In 1948 David Ogilvy launched his advertising agency from a 2 room office on Madison Avenue. He was 39 years old.
Prior to that day he had not written a world of copy, or created a single advertisement. In his previous careers he had been a chef, a door to door salesmen and most recently a farmer.
On the day his doors opened he issued the following mandate:
“This is a new agency, struggling for its life. For some time we shall be overworked and underpaid.
In hiring, the emphasis will be on youth…We are looking for young turks. I have no use for toadies or hacks. I seek gentlemen with brains.
Agencies are as big as they deserve to be. We are starting this one on a shoestring, but we are going to make it a great agency before 1960.”
You Have the Life You Deserve
That statement, “Agencies are as big as they deserve to be.” has always stuck with me.
You are entitled to nothing in this world and that statement holds true for everything.
You are as liked as you deserve to be. You are as respected as you deserve to be. You are as wealthy as you deserve to be. I try to keep that in mind when thinking about my life and business.
If you’re not where you want to be that’s on you. Ogilvy could have sat around making up excuses about why he couldn’t start an ad agency. He certainly had plenty of reasons. Instead he poured himself into the business of creating great ads.
And we’re lucky he did.
So, that’s the end of the story right? He was an instant success. People recognized his genius and clients flocked to him.
Wrong! The agency struggled for the next 10 years. That’s according to Ogilvy himself.
“I worried constantly. For years I thought the business wouldn’t survive.”
Ogilvy worked night and day. Often leaving his wife at the intermission of a play to return to the office.
And every time he landed a big account and found the agency flush with cash he’d spend it hiring new people.
Success Requires Risk and Work
If you want something better, you must be better. You have to do what others are not willing to do. You must take risks others are unwilling to take. Most importantly, you must have to confidence to believe you can succeed.
It is easier to do when you’re young but it is necessary at every stage of life.
I hope you’ll use this story as inspiration to get out and pursue your dreams, whatever they may be.
And if you’d like to join a community of people who are doing that right now then go here now:
I’ll even give you your first month for free.