In 2012, I shunned online advertising.
I was trying to write, but, instead of being productive, I was looking for inspiration on my Facebook feed. You know, procrastinating. Just as I was about to come to my senses and start my work, I got a Facebook message from a friend.
“Dude, you NEED to check this band out. It’s like the perfect mix of August Burns Red and Between the Buried and Me.”
As an undisclosed metalhead, and as a writer looking for any reason to avoid actual work, I took the bait.
Excitement turned to disappointment. Instead of gnarly riffs and grooving rhythms, YouTube served me an ad. And not just any ad — a 30-second spot selling me on the silky-smooth features of Venus Razors.
I installed an ad blocker and didn’t see an online ad for three years.
Anyone who knows Nebo knows we believe that business is more than dollars and cents. It’s being part of the community. It’s making the world a better place. It’s doing great work, but also using our powers for good. We’ve been incredibly lucky to be this successful, and we think it’s an honor and privilege to give back.
Among our various philanthropic passions, we’re particularly passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless. Empowering the powerless. And one of the core causes we focus on is animal welfare.
Our passion for animal welfare is one of the things that makes Nebo, well, Nebo. It led us to partner with P.L.A.Y. to create the Rescue Pledge — an initiative to put more shelter dogs in loving homes and shed light on the atrocities of puppy mills.
It’s what keeps us stocking the office with sustainable goods, from the snacks in our kitchen to the soap in our bathrooms.
It’s also what led us to take a stand against factory farming.
Relationships are based on trust. The good ones are balanced with a healthy push and pull and an assumed give and take. There’s beauty and harmony to even the most basic relationships. It’s true in love. It’s true in friendship. And it’s true in business.
As agencies, we fall in love with our clients. For many of us, love is necessary to create the work we do. We must embody the client’s hopes and dreams, internalize their brand and make it our own. If we’re authentic in this, love and admiration develop.
Many creative endeavors are throttled by mental blocks and distractions, but there is always a way to get past them. I may be an unpublished novelist and frustrated opera composer, but I have learned how to always stay creatively active.
In my beginning attempts to become an “artist”, I would hit that halfway point while writing an opera scene or short story and slam into an imaginary brick wall. I would sketch a musical piece or work on a writing outline just to throw the fifth or fiftieth attempt in the trash. After the garbage can started to look like a paper ball landfill, I would abandon the project for a little reality television, but I’d be left with a nagging, unsatisfying urge to get back to work.
After years of refining my process, however, I’ve discovered five essential techniques that helped me keep my wheels on the long and winding road of artistic creation. Use these tricks to help unlock that hanging idea and turn it into something worth a pat on the back.