One day we are learning about every aspect of mustard, the next the nutritional value of cat and dog treats, the next what the kids are into these days so we can capture their attention and convince them to quit vaping. Though we dive deep, we are the “masters of none,” learning a little bit (or maybe a lot) about various brands and industries in order to represent our client in the best way.
I’m never going to be a concert pianist and my knitted scarves are nothing to be excited about … but that doesn’t matter because I can do it, I can learn it. The greatest lesson is the fact that you can learn.
This thought brings up another. You see, there is an aspect of this in my personal life as well. I have a bunch of random skills and experiences that culminate in a disorganized mess of interesting information and stories. I have been lucky enough to have a wide range – I have flown a sailplane solo, I ride horses, I taught myself how to play the piano exactly one song (the Jurassic Park theme – arguably a cinematic masterpiece, I mean dinosaurs eating people is the greatest form of entertainment), I can draw a little, garden a little, knit a little. That’s the thing though. We get so wrapped up in being the master of something that we forget how to just do something a little and enjoy the small amount of knowledge and experience. I’m never going to be a concert pianist and my knitted scarves are nothing to be excited about (I can only knit scarves, by the way) but that doesn’t matter because I can do it, I can learn it.
The greatest lesson is the fact that you can learn. When a client comes to us and wants to increase sale of cauliflower, we know we can learn. We don’t have to be an expert on cauliflower, but we can find the details we need to create a brilliant ad campaign about this god-forsaken tasteless, albino broccoli imposter. Knowing you can learn is half the battle. So many people get wrapped up in whether they are an expert, they forget that sometimes it’s enough to know enough about it. You can learn about anything if you give it a bit of focus and attention. Even cauliflower can be interesting.
My point is, in advertising—as in life—it is about the small experiences and the pieces of seemingly random knowledge coming together in a mess. True, we are all experts in our chosen careers and I would never disregard the hours of work to be an expert but we are also masters of none. That, too, should never be underestimated.