Hi, my name is Mario. I have spent the last 10 years in advertising. I also run a site called IdeaMensch where I feature people who bring ideas to life.
I believe the single greatest thing about a career in advertising is that you're constantly surrounded by ideas. Actually, better yet - you are surrounded by people with ideas. Brilliant, funny, creative people. No industry has better birthday cards than ours.
The single most frustrating fact about advertising is that 99% of those ideas never see the light of day. They never become real. They get lost in a world of new business pitches, client approvals and award shows that nobody gives a shit about but people in advertising.
We're a brilliant industry that does crappy work, which we collectively feel really bad about.
That's why every single ambitious person with ideas who works in advertising is constantly frustrated with their job. And why any agency that wants to attract and retain talented folks, should be building products and intellectual property themselves.
That's why talented people within advertising agencies do interesting side projects.
This summer, I am quitting my corporate career to place a big bet on myself. I am putting all my stuff into storage to drive across America (well, the lower 48 at least) to try and ignite entrepreneurial communities everywhere. A road trip.
If you know me and my lack of planning or organizational skills, there will be parts of this understaking that will turn into a disaster of unknown proportions. I am the guy who manages to not bring enough socks or underwear on a week-long business trip, how am I going to spend four months on the road - trying to organize upwards of 60 events? Probably not in fresh socks.
Why am I doing this? Well, for once - I am 31 years old and have never driven across the entire country. It's time. But more importantly, I am taking control of my own idea. IdeaMensch.
So, after ten years in advertising - I am finally taking control of my idea. I am going to try and turn my idea of helping people with ideas and make it something that I could potentially live on. And by living on, my hope is to not call my mother my roommate a year down the road.
I know there are thousands of people just like me. People much smarter than I. People with better ideas.
People who never take control of their own ideas.
Are you taking control of your idea?
What is it?
How can I help you make it happen?
Author Mario Schulzke is the Founder of IdeaMensch, a community of people with ideas. He's also the Sr. Director of Digital Strategy at West Coast Advertising Agency WDCW. Mario just returned from a six-month stint living in Europe and is now planning a four-month road trip to ignite entrepreneurial communities all across America.
In his free time, Mario enjoys backpacking, fly fishing and talking about the one Ironman he did. He has a disproportionately large affinity for cats, BluBlockers and handkerchiefs.