The Best Piece of Advice Ever.
Words by Steve Rowe, Senior Support Advisor at NABS
It’s a tough one, isn’t it? How do you boil down every nugget of wisdom you’ve ever heard into one killer line, a powerful soundbite to pass on to those willing to listen?
A panel of speakers at Advertising Week Europe took on the challenge on Tuesday and rightly chose to pass on lots of advice rather than just one single line each. It would have made for quite a short panel talk, after all.
Each coming from various creative backgrounds, it was pleasing to hear common-ground in some of their advice
- Be yourself
- Take yourself out of your comfort zone
- Face your fears
- Talk with purpose (intern or senior creative, feel confident to share your view)
- For truly good creative work, strip away the egos and silos
All important, all valid and all encouraging tips to the crowd. A tangent in conversation that took my interest, however, was how to ensure we can inspire creativity when the pressure of the industry creeps into stress, limiting our imagination and inspiration. Caitlin Ryan endorsed the weekly mindfulness and meditation sessions they run at Cheil as a way of coping with stifling work pressure and has seen a positive impact on staff. This perhaps resonated with me as I work on the Advice Line at NABS and regularly speak to people searching for ways to better manage stress. Finding a caller’s mindful activity often crops up in conversation, be that colouring in, playing an instrument or using an app like Headspace. Whatever method they choose, achieving a state of mindfulness can have a positive effect on managing daily stresses and strains. NABS offers a masterclass on mindfulness if it strikes you as something you’d like to know more about, as well as a host of other support services.
Next up, Peter Drake, ECD at DigitasLBi, offers us this advice when challenges arise at work: “Never panic. Adapt”. When adversity strikes on a project, you need to think “how do we resolve this?” rather than reacting emotionally. It reminded me of the book by Professor Steve Peters, The Chimp Paradox. In the book, Peters explains that at every decision, choice and juncture in life, there are two sides of the brain battling for supremacy. The calm, rational side that assesses the options available and the best choice. And the chimp; quicker to react, irrational and likely to make snap decisions with no logic. We need to keep our chimp in check if we want to avoid an emotional reaction. If you feel your chimp is running riot, the book is well worth a read.
Another piece of advice that resonated with me was “stay curious”. This was brought to us by Seb Royce, passing on his primary school teacher’s wise words. While she may have been talking to kids exploring in a woodland area, it rings true for the advertising creative. Lose your curiosity and you’ll become less interesting, less creative and less happy, Seb tells us. So stay curious.
The final theme that struck a chord with me was a simple one: “be nice”. Possibly the easiest one to do and probably the most fulfilling. Our panel talk had been inspired by a quote from Jim Haynes, founder of Supper Club, a gathering of friends and strangers every Sunday to eat, talk and connect with each other. Jim’s words of wisdom were:
“If you do something nice for someone, forget it immediately
If someone does something nice for you, never forget it”
Humility is a wonderful trait, so find people who possess it and keep them around you.
With space on my page running out, it got me thinking what my words of wisdom would be. What’s the powerful soundbite I’d finish on? Here goes…
Never forget the power of positivity, the power of saying yes. Invites, opportunities, chances, even things you don’t really want to do. Say yes to as many of them as you can and it’ll hold you in good stead. Creatively speaking, saying yes to as much as you can exposes you to a world of experiences and if you keep your receptors open, you’re bound to be bouncing off the walls with inspiration!
I work for NABS as a Senior Support Advisor. If you fancy a chat about managing pressure and stress in the industry or the other services that we offer to help you on your career journey, call us on 0800 707 6607.