Take the meeting. It’s good karma.

Whether we’re 20 or 90, we all ask for advice.
Should we take the job? Should we wear this jacket with these pants? Should we use WordPress or Tumblr? Usually, it’s with those close to us, but when our indecision extends to the workplace or our career, we usually have to look beyond our Friends List for real and insightful advice. And that can be tough. Often, you won’t know the people who’s counsel you seek. So you reach out on LinkedIn, you look for mutual friends on Facebook, or you simply cross your fingers, fire off an email and hope for a response.

Over the past year, I wanted to do just that. I wasn’t seeking advice as much as perspective. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly but wanted to dedicate time to really find out how other worlds were adapting to the new media and advertising landscape. So I connected with network programming people, production companies, media sellers, media planners, creative folks, planners and more. It was like a TED Tour and I had a front row seat.

Through it all, I discovered the niche I wanted to play in but admittedly, didn’t do a good enough job of thanking those who took the time to help me do it. Well, this week, I got a great reminder when Daniel Hebert went out of his way to thank me for my advice.

A while ago, I got an email from Daniel asking me to look at his blog and provide some career advice. Like most people with senior advertising experience, I get a ton of emails asking for meetings, portfolio reviews, and the general, “Can I pick your brain?” sort of requests. Normally, I try to set aside time as there are many who have done the same for me. When I can swing it, I try to make myself available.

I just never really know if they listen. Now I do.
Daniel Hebert wrote a blog post featuring my email response, my career advice and his appreciation for both. Needless to say, it made my day.

When we get asked for a bit of our time, it’s pretty easy to forget how we feel when we’re the one asking for it. It’s nice to know that a simple email resonated with him and that all those meetings and emails DO help people.
To all those who have helped me out, thanks. And the next time someone asks for that meeting, try to make yourself available. It’s good karma.

Here’s the post (and I’m curious to know what you think of my advice).

6 Comments

  1. “Needless to say, it made my day.”

    Coming from you Ron, that means a lot. Needless to say, this made my day as well 🙂 Thanks.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to meet with Daniel and others who need, more than anything, a sounding board for their ideas. It is not only good karma but can also build your contacts list in surprising – and not always immediately apparent – ways. At the very least meeting new people blind yields stimulating conversation.

    I was in Daniel’s position recently, needing to get an insiders peek over the tall walls of the CBC for a proposed series pitch. I cold-called and looked for ‘friends of friends’ and was generously rewarded in my request for meet-ups. The people I sat down with were extremely open with their time, contacts and perspectives. I continue to look for ways (information, biz leads, etc.) to reward their generosity of spirit in any way I can.

    I think your advice to Daniel was spot-on. I would also add the age-old advice of growing a thick skin, because there can be an awful lot of ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ before one gets to yes…

    Take care and keep up the important advice/mentoring work. Everyone who needs feedback thanks you.

    Kindest regards, Andrea

  3. Ron

    What we all want to know, Andrea is… Did you get the series??!! Hope so.

    • Ha-ha! Here’s the longish answer.

      Apparently, the CBC receives about 3,000 radio pitches per year. I was one of twelve shortlisted for consideration. After several back and forths, rewrites, massaging, etc. I was told I was the only one of the twelve to make it all the way through the ‘process’. I was, as it were, the last (wo)man standing.

      I was subsequently, six months from the day I pitched, turned down because I had no production experience (!). I requested a post-mortem and was praised for my thorough subject matter knowledge and outstanding efforts.

      A peculiar experience, for sure. Perhaps it is the threat of company-wide cuts that was the real nail in the coffin, but I don’t really know.

      Onwards, upwards. I am actively seeking a smart production house to work with to extract a portion of my content into an television series or individuals with production experience and connections to form our own production entity. I’m also pursuing a variety of related media opportunities.

      It is impossible to be bored on such an interesting journey….

  4. These meetings are so important. I find that informal advice-seeking is usually something that, more often than not, can make or break an idea. It sounds extreme, but just think about how many amazing things came from casual conversations!

  5. Nicely written and judging by other comments on here, practiced as preached.

    Looking forward to the next article.

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