Some people may look at me and think I've got it easier than other creatives.
That I'm one lucky bastard.
And on some level I suppose they're right.
As the son of Guy Day, I've had the advantage of priceless coaching from a man who knew a thing or two about the sometimes messy but rarely dull business of building brands.
He taught me that tenacity is every bit as important as sheer talent and that work ethic and modesty are traits well worth honing. To never delude myself into thinking I was more "creative" after a couple drinks, or after a few hits of weed. To constantly work at being better.
My father encouraged me to be that rare creative who shows up early and does his best work during daylight hours. That runs toward the fires rather than away from them. That's willing to get his hands dirty fixing problems he didn't create. To get to know the media people and the planners. To ask account people to lunch. To value time spent in the company of clients when you're not trying to sell them anything.
In short, to build bridges.
As a manager, my dad encouraged me to actively mentor who need and appreciate it. To always be on the lookout for that odd duck with real ability, the quiet one, the one others passed over when choosing sides before battle. To always hire the most talented people and push them harder even if their feelings get hurt. To always champion the best work no matter where it came from. To be fair but firm. To hire slow and fire fast. To avoid politics like the plague.
To build people, not just brands.
But most of all, my dad taught me to appreciate my life outside of the business.
And I do.
Today, 90% of my writing is done from a 5-acre slice of hill country heaven we call "Rancho Funk," as my wife tends to our small internet businesses and handles our Airbnb bookings. We see a lot of live music. We binge on Netflix. I watch a lot of documentaries.
And when I'm working, I do so with a refreshing lack of distraction and usually start well before the sun rises, preferring to be ahead of schedule rather than behind. Unusual for a creative, I know, but refreshing for my clients.
I make it a point to write something every day. It almost always needs a rewrite.
I willingly work weekends and I am perfectly happy treating a Tuesday or Wednesday as my days off.
I cherish my wife's company, borrow liberally from her big beautiful brain and relish my free time tinkering with classic cars and maintaining our property.
I particularly enjoy cutting down dead Cedar trees with my chainsaw.
That's right, I own a chainsaw.
Yep, I'm one lucky bastard.