Open Letter: So It Begins, Again (Q1, '19)

Dear Breakthrough Community,

It’s that time again, folks! With the release of the initial Open Letter being met with such genuine responses, I felt compelled to build them into the schedule on a quarterly basis. The overarching purpose is to organize  & reflect on the concepts & themes as I encounter them in business & life. This has proved to be beneficial not only internally for my well being, but strategically for the company, and outwardly for clients & associates. I hope this letter from Quarter 1 provides some valuable insights, and helps you to not need to endure the same mistakes I have.

1. Radical Open Mindedness

A. Draw from other Industries

"Imagination is a force that can truly manifest reality"- James Cameron

At times, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of looking around and mirroring what every other company in your space is doing. Especially when BMG was getting started, I found myself seeking out how ad agencies & marketing firms were moving. While noticing similar organizations tendencies isn't inherently wrong- there quickly becomes a lack of originality as well as a ceiling to how far you can take things.

Recently I have found it extremely beneficial to research & incorporate elements of various sectors including but not limited to : music, film, fashion & tech. Allowing yourself to not be boxed in to a specific genre but rather welcoming an abundance of influences will help develop your unique brand & vision . Seeking and absorbing information from multiple vantage points rather than merely the ones that reinforce current beliefs, has been a valuable shift in perspective.

"The future belongs to your imagination" - Karl Lagerfeld

B. Become Limitless

"Every step of the way, people tried to talk me out of what I was going to do next" - Rick Rubin

Radical Open Mindedness not only includes welcoming influences from various places, but also allowing yourself the ability to explore and expand . Last year, BMG delivered on a handful of services well, but felt slightly restricted both creatively & operationally. While I am a huge advocate for doubling down on your strengths & defining your offering- I am a bigger proponent of constantly evolving. Initially the mindset tended to be "Well, we don't do Y- because we do X" . The newfound growth mindset has become "Well, if we can do X, let's see about Y, hell let's give Z a try too".

It's the willingness to be an amateur in the short term with the understanding that a deep desire to learn will develop more valuable skills in the long term. This is not to say you should spread yourself too thin, or water down the quality of your product/service offering- it is merely suggesting to keep an open mind to potential opportunities and avenues you may have not considered in the past. So how do we determine what is deemed a worthwhile opportunity and what we should let pass us by? This leads directly to the next concept " Clarifying Patience" a touchy, yet equally exciting one for me.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney

2. Clarifying Patience

"The cost of being wrong is far less than the cost of doing nothing" - Seth Godin

This topic is sensitive simply because impatience has long been a weakness of mine. Confronting the notion of patience & its positives & negatives will be equally an internal venting session as it is a systematic breakdown- so bear with me.

A. Stop Postponing

"Don't wait for answers, just take your chances" -Billy Joel

The phrase "Stop Postponing" is one that I religiously remind myself of, as it is at the core of how and why Breakthrough was started. I was sitting @ my previous job and replaying existential questions in my head - What am I actually contributing? What am I actually creating? Why am I still postponing what I know I deeply desire? The answers to those questions led me to make a quick, and drastic change. Possessing a lack of patience in that situation and many to follow allowed me to pivot to a life exponentially more fulfilling, with infinitely more possibilities. Thankfully, I recognized the stop lights of life were never going to be all green, and if I continued to wait for that magic moment- I would've never made a move.

Clarity comes largely from not over- thinking, but from engaging and taking immediate action. When taking consistent action an interesting thing begins to happen , no matter how big or small the task is- the completion gives you momentum and energy to tackle the next- thus the compounding nature of positivity & productivity takes over. So, to a degree it is difficult for me to denounce impatience. However, there are times I know it has gotten me into trouble.

B. Timing & Alignment

Go-go-go is a valid mindset in certain settings- when you have previously established an understanding of the high level goals. Otherwise, you can rush into endeavors and end up wasting valuable time & energy. The other side of the coin has been realizing , when the right times to be patient are. In business, it means not haphazardly diving head first into a situation simply because it seems momentarily enticing. In the beginning, we may have chased prospects- regardless of the implications, where as the more thoughtful decision in the long term has been to foster and develop the relationship and let the business come naturally. This concept has lead to meaningful work and meaningful relationships. Don't force things that feel contrived, seek the authentic.

Patience as a whole is such a compelling concept to me. When patience turns into a stagnant waiting game, it becomes detrimental. It is important not to feed into a situation in which you are constantly blaming external factors not lining up. It is your responsibility to take control over your position. Do not simply wish or hope for an outcome while making no driven actions towards that outcome. However, patience for the right opportunity & the ability to step back and analyze a situation objectively and subsequently take intentional action, now that is most certainly a valuable trait we can all strive for.

If you made it this far in the letter, thank you for your patience (pun intended). We truly do appreciate all of your support for the Breakthrough Community. We are constantly striving to evolve and you guys are actively helping us to learn & experience new things every single day.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and we'll see you out there !

'Til next time, that's all folks!

Boston, MA

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