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May 13, 2002
Blog Post

Six ad biz lessons I learned from Mary Wells Lawrence's autobiography

SUMMARY: No summary available.
This weekend the weather was stunning, glorious, incredible. I know because I ran outside briefly twice; once to get caffiene and once to stop a cat fight.

The rest of the time I was utterly, completely engrossed in Mary Wells Lawrence's brand new autobiography A Big Life (in advertising). If you are either working for an ad agency yourself, or a woman heading any sort of company, or anyone interested in the ad biz, I highly recommend it. Some of the lessons I learned:

  • Stop waiting for things to settle down and get less crazy; they never will. Just plow ahead.

  • Grab data to make decisions, but data is never enough because the most powerful ads are often based on creative leaps and instinct (and you rarely have enough data in hand anyway). Just plow ahead.

  • Internal politics on the client side are going to drive you crazy, and sometimes seriously harm you. Just plow ahead.

  • You'll never, ever be able to find enough truly great stars to hire to run the company so you can relax. Just plow ahead.

  • You will often be lonely, stressed out, and you will have cockroaches in your hotel room. Just plow ahead.

  • It's about the love, it's not about the money (but overpay anybody you really depend on anyway... by a whole lot). Oh yeah, and keep on plowing ahead!
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