that happened when I arrived to college was I discovered the library and realized, Oh, my God, For the first time in my life, I can study anything I want. And my curiosity was just just on 11. And, you know, my mom said, You know, I think you're great. Talent is your is your learners is s o so go, You know, go for that. I took two weeks. I got out of the music program, went into the liberal arts program, didn't choose a major studied philosophy, studied political science, studied social social sciences, a little bit of literature and just basically followed my nose to what was really interesting. Me, um, my guidance counselor back at school had gone to Cornell. Both she and her husband have gone to the schools of human ecology. They were both guidance counselors, and she said, Hey, you're smart guy. You didn't do well in in high school. Uh, now you you know, you kind of found yourself in college. you're getting these, you should wish. I'll recommend you should apply to Cornell. So transfer goto a go to a better school. So I transferred, uh, to the to the hardest school to get into at Cornell, which which was cheaper because it was partly public funded, which was the school of industrial and labor relations. I was interested in everything, which is the only reason I was interested in industrial labor relations and once I got there and started to study it, But the the the guy who interviewed me said, um, I don't think you're right for this program. This is for people who want to go into this field, and you don't want to go into this field. And I said, You know, I think you need one. And by the way, I had, like, hair down to the middle of my back and amongst it was crazy, crazy stuff. But I said, I think you need one like May. I think you need somebody who's interested in industrial relations as an intellectual pursuit, not as a careerist. You just need one. Let me be the one in the class and they let me in and you know what? He was right. It wasn't for me and, you know, and that hurt it hurt that I had, you know, moved there and went into this, and it really just wasn't for me. I wasn't. I didn't have that core interest in learning about profession. The professional studies part of it. But when I kind of dusted myself off from that experience, I realized I'm gonna be one of the most convincing people on the planet. How did he knew everything about the program? He's a professor and a an admissions counselor. He knew everything about the program. I knew nothing. And in one conversation, I convinced him, Let me on and I was wrong. So I heard a little money. And then I, uh, went to State University of New York at soon at purchase, which doesn't sound that promising. But if the kids at at Cornell were the most were the smartest and the most mature and driven, the kids at purchased were the most culturally sophisticated. It was near New York City. It was art students and liberal arts students. And, you know, I I had an upstate mind at that point that I was just blown away by the by the sophistication Really, of these kids. Andi, I ended up with a major in political science, studied a lot of social science and psychology. Um, and, you know, it was a great preparation because I brought a different mind to marketing. I mean, I've been a I don't use the word Professor. A lot of my co instructors do becausebig user, of course, there and all of that. So I just I also felt once I found myself, I had this really productive and security, which is I felt I'm behind. But if I just keep on learning, you know, it'll be okay. And and I wanted to learn to I love it so So I feel like I've never There's never been a year of my career that I wasn't learning whole new perspectives and still in school, so I got a lot of school.

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
um, my industry, the the agency. The creative agency industry is a It's a small one with a limited number of jobs. Um, and they are even as it's disrupted. And it's and it's, uh, it's it's not what it used to be, and it's challenged and all of that. It's one of those. It's one of those creative careers that people can conceptualize and understand, and therefore it attracts a lot more demands for jobs than there are jobs. Um, and so you know, in in my business, the most important thing is just getting in and, you know, try to get into a good place with good, good people, any job, and then find mentors inside the doors and outside the doors wherever you can find them. Keep learning, keep growing. Use side projects, you know, side hustles in orderto in order to develop your skills and mark ability. Um, you know that's the way to do it in my industry. If, on the other hand, you have a skill set that is where there's more demand than than there are folks that I would say Don't sure don't under sell yourself, figure out exactly what you want where you want, Where you want to start and and go for that. Um so those are the two ends of the spectrum. My end is definitely Just get it be in the finance department. Just get in. You know, beak. Be insistent. Get your foot in the door. I mean, I developed a creative career, but I didn't have a portfolio when I started. I don't even know I was gonna have a creative career. I started as an assistant account executive. Um, you know, it was great. I know things that creative spend their whole years trying to learn. Like I would never You know, I I almost consider this a slur, but I hear it all the time. What the heck do account people do all day? Well, where we're making the work, you know, to me, it's a slur, and it's an insult because I did that job, and that's a hard job. And it's a busy job. Uh, eso that. That perspective has helped me in my career. No, No problem. Yeah, okay. I'll try to make try to make it a short answer, but