5 + 8
An advertising, branding and creative strategy agency in Houston, Texas

Words + Internet

The scariest place on earth

This post is not about money. And, it’s not about me. It’s not even about branding. It’s about fear. If life is an exhilarating motorcycle ride through the hill country, fear is the wonky sidecar. Fear distracts, derails and worst of all, derides us. Fear makes us feel bad about things that haven’t even happened yet. Fear is a thief. Can you imagine the number of lives that are never fully realized because of fear? Millions. Maybe more.

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Adam Faust Comment
The funny thing about things

The back of her suede vest has words encrusted with rhinestones that I can barely make out through her hair. I do manage to read “Lamb & Goat Auction Committee.“ She is super proud to be on that mutton committee. And, hell yeah, she should! She’s got a look and a role and she’s owning the ostrich leather out of it. It occurred to me that everything this woman cares about I didn’t even know existed before this moment. That’s the thing about things, they only really matter when they matter to us.

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I can't handle the truth

Recently, I have been digesting a steady diet of “feedback is everything“ from my various podcasts and audio books. All the gurus were goating me into sending out the dreaded customer survey. “They” tell us how feedback is essential and critical for positive growth. And, I am sure they are right. I know they are right. But, I also know it’s probably right to harvest my own rainwater in sustainable tanks and bathe my children to lower my carbon footprint. But, that sounds like a pain in the ass and I don’t want to do it.

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Should work be fun?

I wonder this often. I mean, it’s work after all. And work, simply put, is producing something so you can provide something. That’s not exactly a tagline for a trampoline park, but work today is not shoveling coal. Work today is air-conditioned, safe, and fueled by gourmet coffee and that one lady with the jar of M&Ms. Our work environment has improved in the last century. In 1919, some of the top jobs listed were woodworking, tobacco manufacturing, and textiles. The only place I’ve ever encountered a textile is in a history book. What the F is a textile anyway? Is it fabric, tile, corduroy? I guess it’s one of life’s great mysteries that may never be answered.

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Your mission statement suuuuucks

I knew something was wrong when I had to repeatedly google the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement. That is especially concerning since I am paid to write said statements for clients. I am comfortable with that confession because anyone in a leadership position has encountered this confusion.

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This plus this equals awesomeness

I was feeling negative, insecure and overly concerned about what others think. I lost my confidence so I started writing that first paragraph of negativity. Every jotted line of self-serving melodrama made me feel better. I was able to release it from my brain and see how it limits me and locks me in. Negativity and insecurity paralyze creativity.

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Pretty Damn Good

I didn’t know what to write about. I have a list of ideas scribbled down that say things like “Failure is so hot right now“ to “Oh sh*t my wife was right“ to “That jackass looks just like me.“ But I just couldn’t get myself moving on any of them. And then I realized today is the unofficial first day of 5+8 . So how about a list of my six most remarkable missteps? I don’t do enough lists. They’re so easy to write and read. I think because the numbers give us clear direction on where we’re going and when this thing will be over. Here goes everything:

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Better.

We must do better. I assume most agency leadership worries about if they are serving their clients well. But, worry is wasteful and it only zaps our energy. Instead, it’s time we go on the offensive.

When asked when to hire an agency to help you, the unapologetic and unrelenting entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk responded, “I wouldn’t hire an agency.* Because all agencies do is work really hard to not get fired.” That gave me chills. I heard that two years ago and it has remained with me. It’s like a pebble stuck in the sole of my shoe that is ever so slightly distracting me from an otherwise pleasant walk.

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The Most Random Gift Guide in Ever

Last year, I wrote a Christmas Letter giving an update on all things 5 + 8. I love any opportunity to talk about our company and our people. In lieu of lines of embarrassing extolling, I thought I’d let everyone get to know our team through their favorite things. Introducing our first (and maybe last) Annual Gift Guide. Hopefully the following will spur some good gift ideas, and maybe give you a little insight into our growing team. With out further adieu, the 5 + 8 Gift Guide written in the words of someone other than me…

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