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September 11, 2002
Things I Know

There's a little ritual I go through every month. No sooner does my subscription of O magazine get to my mailbox, than I immediately jump straight to the back. You know, the part where Oprah shares some wisdom. Maybe it's some insight she's gained through the years. Maybe it's some advice or helpful words from a famous person. Or maybe it's a little allegory. It doesn't matter. The point is she's learning. We're all learning. With a nod to the future Mrs. Steadman (cross your fingers), I'd like to share some things I've learned about advertising.

There's a lot of pressure being a Creative. Can you think of another job title that's also an adjective? A complimentary one at that. That's a lot to live up to every day.

There's a lot of pressure being a fireman, an ambulance driver or a teacher.

There's always another solution.

A tight deadline can be your best friend.

A smart man once said, "Creativity is the big Yes." Say yes to an idea at first. You can always say no later. Say yes, then follow it. See where it goes. It's good to be open.

That which does not kill an ad, doesn't necessarily make it stronger.

Trust your gut.

Good ideas can come from any department. Creativity is not the sacred domain of those who sit by the foosball table. Again, it's good to be open.

"Really great meeting" is an extremely relative term.

Don't get too upset if you and your partner do not agree on everything. Another smart man once said, "Two disagreeing minds create more ideas than two minds in agreement. Siegfried constantly tries to pour cold water on me, but he doesn't realize that my inside flame never dies." -Roy Ludwig.

Sometimes clients are right.

Important things happen in Helvetica.

Advertising has given gangbangs a bad name.

A good brief is a good ad half-written. (The other half is very, very hard.)

It's usually the quiet ones.

It doesn't have to hurt.

Don't forget to enjoy the ride. It's easy to get caught up in this business. To get stressed out, become obsessive or negative. Keep it in perspective, focus on the work, and remember at the end of the day it is just a job. Again, I go back to Roy. "Wear the cape, never let the cape wear you."

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In 1996, Greg Hahn joined Fallon Minneapolis as a copywriter. Five winters later, Greg relocated to Fallon's new Los Angeles office. While at Fallon, Greg has helped to develop campaigns for Sports Illustrated, Lee Jeans (Buddy Lee), and Timberland. If you've seen a few recent Super Bowls you may remember Greg's work for EDS: the famous "Cat Herders" and "Running with the Squirrels" spots.
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