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Five Things I’ve Learned About Growing

by Drew Beamer

Growth is a strange thing. It can be both the easiest and most difficult part of your job. It can happen on its own or need a little push. It can be fun and challenging or it can be stressful and full of anxiety. Growth can show up right in your face or it can sneak on you months later.

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Understanding growth is all about perspective. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you’re flailing hopelessly, waiting for something to catch you or slow you down so you can make sense of it all.

I’d like to explore five aspects of growth in this post. These examples stem directly from my job in advertising, but I would imagine they apply to just about any career.

1. Chickity-Check Yo Self

There are so few things in your life that you have complete control over, but your attitude and impact on your work environment is one of them. I’ll start this section off by saying that I forget this daily. I let the “Me” thoughts through when the “We” thoughts are what I should be projecting. It’s something I’m working on.

We have control over how we show up to work, how we approach a project, how we deal with a less-than-ideal client situation, or even how we handle difficult people that we work with. Growth in this area isn’t easy. We’re inherently self-centered in our thoughts. It takes a lot of practice to calm that 5-year-old inside and bring the adult to the table. The “We”—the team, the work, the company, the client—is so much more important than the “Me” that we all have inside. If you can remember that, then you’re already on your way to gaining the critical perspective that we’re all seeking.

2. Know Thine Peeps

Unless you’re involved in the hiring process, you probably don’t have much control over who you work with, which means you’ve got some work to do. In order to get the best results from your relationships at work, you have to know your team.

Knowing your team isn’t possible if you don’t spend time with them. If you don’t know that they’re a natural introvert or that they’re easily distracted, then you won’t know how to make the most of what they have to offer. You don’t have to be best friends (sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts) but you do have to understand one another.

Sometimes this knowledge comes from conquering difficult assignments together, from company-initiated events (which I highly recommend), or simply through small snippets of personality that are gathered over a long period of time. Just keep in mind that the sooner you know them and they know you, the sooner both of you can start to push each other to grow.

3. Embrace The Chaos

The work we do is messy. It’s complicated. It’s subjective, and it’s difficult to comprehend sometimes. But as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

The tv spot, the outdoor board, the website, the integrated campaign… these aren’t the work. They are the results of the work. They are the delicious steak that resulted from the proper raising of the cattle, the honed skills of the butcher, and the culinary experience and education of the chef. The work is what comes before the thing you put in your book—that is where you should focus your efforts.

For me, this is where most substantial and recognizable growth comes from. It comes from difficult clients, new partnerships, and being pushed outside of your comfort zone. Lobsters are an excellent metaphor for this growth, as the amazingly bearded Rabbi Dr. Twerski explains.

I’ve learned that when you experience adversity in work, it helps to think back on successes you’ve had in the past. Remember the perfect tenderness of the final product and remember the work it took to get there. Then, snap back into the now and recognize that you are right in the throes of the work. Remember that you will make it through and that with time, all of the sharp edges will soften. The more you commit yourself to the chaos of your work, the more you benefit. You have to be willing to be exposed and to fail if you ever hope to succeed.

 “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Accept That You’ll Find Fame And Fortune—Just Not Yours

Clients come to you for ideas, for expertise, and for you to help them make money. As a creative, sometimes it’s easy to confuse your own goals and growth with theirs. Just keep in mind that clients aren’t there to bankroll your dreams, they’re there because they want your help to reach their goals.

In order to grow, it’s important to be able to recognize the small wins when they come along. The client won’t always love what you love or appreciate your work. In fact, most of your work will never see the light of day. Real growth comes from being ok with that and finding joy in the pieces or ideas that do make it.

So take the small wins for what they are, let go of the reigns a little, and recognize the nature of the relationship between you, the client, and the work. You’ll not only grow creatively, but your perspective and value to your company will grow as well.

5. Gettin’ A Little Somethin’ On The Side

In short, have a side project. I believe that there are two types of side projects with two distinct growth paths. One grows deep and the other grows wide. It’s the classic principle of the T-shaped person. If you haven’t heard of that, check it out here.

Side projects that involve only you will help you grow, but inwardly. For me, they have always been either the technical honing of a skill or study of our craft as creatives.

In contrast, side projects that involve more people and different skillsets will help you grow outwardly. These projects are great because they push you to look at the same problem from someone else’s core skillset or perspective. How would your partner approach your part of the problem? How would you approach theirs? Share your ideas, push each other, and have fun doing it.

Thoughts For The Road

Look at where you are. Are you growing? Are you stagnant? Are you reaching your goals too easily? Are you not reaching them at all? Do you even know what the the hell they are?

If you want to keep pushing yourself, think about your attitude, your partnerships, your work, your client relationships, and your side projects. Are there spots where you can reflect, evaluate, and improve? Chances are, that’s a yes. We all can.

At the end of the day, no one will care about your career, your skills, or your personal growth as much as you do. So get after it.

Nice to Meet You: Mary Timaeus

Role at FoxFuel:
Operations Specialist

 


 

What’s Your Favorite…

Mode of transportation?
Walking

Happy place in Nashville?
Percy Warner

Technology-less activity?
Long meals with good friends

Sport to watch?
College football

Thing right now?
Holistic health

Dance?
Anything the Rockettes do


All About Mary

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
“Anyone can do that.”

What is something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I laugh when people get hurt.

What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
Live open-handedly.

What’s your catchphrase?
“You do you.”

If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Ellen DeGeneres

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?
That’s almost impossible to answer! I’m going to pretend you asked for “ONE of my favorite places I’ve traveled,” and I’ll go with Nepal. The scenery is unreal, and the people are just as beautiful.

Would you rather have a cartoon face with human body or human face with cartoon body?
Human face with Ariel’s body, because what girl doesn’t want a tiny waist and mermaid tail?

Nice to Meet You: Mary Ellen

Role at FoxFuel:
Developer

 


 

What’s Your Favorite…

Nashville restaurant?
Taqueria del Sol (I worked there during my musician days)

Musical instrument?
Piano. Complex jazz chords on a grand piano make me melt.

Line from a movie?
“Samsonite! I was way off!”

Thing to do away from the computer?
Thrift store shopping, yoga, writing, hanging with my orange cat, Christopher.

Item of clothing?
My gold and green party shoes. They are vintage and pretty worn out, but when I tried them on, my feet fit perfectly. It was meant to be.

Memory from school?
Performing the role of “Peter Pan” in my 8th grade musical – we got to fly while singing!


All About Mary Ellen

What inspired you to do what you do?
I have a strong need to create. For my first five years in Nashville, I fulfilled that need through songwriting and musical performance. Then I learned JavaScript and found that I could write code all day and design responsive websites through computer programming, and it feels intensely creative.

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
When people ask “Can you QA this? I need it done in 30 minutes.”

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“I Will Survive.” Something about Santa’s Pub at 2 a.m. brings out my inner Aretha.

What’s something that someone would be surprised to know about you?
I’m nearly fluent in Japanese. My major in undergrad was Japanese Language & Literature. I lived in Tokyo for a semester and fell in love with the culture.

What are you looking forward to the most?
Short-term, probably my wedding next spring. Long-term, traveling and exploring more countries around the world.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Touring with my band, Melon & The Mayhem, and releasing three albums of original songs.

Would you rather be on a survival reality show or dating game show?
Survival reality show, absolutely. As a developer, I’m very resourceful. I also grew up between two brothers, so I can fend for myself. And I could survive barefoot forever.

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Help Wanted: Seeking Account Executive

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Well well well, look who we have here. We’ve been waiting for you…

FoxFuel Creative is looking for an account executive with 2-3 years of agency experience and a knack for getting it done.

Overview

We need you to be very detail-oriented for the sake of both our clients and our internal team. You’ll develop marketing and brand strategies for your assigned clients and ensure your team is equipped to deliver to client expectation on deadline. You will become an integral part of our process, tasked with building real relationships, with both new and current clients.

“Yes, I love it. Give me the deets.” – You

The Deets

We’re looking for someone with:

  • 2-3 years agency account management experience
  • Impeccable communication and organizational skills
  • Proven creative problem-solving skills
  • Growth-oriented mindset

As an Account Executive and member of our Account Strategy Team, you will:

  • Interface with the agency departments to move projects through on behalf of the client, including preparing insightful creative briefs for a variety of projects along the way while working closely with the creative and development teams
  • Maintain daily contact between the agency and the client under the direction of the account supervisor or CEO
  • Be completely destroyed in several rounds of pasagi
  • Work closely with the creative and development teams to produce estimates and manage projects
  • Inform account supervisor/CEO regularly of account progress for all assigned clients
  • Passive-aggressively comment on how little space is available in the refrigerator
  • Champion our creative product by actively participating in creative concept sessions on behalf of the client and providing input/approval of all creative work prior to client reviews or presentations
  • Actively seek to understand the client’s brand/business/products/services/industry in order to serve as an advisor on behalf of the agency and readily identify opportunities for growth with existing clients
  • Actively seek to understand the agency’s brand/business/products/services/industry
  • Be publicly reprimanded for leaving your terrible attempt at art on the Etch ‘N’ Sketch in the conference room
  • Assist in researching and writing client proposals, insight & strategy development and the ongoing creation of effective marketing communications including strategic advertising & media plans that connect back to clients’ business goals
  • Effectively present, sell and defend all agency work/proposals to clients
  • Manage client billing in conjunction with operations and contribute reporting as needed
  • Be congratulated for actually reading all 14 things listed here

Interested? Shoot your resume to mary@foxfuelcreative.com.

Nice to Meet You: Amelia Handshoe

Role at FoxFuel:
Account Executive

 


 

Amelia’s Favorites

Book
Recent guilty pleasure, Girl on the Train. I could not put it down.

Happy Place in Nashville
Percy Warner Park

Thing to do on the Weekend
Sunday evening ritual of NetFlix and face masks…. moisturization is a 28-year-old’s best friend.

Childhood Toy
I rode my Huffy Treasure Bike everywhere. We played outside all day and had to come home when the street lights came on.

Piece of Clothing
A white romper I purchased a few years back. Every time I have ever worn it I have the best night ever; so much so, that my friends wanted to borrow it and try it out themselves. It has worked like a charm.

Summer Anthem
I can’t stop listening to “One Dance” by Drake. I know it’s bad, but it is just so damn catchy.


All About Amelia

Where were you born?
I was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. That was the closest hospital to the tiny beachside town, Bay Saint Louis, where my parents met and lived. Shortly after I was born, we moved to Charleston, South Carolina.

What is the most frustrating question, comment, or feedback you get related to work?
“I do not remember talking about that in the last meeting.” … Lucky for you, I am so Type-A that I have 5 bullet points in our notes reiterating the conversation.

What is your favorite tradition?
Opening one present on Christmas eve. It always is a ridiculous set of pajamas from my mom. The whole family then wears their new horrendously tacky pajamas and we watch a Christmas movie together eating way too many treats and consuming copious amounts of wine.

What led you to join the advertising world?
I wanted to work with creative people and constantly be learning and challenged.

What do you look forward to most every day?
Morning runs.

What annoys you?
Tardiness. It killllls me.

Would you rather have your fingers stuck in bottles for a year or a bucket stuck on your head for a year?
Fingers stuck in bottles for a year. It would help me kick my addiction to my iPhone.

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Good, Free Fun

Between beach vacations and eating out, summer can get expensive! So we asked some of our team about their favorite free summer activities.

Hammocking

Rachel’s Pick

Find two trees and string up a hammock. Whether it’s an ENO or a good old-fashioned rope hammock, you can’t beat swinging in the shade on a hot summer’s day.

 

Drinking Mojitos Under The Sun

John’s Pick

Pick some mint from your garden and grab your favorite glass; it’s time for porch-sitting and booze-drinking.

 

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Pool Time

Travis and Drew’s Pick

A day spent at the pool is a day well-spent. Also, the only proper way to enter a pool is by cannon ball.

 

Spikeball

Colton’s Pick

What happens went volleyball and trampolines meet? You get spikeball.

 

Boating and Grilling

Amelia’s Pick

This one requires a little cost up front, but if you’ve got a boat, nothing completes a day on the lake like a cookout with friends.

 

Hiking

Cody the Intern’s Pick

Get away from the city and hike through the woods. There are plenty of trails within an hour of Nashville.

 

Trail Running

Erica the Intern’s Pick

If hiking is too tame for you, lace up your shoes and start running. Just don’t trip on any logs.

 

Catching Lightning Bugs

Henry’s Pick

“I love how catching lightning bugs with the kids leads to a fork in the road. We either find a shoe box, build a habitat, and spend hours studying the bugs. Or, we let all the bugs go and diverge into a game of night time freeze tag or kick the can.” – Henry

 

Picnicking

Mary’s Pick

If you’ve never had a picnic with your friends at the Love Circle, what are you even doing with your life?

 

Swing Dancing

Kelsey’s Pick

Every Saturday night in Centennial Park, join a crowd of dancing fools for Big Band Dance.

 

Car Shows

Michael’s Pick

Motor on over to a car show this summer. Marvel at these feats of ingenuity and artistry. You’re sure to have a wheely good time. There’s a fun, free show in August in Chattanooga if you feel like gettin’ outta town.

Nice to Meet You: Kelsey Greer

Role at FoxFuel:
Graphic Designer

 


 

Kelsey’s Favorites

Show on Netflix
Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson is my dream man.

Happy Place in Nashville
Picnic with my friends at the Love Circle. Or swing dancing in the park.

Dad Joke
Ahh, my favorite joke to make. I like the one about the dad convention (Hint: click the image to see the joke.).

90s Band
dcTalk. That’s who I grew up listening to. But also because I didn’t know secular music existed until the early 2000’s. That or the A*Teens ABBA Generation album.

Spirit Animal
Kristen Wiig. It’s my goal to dress up as all of her SNL characters for Halloween. I think being Target Lady was my favorite costume yet.

Recent Ad or Ad Campaign
I love the KFC colonel campaign. They’ve really stepped it up on their marketing, and their site got a new design. I love the different celebrities as the colonel—it’s like a guessing game! I’m still not gonna eat their food.


All About Kelsey

What’s the most frustrating comment, question, or feedback you get from clients?
When a client doesn’t like something and doesn’t have a reason why, it can be frustrating. Sometimes it’s just, “I don’t like it,” and no constructive feedback. I just have to read their minds…

What’s been your biggest adventure?
I was sponsored by Panasonic to go on a free two-week trip to Japan in high school. Overall, that was a huge adventure, but the best night was when we went on a scavenger hunt all across Osaka (which is the third-largest city in Japan). It was me and another girl (we were both 15) running around the city asking people if they spoke English. We had to navigate the subway system and take pictures of landmarks. We won. As winners, we chose to do karaoke. It was a great night.

If you were permanently exiled from the design world, what would do instead?
I’d be a cruise ship performer. Or a board game inventor. Or a voice over artist. Or a hand model. Or on SNL.

What’s your guilty pleasure font? (bad font that you secretly like)
Cooper Black. I just really want an excuse to use that typeface on a shirt or something. It’s so retro.

What could you look at all day?
Pugs. And hot air balloons.

What best gets your creative juices flowing?
Watching a movie, listening to a podcast, reading a book/magazine, doing a headstand. I also have a long list of design resources that I draw inspiration from.

Would you rather be in a real version of The Walking Dead or Jurassic Park?
Jurassic Park! I want to see if a saddle would fit on a dinosaur. And I’m totally freaked out by zombies. I can’t even be in the same room when The Walking Dead is on. The sounds are so gross.

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Nashville’s Best Donuts : Happy National Donut Day

Today is National Donut Day! So we got a giant inflatable donut, stuffed our faces, and took some pictures. We also scoped out the Nashville donut scene so you can skip straight to the good stuff…

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Five Daughters Bakery

Both adorable and delicious, Five Daughters’ donuts will put you into an instantaneous sugar coma as visions of sugar cane sprinkles and locally sourced ingredients dance through your head.

We’d recommend the 100 Layer Donut, of which one FDB superfan said, “It’s like America and France made slow sweet love and had a pastry baby.”  … Je t’adore, our little French-American bundle of joy.

Learn More | Take Me There

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Shipley Do-Nuts

Okay, so these aren’t exactly local, but they’re just so darn good. Lawrence Shipley, Sr. created the recipe back in 1936 when they sold for 5¢ a dozen. Always hand-cut, and always served hot, Shipley Sr.’s “do-nuts” took over the south, growing to what is now a franchise of more than 190 stores. Can’t get that 5¢-a-dozen price tag anymore, but that same gooey goodness stuck around.

Learn More | Take Me There

Utterly Nash

Best compliment to a sugar high? A caffeine buzz, obviously. Utterly Nash serves up its tasty concoctions next to the aeropress and organic fair trade dark roast chocolate-covered espresso beans. Now hold on, they don’t crank out your average glaze and jelly sugar rolls – this some classy dough. Lemon Thyme Caramel, Poppyseed, Luxardo Cherry… prepare to question everything you’ve been brought to believe about donuts.

Learn More | Take Me There

Fox’s Donut Den

You’ve seen the dancing lights; the ones that call you out of the fury-inducing Green Hills traffic that forever clutters Hillsboro Drive. A moment of sweet relief sweeps over you as you walk through the doors and into something resembling a glitter-bombed diner. But they’re not serving Reubens and malt milkshakes with extra Oreo pieces, oh no…they’re selling your childhood memories. Chocolate sprinkles, bear claws, apple fritters, and so many perfectly bite-size little donut holes…Fox’s Donut Den has your joy to go.

Learn More | Take Me There

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Donut Day Calls for a FoxFuel Fotoshoot

 

Nice to Meet You: Travis Wilson

Role at FoxFuel:
Developer

 


 

Travis’s Favorites

Computer-Free Activity
Piper Play

Hand Soap
Foaming

TV Channel
Netflix

Recent App, Site, or Cool Techy Thing
This musical timeline.

Hobby
Tinkering (motorcycles, bicycles, quadcopters, cars, electronics, legos, etc…)

Happy Place in Nashville
J & J’s Market & Cafe or I-65 bridge over the Cumberland River. It has a great view of the city.


All About Travis

What’s the most frustrating comment, question, or feedback you get related to your work?
“Is that centered?”

What’s the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
90s bowl cut. But really, who didn’t want to be Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the 90s?

If you could work from any location in the word, where would it be?
For a week: Italy, For a month: Vancouver, For a year: Somewhere warm with a beach.

What’s your greatest accomplishment outside of your career?
#1 Being a father.
#2 Returning to and finishing school in my late 20s.

How do you feel about bundt cakes?
Medium.

What do you do to refocus?
Get up and move around / harass John Paul

Would you rather always have to enter rooms backwards or have to somersault out?
Enter backwards.

Content Internship

Life Aquatic

Who You Are:

The Content Intern works with the content team to develop strategy, create content, and manage engagement for social media. The chosen candidate will be driven, competitive, and ambitious, seeking opportunity for growth in a dynamic, exciting, and fast-paced environment.

You Definitely Have:

  • Proof of enrollment in a degree-seeking college program in marketing, communications, journalism, or related field, or recently graduated
  • Outstanding writing and communication skills
  • Demonstrated passion and knowledge of social media
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong ability to respond and adapt to unexpected change
  • A picture of a fox you carry around in your wallet

You Probably Have:

  • Experience using social media as a marketing tool
  • Knowledge of best practices on social media and AP style
  • Organizational skills
  • Blogging experience
  • Experience and/or interest in public relations
  • A “Yes, And” attitude, willing to jump in and help where needed

What You’ll Do:

  • Search for and create engaging content to share on social media
  • Build community interest through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media channels via updates/discussions
  • Research social media landscape
  • Track and share insights with the team
  • Explore new online media tools
  • Work with the creative team to learn and stay true to client brand standards
  • Take the fox on walks (That is, when we get a pet fox.)

To apply, send your resume, cover letter, two writing samples, and a short video to mary@foxfuelcreative.com. Your video should answer the following questions:

  1. What are your career goals?
  2. What are you good at professionally?
  3. What do you suck at professionally?
  4. Why do you want to intern at FoxFuel?

And make sure you read this blog about how to be a great intern.