I’m not as talented at marketing as I think I am. And if you’re honest with yourself, neither are you. But, in my experience, that’s a good thing. At least it can be, if you (first) recognize it, and (second) embrace it. Now I will admit, in the beginning, that’s not easy. Like many a young marketer, I came out of the University womb thinking I had all of the answers. But I didn’t. Not even close. It took a marketing veteran to wake me up.
It was early on in my days working for Ubisoft (the video game company), as an associate brand manager. I knew I had the instinct to be a great marketer, what I didn’t know was that instinct is only part of the battle.
Sitting at my desk one day, I saw my eventual mentor, a former Clorox executive and Kellogg graduate, approach with a game in his hand. It was a role-playing game (something I had never heard of) based on World War I (something I had definitely heard of). He dropped it on my desk, saying “this is your game now, build a plan.” Wait, what? It was in that moment that my professional life flashed before my eyes. I had no idea what to do or where to start. It turned out, I didn’t have all of the answers. But I was saved by someone who did, my mentor.
Later that day, as if testing my resilience, he returned with the solution in hand. Once again, ceremoniously dropping it on my desk, this time in the form of a PowerPoint template. One that walked me through, step by step, how to build a marketing plan. He had provided a map to a lost, young marketer wandering the streets. It changed my life and career. I’ve used my own version of that map ever since. And I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without that experience, without that template and without my mentor. I take nothing for granted. I know I’m not as good as I think I am, but that’s why I’ve had success. It’s the reason I work harder, read more and strive to be better than my competition.
We’re not as talented as we think we are, but that’s a good thing. If we allow it to be.