I don’t have the grace of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Metaphorically speaking, I swagger more like Mick Jagger.
Mick Jagger struts his stuff with the Rolling Stones rocking out behind him. He taps, jiggles, juts and thrusts like a rock and roll cat with epilepsy, and the crowd can’t take their eyes and ears off of him. He’d look ridiculous if it weren’t for his confidence and authority.
I develop marketing strategies that I help to execute by writing copy and buying media for a dozen or so small independent businesses. And I do it at home in the company of my wife and three boys, ages seven, three, and seven weeks. I could rent an office space, or spend my days plugged in at Starbucks. But, working at home, I keep my overhead low – and my heart happy. Still, it takes a lot of conscientious effort to find balance. My life is never boring.
I’m glad my clients can’t see me at work. My process ain’t always pretty. (And I don’t always wear pants.) My day consists of writing and rewriting, changing poopy diapers, talking to clients via phone and Skype, going on coffee runs to clear my head, cuddles at all times of day, business lunches with my partners and occasionally with my little people, replying to emails, and sometimes, Jedi Training. Think less “Mad Men” and more “Kids Incorporated.” But my finished products are always a hit. My ads are unique, original, and delivered with confidence, and as a result they always seem to speak to real people with real needs, and to bring really good results.
To make it work it’s all about time management:
1. Alone Time: There are times when I need to close my door for a little while and turn off my phone so I can write. Sometimes my kiddos seem fine with this but other times their feelings are hurt by it. Since their hurt is understandable I then need to go work at the coffee shop to be alone with strangers. (Sometimes I do this anyway for a change of venue.) It’s either that or write at night after the kids are in bed.
2. Sharing Time: It helps me to bounce my ideas off of other people, including my family. Especially my family. They have great ideas that I’ve used in ads.
3. Family Time: Unless I am out of town or with a client for business, dinner time is always with my kids. And even if I am on the road I need to be a part of their bedtime ritual, even if only by Skype.
4. Play Time: All work and no play makes Adam a dull boy. But my life is full of play throughout any given day. Swimming, dancing, singing, lego-ing and collaborating on the funniest home movies you’ve ever seen.
5. Client Time: My clients know I have kids, and they know that that drives me to succeed, to be a good earner. We talk about my family and their families, then we get down to business and they get my undivided attention.
The secret to being a rock star at your job is having the confidence you can do it, and making sure you have a killer band behind you. Being at home, my band includes my wife, a much more beautiful version of Keith Richards. A brilliant writer, mother, and best friend. She’s the person I can bounce my ideas off of, who always gives me a straight answer. And my rhythm section, my boys, is always loud and fun. We make beautiful music together. They back me up and believe in me. Giving me the confidence to dance like the crazy cat I am.