Why the Mini-Arnie’s-Head-On-Tank-Treads PPI Advert Works and You Don’t
Yes that advert. You saw it, sitting on the sofa, eating crisps, talking to your flatmate or respective partner about how one day you’re going to run your own business.
Yeah that advert. The one that you saw when you were meant to be in the gym or reading that big novel that’s been sitting on your bedside table for over a year.
YEAH THAT FUCKING ADVERT. The one that’s on rotation whilst you use your one day off work in the last six weeks to get up late and watch Homes Under the Hammer, even though you said you’d go for a run and update your CV.
YEAH THAT FUCKING ADVERT. The one that plays in the background of your life and was thought up by some upstart in a cardigan, brown brogues, skinny jeans and a floral shirt that you’d laugh at in the street. He was working his creative muscle to come up with that genius idea whilst you were telling your mates you’re writing a book, learning to play the drums or thinking about joining a Sunday league football team again from the comfort your Whatsapp group.
That same bi-spectacled cardigan wearing advertising guru didn’t talk. He acted. And I’m sure he came up with 4000 other shit ideas before he came up with that.
That advert isn’t just a good idea, a genius bit of marketing, a well placed bit of humour, a carefully crafted and executed idea that came out of that guy’s mind, an idea that survived rounds of test audiences and numerous focus groups, it’s the culmination and reward of years of work, it’s the reward for putting shit ideas out there over and over until he got it right.
That advert is a timeline that started with the pursuit of a job in marketing, being a work experience jerk, being a junior admin assistant, getting laid off three times from bankrupt advert agencies and finally getting a break at Saatchi and then still having to work three years before that idea came into being. That isn’t just an idea or an advert. It’s a pinnacle. An apex.
So is this story about the advertising guy true you ask? OF COURSE IT’S NOT.
What do I know about advertising you ask? FUCK ALL OF COURSE.
But if you still think this is about advertising you’re an idiot.
You see, it comes down to this:
How you do anything is how you do everything.
I know you don’t like your job. I know your passions are elsewhere. But no one can be the type of person to slack off at a job in the day but work hard in the evening at your chosen craft because THAT ISN’T HOW HUMANS WORK.
We don’t switch on and off like lightbulbs or iPads. We need to nurture and work on our skills, our self discipline, our concentration. We can only grow our abilities HOLISTICALLY.
If you slack in work, you’ll slack outside of work. No doubt about it.
If you skip the gym, you’ll skip that website you’re building for your photography business.
Look, extrapolate this point how you wish. The logic still applies. You need to become a one man industry to drive things forward. Getting momentum towards your goals is a Herculean task and you need to be optimum at being an industry.
I can guarantee you that the Vampire Weekend looking advertising motherfucker I just made up didn’t slack off. Or whoever really in Saatchi who really did come up with that idea. That’s why he gets to sit in an office and suggest something as bizarre as Arnie’s head on tank treads AND PEOPLE LISTEN TO HIM.
Who listens to you? More importantly, why should they listen to you?
Have you given them a reason? Most likely you’re like everyone else. Talk a lot of talk and walk a little of the walk at best and then tell everyone about the 3 steps you took.
Where is that book? That six pack? That online business? That high yield ISA investment? Fuck. This isn’t about Arnie’s head on tank treads, it’s about the type of person who can think of Arnie’s head on tank treads.
It’s action over words. It’s commitment over dabbling. It’s focus over fleeting interest. It's discipline over motivation.
Creative muscles are like any other muscle, if they are neglected, they will atrophy. Creativity doesn’t just come from sitting around waiting for inspiration, it comes from work, physical activity, mental agility, focus, problem solving, resourcefulness; it comes from learning how you learn and doubling down on your efforts.
The moment you compartmentalise your efforts is the moment every compartment in your life becomes weaker, because how you do anything is how you do everything.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
So work. Even in the things you dislike and have to do, like your office job. Become that industry. It’s the only way to end up where you want to end up.
Life is your university and each burden is an opportunity to grow. Be consistent in your efforts and have faith in the process.
Have faith because hard work always, ALWAYS pays off.
Set higher standards of yourself. Settle for less and you’ll achievement more.
It’s never too late. We can all grow. Old dogs do learn new tricks when they want to. Look for your Arnie head moments and work towards them, for yours is the world and everything in it. STICK AROUND.