Do you ever wonder if you’re climbing the wrong mountain?

I read too much.

No really, I sometimes wonder if I have a serious problem.

I read when I am not eating, sleeping or working. I’m currently reading a book called Overdressed about our obsession with fast fashion.


This book will make you take a serious strong look at the clothes you put on your back. Elizabeth Cline, the author, has a wonderful style of sharing her personal journey and relaying a ton of details, facts and history. I admire that style of writing and learn so much when I read it.

My next read is going to be To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? and I hope to learn even more how the clothes I chose to buy can make the world a better place (or not).

But here’s the deal, after digging deeply into other industries, I often get slightly discouraged by all there is to learn in the world. I’m taken back by all the things I most likely will never fully understand. And sometimes it leaves me wondering;

Am I climbing the wrong mountain?

Have you ever felt that in your heart?

So I wonder to myself and out loud to others, should I be using my time and talent to solve the labor problems in China? Or create a store that sells only items that are made by people earning a living wage?

Then I remember. I’m in the marketing business.

And I’ve come to believe with all my heart that marketing has the power to touch and change lives, minds and hearts; to make the world a better place.

We can use the dollars we spend on marketing  for good.

And trust me the dollars we spend on marketing are mind bogglingly huge. According to the CMO council, marketers are expected to spend $540 billion dollars globally on advertising just this year alone! What might really change if we  all commit to using those dollars to educate the world about fair trade, save the planet, end the stigma associate with addiction and mental illness or feed the world in a more sustainable way. I could go on and on. I believe that every organization can and should have a purpose they believe in and support. And they should commit to use their marketing dollars to do good and tell stories all while drawing kindred spirits (and profits) their way.

It’s hard work but it has amazing results. Brands like Patagonia,  Honest Tea and Whole Foods prove it every single day.

So. Let’s keep believing that marketing is more than making impressions or putting heads in beds or making quotas.

I read this quote in a speech from John Garner:

More of us are more bored than we care to actually admit.

Let that sink in.

He goes to on to say in his famous speech over 30 years ago:

We have to face the fact that most men and women out there in the world of work are more stale than they know, more bored than they would care to admit. Boredom is the secret ailment of large scale organizations. 

Which is why we have to keep learning and growing.

We owe it to ourselves and the world to spend our time with purpose and drive.

We owe it to our employees, to each other and to our stockholders. It’s nice to sell stuff and make money and hit targets, but it’s even more ideal to be a part of something that is making the world a better place while doing it.

How can you re-think what you do so you spend your marketing dollars more wisely and in a way that truly matters; in a way that connect humans to each others so remarkable things can happen? How can you help the people in your organization climb the right mountain every single day?


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