10 Things I Learned or Relearned This Year

Inspired by the series of posts on The Denver Egotist

1. As the head of my own shop, no matter what my title, skill set or background, I work in account service.

2. Being known for more than one thing asks too much of people, who greatly prefer to associate you with one thing. For many people, I am David Burn, Editor of AdPulp, not David Burn the copywriter/brand builder who actually practices the things he writes about. That’s a script in need of flipping.

3. There are going to be times when you write it, do it or speak it and no one will come. I learned that a number of times this year…when I conducted a slow-going fundraising campaign for AdPulp, when I spoke to a tiny audience, instead of a roomful of eager marketing execs at DMA in Boston last fall, and when I launched a paid email newsletter and discovered that signing up paid subscribers, even at the lowly rate of $1.00/month was going to be difficult in the extreme.

4. Money doesn’t foster happiness. Building things (brands included) that people love does.

5. A measure of restraint is necessary to achieve digital balance. That’s why I am cutting back my content output by discontinuing the aforementioned email newsletter, along with two blogs, Liquid Oregon and Leftover Cheese. It is time to focus on what really matters–things like building a business, making time for my family and friends, and writing more durable material.

6. Email and social media are poor excuses for a conversational platform. If you want to advance the ball and get things done, get on the phone, get on a plane or do whatever is necessary to actually talk, one-to-one and face-to-face.

7. Moving from an iPhone to an Android phone is not for me; however, moving from urban Portland to suburban Portland is.

8. This is how personal and brand identity works…You project your reality and people serve their versions of it back to you. Then the process repeats itself, over and over.

9. Ideas are wonderful. But follow through is everything.

10. You can travel the Oregon Trail at 75 mph today, but it’s still an act of faith to move here, and a further act of faith to set up shop in a new city. There’s no denying then, that I a man of faith.

Previously on AdPulp: Front Range Creatives Reflect On Lessons Learned In 2011

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • AdPulp Reader (non-paying)

    1. If this is true, do you spend most of the time arguing with yourself? And who ultimately wins the arguments?

    2. Um, and the first thing you tell most clients is the importance of being focused in their messaging, right?

    3. Well, it goes to another thing you probably tell clients – the importance of defining an audience is only good if that audience will generate profit. As things like Facebook show, it’s easy to get fans. Paying fans is another story.

    4. Money doesn’t foster happiness. However, lack of money can foster unhappiness. 

    5. Shorter statement: Less is more. Or Quality over Quantity.

    6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU2rpcAABbA

    7. Welcome to suburbia, my friend.

    8. Reality is highly subjective.

    9. Ideas without execution are hallucinations.

    10. “There’s no denying then, that I a man of faith.” You’re also a man in need of a proofreader. Happy holidays.

    • http://adpulp.com David Burn

      Thanks for the point by point reply. Sorry about the sloppy copy.

      • AdPulp Reader (non-paying)

        the sloppy copy adds character.