A Creativity Secret from Pinterest Fails and Bad First Dates

I love Pinterest. Love it. I can lose hours of my day on there. It is so addictive. From recipes of foods I’ll never eat, DIY projects I’ll never make (but insist I want to), fashions I can’t afford, amazing houses and furniture design that is too outrageous to even consider; it has taken days, if not weeks from my life.

The only thing that is better is honoring those brave souls who do attempt to tackle these Pinterest must-haves and fail. Here is your chance to look at these doozies from some brave, brave folks.

Several million years ago, I was on a first date with this guy. We will call him Jack. Jack and I had met through a mutual friend and seemed to hit it off – hence this date. We went to a local bar and grill for drinks to do the “get to know each other better” thing.

What does this have to do with Pinterest? I’m getting there. The conversation turns to “So what do you do?” He eagerly tells me about his job as a project manager for a construction company, and how important he is, his engineering degree, so on. Then it is my turn to talk about what I do.

Me: I’m an art director. I work for a marketing agency.
Jack: What does that even mean?
Me: I work with companies on branding identity, design logos, letterhead, brochures…?
(I motion with my hands in that you-know-what-I-mean kind of way)

Jack: So you are a secretary?
Me: Um, no. I design websites, ads for magazines, social media images, t-shirts…I take that idea in your head and make it real.
Jack: Like in Word, right?
Me: No, I use design software.
Jack: You mean someone pays you to do all that stuff? Why? I just have my secretary do it. Any idiot can do what you do. It’s not that hard.
(I now take deep breath and count to ten. I do this because it is rude to punch people in the throat on the first date.)
Me: Clearly you are not understanding what it is I do. No, not any idiot can do this well. I went to college and earned a degree for this work.
Jack: Seriously? That is ridiculous.

I didn’t punch Jack or throw a drink on him – although I wanted to. But it was very clear to me he had no understanding or want value visual marketing brings, the impact great design has or the importance of good writing. Marketing is more than the words we type on a page. A professional embraces your vision. We make you sound good and look fabulous. We help you strategize, build and achieve goals. We get your name out in-front of the right audience.

Marketing is supposed to make you feel more confident about who you are. And about what you do in the world. That is what we help people to do. If your marketing is not doing that then consider stopping what you are doing – and call someone who can help.

Some of us are Pinterest rockstars. Some of us engineer inspiring buildings. Some of us design killer websites. The trick is knowing which you are and being that. I will not be making the cupcakes I saw on Pinterest. And I pray that Jack is not going out on any more dates.

Take a lesson from the well-intentioned Pinterest fails. Sometimes it is best to leave certain things to the professionals if you want the best results.

Don’t be a Jack.

photo credit: Julie’s Pinterest Birthday Party via photopin (license)

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