Do the work. Trust yourself. Say thank you.


Gathered from scraps of paper, sticky notes, the backs of bills, a cocktail napkin, words spoken to Siri, some never posted blog drafts and a recent hallway conversation, these are things I’m learning to live by.


  • Be intentional. Wake up each morning and decide you’re going to make a difference in someone’s life.


  • Take criticism with grace. If it’s true, find a way to make the change. If it’s not true, let it go.


  • When someone gives you a compliment, say thank you.


  • Laugh when you can, apologize when you should and let go of things you cannot change.


  • Make decisions. When you take to long, you waste a lot of time “thinking” and slow your momentum. Still, when you make a decision, stick to it for as long as it makes sense and allow yourself to change your mind when needed.


  • Trust your gut. Especially when you don’t want to.


  • Begin. Start now. Don’t wait for permission. “If you want to live the life you haven’t lived, you have to you’ve to do things you’ve never done.” -Jen Sincero


  • It’s never too late to start over. If yesterday sucked, begin again. If you weren’t happy with the results of your efforts last week, try something new. The point is, move forward. Don’t stay stuck. Evolve.


  • Love hard. 


  • Don’t insulate yourself from pain and discomfort. You’ll grow more if you let it in then if you waste your energy building a wall.


  • Don’t be afraid of failure; it’s part of the creative process. The point is (see #7) you’ve got to dive in head first, with passion and determination. Acknowledge when things aren’t working and change, quickly. Caveat: Know the difference between the work is hard and this is the uncomfortable part and this isn’t working, it’s time to switch gears.

“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.  Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

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Digital Departments Are Dead

MTS Creates Social Icons

Television is still the most effective way to reach people. When combined, images and sound have a power influence on emotions. Until recently, however, the message was directed one way (from the TV to the audience). Now, television can impact the lives of people even more by engaging the audience in the conversation. The integration of digital technology and social media has given advertisers a chance to speak with people versus the previous structure of speaking at them.

In the “Mad Men” era of advertising, agencies had specific television departments. TV was the new medium and the significance of its impact was still being determined. The sole purpose of the staff of those departments was to learn, understand and create the television segment of campaigns for clients. In time, TV became the cornerstone of all mass media and the segmented television department faded away. Television became a part of the culture and it was widely understood as an integral part of marketing, not an addition.

Businesses have spent the past two decades gradually adding “digital departments” to their structure. In advertising, there was a necessity for specific departments with people dedicated to learning, understanding and creating digital segments of campaigns for clients.

In 2011, the internet officially took the title of the world’s largest medium for communication and advertising. Does it make sense to still have “digital” departments, almost as a side item to any campaign, when the internet is now the most widely used medium on the planet?

Just as the television departments transformed to become a part of the entire integrated solution for advertising in the late 1900’s, it’s time for digital departments to do the same.

Digital is no longer something special to be considered as an addition to a great advertising campaign. Yes, the elements can be complex, but they are also necessary. Most important, it is imperative to look at digital as an integral part of creating a two-way conversation.

The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.  -Douglas Engelbart, American engineer, inventor, and early internet pioneer


Illustration via MTSCreates


What Does It Really Mean To Be A Jack of All Trades?

Library of an Interaction Designer (Juhan Sonin) / 20100423.7D.0

Is it necessary to become a Jack of All Trades to be remarkable? I believe in the service industry, it is. Lisa Onland’s blog about that need resonates with and inspires me. There are changes taking place in the broadcast industry in journalism as well as marketing that render it necessary to understand,  learn and provide more than ever. 

On air, we need to reach people wherever they are at any given moment which really means on-air, online, and on social media. We have to be savvy with the many levels of technology that people use to get their information. Engagement and content is key on all fronts. The same goes for marketing. Today’s advertising campaigns will fall short if they aren’t all encompassing. People want to be related to, not shouted at, which means we really have to think through how we implement our campaigns.

While I believe it’s important to tune in with new technology and to how people want to interact  it’s also entirely possible to over complicate efforts or worse, be so overwhelmed that we do nothing at all. We need to commit to learning new things one step at a time knowing that not all of it will be a home run.

The understanding that we will have failures and successes, that we have to give more than we get and the drive to be better today then we were tomorrow are important parts of the journey. 


Enjoy Lisa’s post from Intent: Social / Sharing with a Purpose:

In my first year of journalism school, we were all taught a sobering lesson: traditional journalism as we knew it was dead.

TV stations could no longer equip everybody with their own cameraman, boom operator or assistant. International publications were cutting back on all those sought-after foreign correspondent jobs.

If you wanted to make news, you had to go out there with your notebook, camera and mic and get it yourself.

It was with this in mind that my classmates and I were all taught to write, edit, record and present our own stories from the very first pitch to the final production package.

We were taught not only how to produce online content, but to create the platform from which it was published.

It was a very Jack of All Trades approach, as the industry was contracting and journalists were now expected to be able to hold their own without all the trappings their fore bearers had enjoyed.

The terrain was moving in favor of freelancers, contractors and those who could get the job done with the fewest number of people and company resources.

No room for the one trick pony

Today’s blogosphere is similar in a lot of ways.

There’s very little room for the humble writer, equipped only with pen, paper and intellectual genius. You need to be a writer cum social media guru, part-time programmer, budding graphic designer, marketing specialist and the list goes on.

The pitfalls of this particular situation are easy to spot, and are primarily based around the generalist versus specialist debate.

But, budget cuts aside, there are also some very compelling pros for a more multi-faceted approach:

1) Maintaining your creative vision from beginning to end

Having creative direction of a brand or blog from the content right down to the fonts, is a liberating (read terrifying) position to be in as you have free reign to direct, format and build from the ground up. Sure, there’ll be times when you need to delegate a complex task or two, but having a good grasp of your project on all levels is an incredible advantage.

2) You don’t need to be a pro to be efficient

The elements of Photoshop are comprehensive enough and, with the help of scripting software like WordPress, you no longer need to be a programming prodigy to set up a website. Getting your head around the basics of social media doesn’t require a three year degree, just take the time to read up, practice and observe.

3) You never stop learning

Want to try your hand at some coding? Feel like diving into some advanced marketing theory? Adding another trick to the toolbox will not only enhance your existing knowledge, but open you up to a whole new range of skills to dabble in. And once you find out how one thing works, don’t you just want to go ahead and figure out the rest while you’re at it?


Read more from Intent Social here.

Sandberg and Buffet on Women’s Rights

“Legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population.”

The above and following are excerpts from Lean In, a book by the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg.

“Today in the United States and the developed world, women are better off than ever. We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, women who had to fight for the rights that we now take for granted. In 1947, Anita Summers, the mother of my longtime mentor Larry Summers, was hired as an economist by the Standard Oil Company. When she accepted the job, her new boss said to her, “I am so glad to have you. I figure I am getting the same brains for less money.” Her reaction to this was to feel flattered. It was a huge compliment to be told that she had the same brains as a man. It would have been unthinkable for her to ask for equal compensation.

We feel even more grateful when we compare our lives to those of other women around the world. There are still countries that deny women basic civil rights. Worldwide, about 4.4 million women and girls are trapped in the sex trade. In places like Afghanistan and Sudan, girls receive little or no education, wives are treated as the property of their husbands and women who are raped are routinely case out of their homes for disgracing their families. Some rape victims are even sent to jail for committing a “moral crime.” We are centuries ahead of the unacceptable treatment of women in these countries.

But knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better. When the suffragettes marched in the streets, they envisioned a world where men and women would be truly equal. A century later, we are still squinting, trying to bring that vision into focus.

The blunt truth is that men still run the world. Of the 195 independent countries in the world, only 17 are led by women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally. In the United States, where we pride ourselves on liberty and justice for all, the gender division of leadership roles is not much better. Women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States in the early 1980s. Since then, women have slowly and steadily advanced, earning more and more of the college degrees, taking more of the entry-level jobs, and entering more fields previously dominated by men. Despite these gains, the percentage of women at the top of corporate America has barely budged over the past decade. A meager twenty-one of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Women hold about 14 percent of executive officer positions, 17 percent of board seats, and constitute 18 percent of our elected congressional officials. The gap is even worse for women of color, who hold just 4 percent of top corporate jobs, 3 percent of board seats, and 5 percent of congressional seats. While women continue to outpace men in educational achievement, we have ceased making real progress at the top of any industry. This means that when it comes to making the decisions that most affect our world, women’s voices are not heard equally.

Progress remains equally sluggish when it comes to compensation. In 1970, American women were paid 59 cents for every dollar their male counterparts made. By 2010, women had protested, fought, and worked their butts off to raise that compensation to 77 cents for every dollar men made. As activist Marlo Thomas wryly joked on Equal Pay Day 2011, “Forty years and eighteen cents. A dozen eggs have gone up ten times that amount.”

I have watched these disheartening events from a front-row seat. I graduated from college in 1991 and from business school in 1995. In each entry-level job after graduation, my colleagues were a balanced mix of male and female. I saw that the senior leaders were almost entirely male, but I thought that was due to historical discrimination against women. The proverbial glass ceiling had been cracked in almost every industry, and I believed that it was just a matter of time until my generation took our fair share of the leadership roles. But with each passing year, fewer and fewer of my colleagues were women. More and more often, I was the only woman in the room.”


“It has been more than two decades since I entered the workforce, but so much is still the same. It is time to face the fact that our revolution has stalled. The promise of equality is not the same as true equality.”


“This brings us to the obvious question-how? How are we going to take down the barriers that prevent more women from getting to the top? Women face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexist, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children. Men have an easier time finding the mentors and sponsors who are invaluable for career progression. Plus, women have to prove themselves to a far great extent than men do. And this is not just in our heads. A 2011 McKinsey report noted that men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.

In addition to the external barriers erected by society, women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in. We internalize the negative message we get throughout our lives-the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet. Compared to our male colleagues, fewer of us aspire to senior positions. This is not a list of things other women have done. I have made every mistake on this list. At times, I still do.

My argument is that getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to gaining power. Others have argued that women can get to the top only when the institutional barriers are gone. This is the ultimate chicken-and-egg situation. The chicken: Women will tear down the external barriers once we achieve leadership roles. We will march into our bosses’ offices and demand what we need, including pregnancy parking. Or better yet, we’ll become bosses and make sure all women have what they need. The egg: We need to eliminate the external barriers to get women into those roles in the first place. Both sides are right. So rather than engage in philosophical arguments over which comes first, let’s agree to wage battles on both fronts. They are equally important. I am encouraging women to address the chicken, but I fully support those who are focusing on the egg.

Internal obstacles are rarely discussed and often underplayed. Throughout my life, I was told over and over about inequalities in the workplace and how hard it would be to have a career and a family. I rarely heard anything, however, about the ways I might hold myself back. These internal obstacles deserve a lot more attention, in part because they are under our own control. We can dismantle the hurdles in ourselves today. We can start at this very moment.”

All passages are from Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. Learn more at Get the book. The interview where Warren Buffet explains his views on women’s rights today can be found here.

The point is not that we can or will fix this in one fell swoop. Do something. Every minute of every day you could be making a small difference in the world.

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