The Life Advice Guide: Insights For Young Adults From Stars of Business and Beyond

Interview number twenty with Ed Mitzen.

Photo: Courtesy Ed Mitzen

Justin Higgins: “Hi Ed, what life advice do you have for young adults?”

Ed Mitzen: “Hi Justin. The importance of making friends doesn’t stop when you leave college. Building friendships in the business world is so important to advancing your career, right along with work accomplishments and accolades. It may sound cliché, but often business is a personality contest. It’s human nature to want to work with people with whom you want to spend time. So make sure that as you start your career, you meet as many people as you can, and take the time to get to know them.

In my career, I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people. Many of them I have helped in their careers, and many have helped me. It takes effort to get to know work colleagues, so put the effort in early on. Build friendships. Find ways to help others. Be supportive and positive of everyone. Along with feeling great by helping others, it will come back to you in many ways you can’t even imagine this early on in your career.”


Appropriately referred to as the serial entrepreneur, Ed has successfully launched three entrepreneurial ventures exceeding $500 million in revenue.

Currently with his fourth company, Fingerpaint Marketing, which he Founded, Ed has created a uniquely successful agency. Fingerpaint is a full-service marketing agency with 165 employees and nearly $30 million in annual revenue. Recently named Industry Person of the Year by Med Ad News, Ed has led his company to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies for four consecutive years. Ed has also driven the Fingerpaint team to several industry accolades including, 11 Addy Awards, 5 Hermes Creative Awards and a SmartCEO Brava Award among many others. Before forming Fingerpaint, Ed founded Palio Communications, an advertising and communications agency in Saratoga Springs, NY. During the rise of Palio, Ed’s leadership and business acumen brought the agency from a local five-person shop to a twenty-five-million dollar annual company with nearly 175 employees.

Ed is a frequent lecturer on the topics of advertising and marketing at several top colleges and universities, including the University of Rochester and Skidmore College. He is also an active member of the local community, serving on the board of directors of various not-for-profit organizations including The Hyde Collection, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Union Graduate College, Double H Ranch, and formerly the Saratoga Care Foundation and the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

He resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Lisa and his daughter Grace. He also has a daughter Emily and a son Nick who is a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

To learn more about Fingerpaint Marketing, please visit: www.fingerpaintmarketing.com