Deborah Burns and I basically reenacted that line from “Pretty Woman” when we met over hors d’oeuvres at an industry event: “What happens when (s)he rescues the princess? (S)he rescues him right back!” We bonded over boredom and brie and traded business cards. The kind of exchange that means well, but ends up in the card pile of good intentions.
But fate stepped in and just several days later we each showed up at a totally unrelated cocktail party! And that was the beginning of another relationship with a friend in high places. Deborah, after all, is what I aspire to: the former Chief Innovation Officer of major magazines, such as Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home…turned memoirist and corporate consultant!
Her book, Saturday’s Child, revolves around her evolution from dancing around her emotionally distanced mother with surrogate mothers in the form of two spinster aunts.
My story is one of an emotionally present mother who departed this earth too soon, followed by attempted mothering from two back to back step-mothers.
Let the bonding continue. But some 25 years after her own mother’s passing, Deborah’s epiphanies took the form of beautifully crafted a-ha moments interspersed with humor and insights we can all relate to. Learn how she also learned about “Skirting the Rules” which she’s encouraging others to do, too! I recorded this episode in my home just before we were all staying in our own homes. And, pre-pandemic there was Hollywood buzz for its movie-worthiness, which can hopefully get resurrected.
Either way, expect to hear more from Deborah; as mentioned there’s more in the making from the mind of this marketer-turned-author. And enjoy the conversation. I sure did.
Joe Jaffe might have been a chemist if he hadn’t fallen off a wall and broken his arm. The world, or at least the media world, is probably grateful to that wall. Hear how the strategist / keynoter / marketer / author turned happenstance into happy existence.
The author of Built to Suck and four other non-fiction books on the state of media, marketing and advertising, tells me about his path from Big Agency life to his consultancy, HMS Beagle…and why it’s even named that! (Think: Darwin…evolution…learning to pivot…).
NOTE: This episode was recorded late 2019, when we were all still going to physical events and recording studios… But this thoughts are, as always, still informative, especially since his current book is about the need to adapt. Coincidentally, he said, “We’ve developed a new kind of strategic planning called survival planning. So what is survival planning? It’s strategic planning in an age of short-termism, risk aversion and constant disruption.” Great for the business minded. For the personal mindset, you’ll appreciate that in this episode, Joe also discusses:
His first influencer – a Unilever executive he disagreed with who said, “You’re either a marketer or you’re not.” Turns out Joe might agree now…
How his first job at a chicken restaurant led to Madison Avenue…
And how his experiences at major agencies led instead to consulting and writing; in fact his blog, JaffeJuice was an early influencer on me!
What’s the role of “fate” in your life and how do you recognize your correct path?
You’ll want to listen because as Joe himself says, “The amount of people that have come up to me and have said things like ‘I’ve changed my career path because of you,’ that is an awesome responsibility. It’s almost too much for me to handle, but to inspire people to just make the most of their time, I mean, that’s my calling.”