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I was heading to the subway to catch a train so I could arrive somewhere by 9:30am. Google said trains were coming in 2 and 6 minutes, but the digital screen by the 6 train said the trains were 15 and 17 minutes away. I either had to roll the dice with the trains, rush a couple avenues over to the N/R/Q/W line, or suck it up and Lyft it.
Instead of getting pissed at the MTA, I remembered some advice from the book I had just finished, “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman:
“When you turn your attention instead to the fact that you’re in a position to have an experience at all, matters are liable to look very different indeed.”
With that shift in perspective — that moment of acceptance that I’m on this Earth and will experience all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant things as part of that — it was no longer an ordeal. As a bonus, I hoofed it to the Q and still arrived early.
Burkeman’s subtitle is worded perfectly. You might not know this about me, but I’m a mortal. Sometimes I feel very good about my time management skills. Sometimes I feel very not good. And yet time seems to care little either way.
This was the book for me, and if you haven’t yet it, I suspect it’s the book (or a book) for you.
Instead of cruising through your 4,000-or-so weeks (a typical lifespan, for those of us fortunate enough) wondering if you’re managing every hour the right way, it’s a simultaneously pragmatic and beautiful book about making the most of our hours.
One small element of that is how to deal with digital distractions. Burkeman examines why we’re distracted in the first place:
“The most effective way to sap distraction of its power is just to stop expecting things to be otherwise—to accept that this unpleasantness is simply what it feels like for finite humans to commit ourselves to the kinds of demanding and valuable tasks that force us to confront our limited control over how our lives unfold.”
That’s great for choosing whether to open Threads or not (shout out to all you Threaders out there). But what about when you’re choosing something a little more important, like a job or whether to commit to a personal relationship? Burkeman writes:
“You usually know, intuitively, whether remaining in a relationship or job would present the kind of challenges that will help you grow as a person (enlargement) or the kind that will cause your soul to shrivel with every passing week (diminishment). Choose uncomfortable enlargement over comfortable diminishment whenever you can.”
It’s the kind of book that hits home on many levels. Maybe too many levels to cover in such a newsletter. But what a lot of the experiences have in common, professional and personal, is that for me at least, even when things haven’t worked out, if I chose uncomfortable enlargement, I tended to not regret the choices. It’s so powerful that the end result becomes less important than whether you’ve felt you’ve grown in the process.
It perhaps needn’t be said, but it must, that the enlargement can’t come at the expense of diminishing others. That’s Berkowitz’s corollary, not Burkeman’s.
Another gem is a quote Burkeman shares from the poet Mary Oliver: “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
Burkeman adds, “You can’t truly love a partner or a child, dedicate yourself to a career or to a cause—or just savor the pleasure of a stroll in the park—except to the extent that you can hold your attention on the object of your devotion to begin with.”
When my daughter asks me for my phone, and I don’t know where it is, that’s usually when I feel like I’m doing something right as a parent.
Being a parent means that FOMO tends to hit on multiple levels: what you’re missing out for yourself, and the experiences you’re not giving your offspring. Burkeman has thoughts on FOMO too:
“The same goes for existential overwhelm: what’s required is the will to resist the urge to consume more and more experiences, since that strategy can only lead to the feeling of having even more experiences left to consume.”
So that’s why I’ve instinctively recoiled from those ‘1,000 places to see before you die’ lists. Even if you get to them, you still are wondering about the next thousand.
Similarly, living in a city like New York, I can get by even if I haven’t had all of the 50 best slices or 20 best bagels.
Bonus tip: I recently pre-ordered the dozen bagels from Popup Bagels, and once you try them, you never need to try another bagel again. Also, please invite me over if you order them and can’t finish your dozen. I ate eight of them in 24 hours.
Two days after picking up those bagels and meeting friends for a picnic in Washington Square Park, I looked for my AirPods, and it said they were last seen that day at the park. They were lost.
Thanks in part to ruminating on the book, I had no regrets getting those bagels and having my waistline experience such uncomfortable enlargement. It was all worth it, I should have been quicker to check my pockets, and I ordered a $30 AirPods replacement on Prime Day. They’ll probably be fine.
But I won’t need them. My housekeeper found the AirPods, presumably when doing the laundry. Spending any of my 4,000 weeks kicking myself would have been worthless on every level.
Spending a week or two reading this book is well worth it indeed though. Unless, of course, you’re not a mortal.
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WHAT TO READ:
Recent content shared by Serial Marketers and friends:
- People Hire Phone Bots to Torture Telemarketers by Robert McMillan
- When Your Niche is at Risk: The ‘Diversify or Double Down?’ Dilemma with David Poteet by Corey Quinn
- 73% of Marketers Aren’t Measuring the KPI That Matters Most by Jordan Cohen
HOW TO SHARE
Thanks to Cary Munk, Dan LaFontaine, Andre Archimbaud, Devin Brown, Justin Dank, Pauline Echols, Paul Robinson, James A. Gardner, Seth Girksy, and Michael Winter for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.
Here’s your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit https://
UPCOMING SERIAL MARKETERS EVENTS:
(times EST unless otherwise specified)
- 7/12, 12-1pm (virtual): Join us for the Serial Marketers Social Salons, an engaging and interactive Zoom event designed exclusively for our vibrant community of marketing professionals!
- 7/20, 6-8pm (NYC): AIMG Presents: How Marketers are Really Using AI. Join this event hosted by the AI Marketers Guild and BrainStation!
- 7/25 1-2pm (virtual — partner event): Tune into Suzy’s State of the Consumer – Your AI Cheat Sheet for Back-to-School Season
- 8/2, 5-7pm (NYC): Join us at our next First Wednesday event in NY to meet fellow Serial Marketers in person in this fun, relaxed setting. Thanks 212NYC for covering the first round.
- 8/10: 12-1pm: Serial Marketers Social Salons. Connect with members 1:1 in quick breakout sessions to see how we can get to know and support each other
- 11/14-16 (virtual — partner event): Join the AI for Marketers Summit; register soon for the best rates
BRAND INSIDER SUMMIT: PHARMA & HEALTH
July 19 – 22
“Like every other sector, healthcare has been transformed by customer-first models that must occur across many channels at once. Pharma, OTC, hospital and healthcare brands all need to map their marketing efforts onto highly personal and complex patient journeys to care. And most of those channels are now digital. At the Summer edition of MediaPost’s Pharma and Healthcare Insider Summit we explore how brands across the healthcare sector are researching the new patient journey, reallocating to new channels, and recasting their messaging in more relevant ways.”
ADAPT & THRIVE: YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSFORMATION SURVIVAL GUIDE
July 20, Virtual
“How do you ensure your investment in supply chain technology will lead to the profits and performance you’re looking for? Start here! In this webinar, two industry experts will share what you need to know for success at every stage of your journey toward supply chain optimization. Incorporating the lessons they’ve learned from guiding hundreds of the world’s leading companies through supply chain transformation, this webinar will explore: The stages of supply chain transformation and digital maturity, How to set the right pace and track your organization’s progress, Best practices for maximizing the value of your investment..etc”
CONTENT MARKETING WORLD 2023
September 26-28, Washington D.C.
“Content Marketing World 2023, the largest gathering of content marketers in the world, is in an all-new location, Washington D.C., September 26-29. Produced by the Content Marketing Institute, #CMWorld is jam-packed with keynotes, sessions, workshops, and masterclasses, covering all aspects of content marketing. No matter your level of expertise, you can customize your experience at #CMWorld 2023. Come learn, network, and have fun making meaningful connections with fellow attendees and speakers before, during, and after the event. BONUS: Use the code SERIAL100 to save an extra $100 on your registration.”
AI FOR MARKETERS SUMMIT (partner event)
November 14-16, 2023, Virtual
“Why AI for Marketers Summit needs to be your conference of the year. Here’s what you’ll experience at our marketing AI event. Hear from senior executives from cross-industry brands share how they’re investing in AI and how it’s transforming their marketing strategies. Gain practical knowledge and skills immediately applicable to your work, and get expert feedback to help refine your strategies. Determine how and when to capitalize on AI through hands-on workshops that identify real problems and potential use cases for AI in your work… etc”
Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.
Tik Tok Content Creator Intern
New York City
“Rythm is looking for a highly creative person to join our team in New York. This position has the opportunity to extend beyond the summer. In this role you will have direct ability to create content for TikTok with some potential to assist on our IG accounts and other content needs. We are looking for someone who has a passion for video content creation, women’s sexual wellness, a-peel-ing eye for detail and is a trend setter for forward thinking and engaging content.You love having the camera on, chatting with strangers, testing products and spreading our mission. You are brave, have a GREAT sense of humor, and love dad jokes.”
Sr. Influencer Marketing Manager
“Pepper is a DTC fast-growing, unabashedly confident bra brand intentionally designed to celebrate small chested bodies in all their glory. As the Senior Influencer Marketing Manager, you will drive the growth of Pepper’s community and brand by identifying and fostering meaningful relationships with individuals to amplify Pepper’s mission and products through influencer marketing initiatives (sponsored content, UGC) and our brand ambassador program. You’ll build a thriving, diverse community of Pepper brand advocates who can’t help but want to create engaging content with and for us. In addition to showing off our well-fitting bras, influencers will help to develop content and stories around the shared experiences of being small-chested in today’s society.”
YOU & THEM
New York, NY
“You & Them are a global brand that strives to transform and move brands forward proactively and creatively. You are a dynamic problem-solver where you’ll assist clients in tackling a broad range of business, brand, and organizational challenges, from setting direction to enhancing employee experience, customer experience, learning, and innovation. Responsibilities: Assisting client teams with room set up for client meetings including catering requirements. Taking ownership of the space after events, requesting help from the wider business when you require more support. Assisting client teams with room set up for client meetings including catering requirements…etc”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board
Other job resources (see a full list here):
- Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
- Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
- ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
- Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
- Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
- Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.——————————
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