Good morning, Thursday. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
So recently I've fallen back in love with Kiehl's products of all kinds- particularly those eye treatments (will fill you in on all of that in another post but damn they're good). But like many people, I'm skeptical when indie brands get scooped up by behemoths. Kiehl's was snatched up by Estee Lauder, as were some of my other favorites- Byredo Perfume as well as stellar fragrance house Frederic Malle. I started thinking- is bigger always better? TBH- it almost never is.
I do think in Kiehl's case the push for new products has served them well- there's lots of good stuff that's both practical and not La Mer (also owned by Lauder) expensive. But for many, once these small fries go all big potatoes, the quality is perceived as too mass, and decidedly down market. So how does that apply to how I'm feeling about career these days? Why, I thought you'd never ask. ;)
As I've watched almost everyone I know in my immediate career sphere ascend up the ladder, I've often wondered why that was not quite my path. I'm just not sure I'm wired to "go big" in that way. Because I'm too focused on the product. My product. I'm not at all saying my friends with big titles and big salaries are not. I just think it's really, really hard. I suppose that's why I've always loved freelancing- it's so super project based that it allows me to devote all of my time and attention and focus to the task at hand. The bigger you get, the harder that becomes. In the business I've called home forever, advertising, my deepest admiration if for those guys and girls (wish there were more girls ps) who started their own agencies. And most of them left BIG jobs to do so. And true they may now have to fill out their own Fedex labels, but who cares. The freedom to do things one's own way is just worth it. Or at least it is to me.
I'll always remember Howard Schultz's story- he of Starbucks founder fame. He talked about how big his business got- way too quickly, and how in the process, they forgot who they were and what they had to offer. It's true of late they've been struggling a bit, but I so respect that moment of realizing you're too big to be who you really are. It's an interesting predicament to say the very least.
I guess what I'm getting at is the fact I've been at this particular crossroads for a while now. Where to next?
So I'm taking some time to strip it all down and redefine. I'm going small instead of going big. And truly, I love the idea of going big, but only on my own terms, ok? I'm too old to make everyone else famous anymore. And I don't want to forget what I care about most- making amazing things with my own signature POV. I'm looking for something that's just my size. Alright? Ok.
And whatever point you're at in your career- getting coffee as an intern, sitting in the C Suite, or making bracelets in your basement, it's worth thinking from time to time about what makes you tick, and if you're still indeed ticking. As we all know- life is short. And sometimes you need to go small to get big time happiness.
Cause that's what's up this microdot of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in thinking big about going small. XO