Friday, January 13, 2012

Inexplicably, I recently got the best professional advice from someone I once fired.

He had been a snot-nosed teenager with a chip on his shoulder (sounds familiar) and I genuinely liked him. I knew what he was dealing with (it being painfully obvious he was gay and not quite ready to admit it) but I also knew letting him get away with being a shithead wasn't productive.  And so, I made a very difficult phone call that wasn't well-received, and let it go. Although this was tricky and uncomfortable, I somehow knew he'd be okay, that he'd eventually not be 17 anymore, and come out on top.

And he did. He would move to New York City and become something of a star in the design world, climbing the ranks at V Magazine, shedding the pervasiveness of adolescence and replacing all the snark and snide with charm and confidence. One night last year, while in the city for Fashion Week, we got to talking about insecurities and pushing through comfort zones. About doubts and worry. About selling your wares as an artist and having the confidence to hold your head high.

And, in his vaguely Valley-girl way, he put down his beer and shrugged, as if it was so clear to him: "You're the only one in the room who thinks you can't do it."

And so, as a new year begins, I'll reflect on the rather successful one behind me, and remind myself of the sage advice dispensed by a reformed shithead. 


  1. LOVE this. A good piece of advice, especially for those in the creative fields.

  2. Fantastic. I may write that on my wall to stare at all day long. :)

  3. Love this. Read it the other day and came back to read it again this morning.