How To Be The Best

Years ago, when Jack Welch became CEO of GE he cut every division that wasn't #1 or #2 in its industry. He wanted to divert the money, energy and resources to the parts of the company that were hands-down the best. So even divisions that were turning in millions of dollars of profit got cut, just because they were fourth-best in their arena. Seems counterintuitive, but this is what helped GE thrive.

This is the same reason why copywriters and art directors who get into advertising to support themselves while they write their novels or work on their stand-up routines are rarely the same ones who are winning Lions, Pencils and getting write-ups in Creativity. I'm not saying it can't be done, and I'm not trying to discourage you from pursuing outside interests. You need them to make you well-rounded and interesting.

But it's so hard to be an award-winning creative and an in-demand stand-up comedian. Or best-selling author. Or TV script writer on a hit-show. If you want to be an award-winning creative, you're going to have to make some sacrifices.

(If you want some quick, inspirational reading, pick up The Dip by Seth Godin. It's a short, 80-page read, subtitled "The Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit And When To Stick. If you're a junior creative in advertising, you're in the Dip. Better find out what that means.)