One of the cool things about our ad agency is the history of the thing.
Now it's simply called DDB Chicago, but when I first started it was privately owned and called Needham, Harper and Steers.
And back in the day there used to be a guy you'd see walking the halls who was a real, honest to god legend.
His name is Keith Reinhard.
You can look him up.
He used to run the place creatively back then, but he started out as your basic copywriter.
Just a guy in an office.
And one day he started to write these agency-wide memos called "Any Wednesday".
They were just his thoughts, observations, stuff he found inspiring.
He wrote them sideways, across the lines on the page, symbolically breaking the rules.
You could read 'em in couple minutes and then think about 'em for a minute, or your whole life...
Anyway, so I'm a baby art director back then, and I am swamped.
I've got so much stuff to do it's impossible to comprehend.
Back then, if you had a tv idea, you drew the storyboards yourself and hand colored every frame with markers. A couple storyboards could easily take you all night.
So I'm on Wheaties and Betty Crocker and Anheuser Busch and new business pitches and I'm at the end of my rope.
And the mail comes, on a cart back then.
And there's this Any Wednesday from Keith.
And it had a quote and little story that was all about my situation.
I can't remember it exactly, but the title and gist was, "Do the next thing".
Basically, when you've got a million things to do, you can't look at 'em all at the same time.
Makes the whole thing too big.
But if you just look at it as one little thing to do after another little thing to do, pretty soon you'll get the whole big thing done.
I'd never heard that before.
I applied it to my enormous roomful of dread and after awhile...all done.
My daughter went off to college this year, and I spoke to her on the phone one day and she was semi-overwhelmed.
So I did that little painting above and told her the story.
(No idea where the wrench came from, but it looks kinda tattoo-cool.)
Looooong way to get to here, but this is what I'm thinking after looking at what happened with the Winter Meetings.
We spend most of our time thinking about what's in it for us, us being Cub fans.
And we should - we pay the money, we give our time.
All that freaking hope.
But think about Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and even the Ricketts family.
When they knocked this Cubs thing over..
When they said hey, the only way to do this is to begin all over again, can you imagine what that pile of work looked like?
I read about Hector Rondon, the surgically repaired Rule 5 pitcher the Cubs got from the Indians the other day.
I'm excited about this guy - sort of under the radar.
He's one of those things that got done.
Maybe he'll be healthy and turn out great.
Nate Schierholtz, done.
Even Ian Stewart.
I read a tweet of his saying something like he was so happy to be back because the Cubs had been so cool to him through the wrist thing. Don't you think he's going to give 110%?
Of course, there's no fixed deadline for the Cubs.
So every time they get something done they have to start doing it over again.
But they'll get there if they just keep doing the next thing.
And when they do it's gonna be one grand old time.
Next is just a stupid ad story, but kinda funny...
We had an inexpensive champagne to sell.
I won't say which brand.
Again, baby art director time, and I was still working as a waiter a couple nights a week and had tons of experience with champagne.
And while drawing my storyboard I included a frame that demonstrated the correct way to open a bottle of champagne - you drape a cloth over the top and gently pry the cork off so no one catches a cork in the eye.
Unwittingly, I would become mildly famous for this frame.
Because I presented the board in a roomful of ad people: creative directors, a group creative director, other art directors and writers.
Before I could even take anyone through the board the Grouper, Tony Vanderwarker, points to this frame and goes, "Souers. What the hell is going on there?"
It looked like this: