No, it’s not the title of the new buddy cop TV series I’m working on. It’s what I was full of when I first became a copywriter.
It was my first career job and, man, I was going to show the world. Everyone who ever doubted me, everyone who competed against me in school, everyone was going to have to acknowledge my genius. Only one problem: the Account Executive.
She was a nice enough woman, but, wow, was she conservative. All she wanted was what the client wanted. And it was lame stuff. This was going to be the account that I turned around and made into a clever, award-winning account! All she had to do was take these awesome ads and SELL THEM IN!
One day, things came to a head. I pushed back, she pushed back harder and we both left feeling angry at one another.
Thankfully, another writer pulled me aside.
What the hell was that? You know we’re all on the same side, right?
POW. I felt like I had been punched in the gut, then the face, and a few more rounds in the gut. I truly thought that he was going to take my side.
But he was absolutely right to berate me. To call me out on my crap. He made me realize that my co-worker wasn’t my enemy. And, more surprisingly, neither was my client.
My enemy was my ego. THE ENEMY WAS ME!!!
After that day, I have always tried to keep things in perspective. Now, I don’t always do so—let’s not get crazy here—but at least I TRY.
And, because you all probably want a happy ending or something, I went and apologized to the Account Executive. Who then hit on me and it was awkward*.
*Okay, maybe it didn’t exactly happen that way.