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When I started working in advertising, one of my mentors was a copywriter I worked with at Leo Burnett. One day, I came to him to show some headlines I was working on for a Fiat campaign. Before he read anything, he could tell I had not written too many pages of headlines… and he came from the school of Quality-comes-from-quantity, so he asked me if I would show those headlines to another copywriter we both admired at the time. It was a tricky question, and if I said no, he would show I didn’t have enough respect for him and for my work. If I said yes, I’d show this to that guy too… then I’d better have the best headlines ever written and we both knew I could spend more time exercising my brain to find ways to convince someone to buy a car in a short, clever, on target, on brand and creative way. So I said, thanks for the lesson. I’ll be back when I am ready to buy a car from my headlines.

Who do you respect? What makes you feel like your ads are good enough? Whose opinion about your work makes you work a little harder? It’s not a tricky question. It’s more like an evaluation of your motivation to do your best. I’ll give you 3 people I think everyone should have that much respect when deciding if this is quantity enough to bring the best quality possible out of my work: first, you. You should be the first person you show respect to when it comes to deciding the work is done and worth presenting. Have yourself on the highest level of respect. Second, your client. You may call it a client as in a team of people who work for a brand that hired you, if you work at an ad agency, for example, but in many cases, if you’re the brand, and you create your own content, your ads, and your message, then think about your client as your customer, consumer. Have them on the same level of respect when you decide it’s time to go home, it’s time to send that email, it’s time to post that message on social media. And least, but not last… since the list could go on… but among these 3, someone you should definitely show respect to are your mentors. Your teachers, the people you learn from constantly. You know who they are, but if you are wondering if you say you don’t have a mentor, then either you are making a big mistake assuming you have nothing to learn from anyone, or you have little to no respect for them. Respect the people who guided you and you will be respected by the people you lead.

Yes, I’d show this blog post to that copywriter I worked with so many years ago if he asked me now.

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