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A lesson from an episode of The Pitch

So I’ll admit it. I now have a reality TV show that I enjoy watching, after years of making fun of friends and family. The other night AMC’s The Pitch came on and I saw that a few friends had checked into it on GetGlue so I checked it out. I enjoyed it, you may want to check it out, especially if you work in the field. End of review.

What prompted this post though was one video confessional moment during the Waste Management episode. Paul Cappelli of The Ad Store was talking about his many years of experience and so many of the wins he’d had over the years. And then he said the thing that jarred me and stuck with me. He said (and I’m paraphrasing from memory) that if he lost this pitch that he wasn’t sure that any of his past wins, his past accomplishments would even be remembered.

My first thought, as a good reality TV watcher, was judgmental; “I’m so glad I’m not that type of guy, letting my entire self worth ride on the accomplishment of today.”

But later, the next day and even the day after that I realized the memory was still with me. Suddenly I was feeling less judgement and more empathy, because I know that feel, bro.

I can think of many times in my life (and I bet you can think of many in yours) where I’ve thought “damn was it worth it, will anyone even remember?” Some days I’ve come away from that question without an answer, and those were dark days. But as I thought about Mr. Cappelli and about all the times I’d had the same thoughts, I realized I should share this with you guys: The dark days were always temporary, the days when I felt like maybe I wasn’t really all that, always passed. If you’re doing amazing work, if you’re following your passion, if you’re being a blessing to someone, if you’re changing your little corner of the world for the better there will always be crappy times, but it has been my experience that those times do not last.

It is a cycle,

  • do the amazing work you were put on this planet to do
  • experience awesomeness
  • experience crappiness due to setback, failure or good old human self-doubt
  • do amazing work while feeling crappy (and getting support from awesome friends or family)
  • level up to new awesomeness
  • repeat

Yeah, this cycle is full of ups and downs and it sucks that you have to perform even during the down, but if you’ve read this far it’s because you know it’s worth it. You know you have a purpose and you know it goes beyond your cubicle, beyond your sales numbers, beyond your ordinary day-to-day. I mean seriously, the alternative is boring as heck. Go to work do what you hate, or at best can tolerate, eat, drink, sleep, repeat. You are meant for more than that, don’t let a little doubt ever stop you.


Read this if you’re going thru a crappy moment

 The whole getting support from friends and family is a crucial step, make sure you find people you can be honest with and will be honest with you. If you find yourself at a place where you’re a superstar professionally but have no humans who you love and love you, stop immediately and go find humans. Forget the mission you think you’re on, because it doesn’t matter if you’re miserable. Go find someone to love, seriously.

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