You Always Have A Choice

Every time you give in to tradition, pass on an opportunity or blame your schedule, you made the choice to do so. Your legacy is built on the decisions you made, not the dreams you had.

This may all sound like common sense, but hear me out.

In marketing, just as in life, our days are filled with decisions to make and problems to solve. When barriers pop up to wreck our plans, it’s easy to say you’ll do it later or that your boss won’t let you or that you’re not experienced enough or you “just don’t have time.”

This is the comfort zone where many of us live and breathe and peacefully die.

It’s normal, right? It’s the way we’ve always done it. But, where does normal get you?

Normal goes nowhere. Normal is nothing.

If you’re in a new environment that scares you or trying something that puts you at risk of being different, you might be onto something. You might be breaking normal.

I’d like to challenge myself and every marketer, manager, writer, account executive, designer, planner, photographer and anyone reading this to experiment with being hyper aware of the choices we make.

Without sounding like your dad preaching to you before you your first high school party, I’m talking about critically evaluating every decision, no matter how minor, in our workdays. History is the best predictor of the future, but why create a future that looks like the past? It’s our job to explore unknown territory.

Now, this doesn’t have to be as dramatic as I’m making it out to be, but I wanted to get the point across. In truth, it’s a simple concept that requires diligence and courage to execute.

For example…

Your boss might ask you to provide the company’s usual, turnkey solution to the problem. She needs it ASAP. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Your client might ask you to send over something good enough that was similar for that one thing, right? He totally gets that he’s being needy.

These microscopic moments happen a billion times a day and go unnoticed. All I’m asking is that we take notice and go the opposite way for once. Try overdelivering just for fun to see what happens. You may be surprised how choosing to knock a tiny task out of the park can catch someone’s eye or open the door to question the choices made thus far.

After all, if we don’t have choices, what do we have?

Toucan is a New Orleans-based advertising agency.

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