I have been thinking a lot lately. Maybe it’s the weather.

I’ve been thinking about my life. My family. And how I choose to spend my time.
I have been thinking about Brains on Fire and what success really looks like for us.
About how on earth can you fairly compensate such a wildly talented group of people who see Brains on Fire as a passionate cause and not a job.
I have been thinking about the work we do and the big opportunities in front of us.
It’s all sort of been running together for some reason.

So, yesterday I had an interview. (Yes, we have are considering a new hire and that feels good.) And when I asked this smart, bright lady if she had anything she wanted to ask me she replied, “What do you expect of me? What are your expectations?”


I told her we are all in grad school now. Exploring new ideas. And the learning you choose to do every single day of your life is completely self directed. You’re driving the ship and collecting ideas and inspiration every single day. Read. A lot. Write. A lot. Think out loud and share with others. Even when you aren’t sure you’re right.

Let yourself experience life with your eyes and heart and mind wide open.

I know I am lucky and rare. I love what I do everyday. Especially the work we have found ourselves doing now. Connecting people. Lifting people up. Inspiring. Helping them fall in love with what they do again. Helping them find the shared passions that connect the dots.

Cordell has this great story about this lady he met in a bar many, many years ago. (I promise I’ll get him to tell it to you some day, he does a much better job than me…) Anyway he was well, intoxicated (Jagermeister was involved). And he was having a hard time hearing her. She asked him what did. And he said, “Advertising.” Then she looked at him and said, “Pretty trash.” So he said, “No. I am okay. I’m not trashed.” And then she said “You make pretty trash.”


Learn something new today.

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  • Warren Fick

    Same line of thought, different bar: years ago, I was out with friends and the discussion came around to work and who we thought stood out. I mentioned Mark Fenske, because I was pretty sure he did pretty great work in the world of advertising. (I still do.) Had anyone ever heard of Mark? “Fenske? Sure, he’s the poet,” said the poet/playwrite in our group. And he was right, but the comment wasn’t something I expected from outside our industry. I’d heard it before from Mark himself, years earlier when he came and spoke to our creative group and urged us to, “Finish your art.” No matter what a client or account team or other creative collaborators turn it into, he made us understand our responsibility to finish the idea — the art — we started. Because when we don’t, people like Pretty Trash are right.

  • Ted

    Great post. I think learning is about doing things. Doing things is difficult, but worth it.

  • David Finch

    It’s a great time to explore!!

    “Read. A lot. Write. A lot. Think out loud and share with others. Even when you aren’t sure you’re right.”

    Great post… Thanks for making me think!!

  • Peyton

    I needed this inspiration today. Thanks Robbin!

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