A phrase my friend, John Carlton, said to me once has stayed with me for years…

“You earn the big bucks for making the hard calls.”

It was during my freelancing years and I was stressed about which way to go with a lead. 

“The client wants me to make the call. There’s no room for split testing. Shouldn’t he have the better instinct on this?” I said to John. Hoping he’d agree. 

John is a cowboy. He doesn’t make excuses, or look for easy outs. 

When he zapped me with that line of reality, it rang true. 

They hired me as an expert, and experts should have answers to tough questions. 

“I get it,” I said. 

Then I chose the one I felt had the best chance and made it so. 

I realized in that moment that kvetching about it, either outwardly, or in my head, was a futile exercise. 

Weak sauce. 

If I was going to own my authority, I needed to muster up my best guess and sound sure about it. 

This is marketing. We take what we know from the research, fuse it into the message, massage it into shape, then ship it. 

If it lands, we’re a genius. If it bombs, we suck. 

Them’s the breaks, kid. 

Stay humble in victory, present in defeat, and live to fight another day. 

It’s a fluid situation, this freelancing thing. 

One bad promo does not define a career. 

Just like in football, when a cornerback gets beat for a touchdown, you need to have a “short memory.” 

Take your wounds and wear your scars. 

No one worthy makes it out pretty. 

The best clients will relish your scars. 

They signify wisdom. 

You dig? 

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