I remember the moment when I realized that I had to change. It was around 2:30 a.m. and I had just administered morphine to my father who was dying in the next room and I’m not sure how many days I had been up without sleep. I was working during the day and administering morphine every 30 minutes at night. When you are sleep deprived, emotionally spent and with an enormous need to occupy your mind to NOT fall asleep you have a lot of time to think. Watching the slow dying process of someone you love makes you realize how short this life is.
I HATED my current job, HALF of my life was almost over and it was time to wake up. When was the last time I was happy and how could I get back to that? For years, I had been climbing my way up the advertising ladder. Newspaper, radio, internet and publications were all stepping stones for achieving a full picture of the advertising world. There are parts of all of them that I love and still use but when I found promotional products it made my heart happy.
Growing up I was a photographer and by college I was doing art photography seriously. Marriage, kids and life forced me to put that creative network down. Suddenly here is this medium that I can actually get creative with on a three dimensional level and it’s a form of advertising that everyone LOVES. At that time I was on the manufacturing side of the business so I was helping distributors across the US. I would talk to these distributors and put together complete idea creation for them and they loved my ideas.
I decided this industry was like being a happiness dealer. You promoted a business with happy. A coffee mug to tell your employee that you are proud of them and the job they are doing. A portfolio case for a client that has given you several referrals lately to tell them that you appreciate them. They carry them around and advertise the giver’s business while still making everyone happy. In a world of psychological warfare in advertising this is the pure HAPPY. This is what I needed to get back to but on my own terms this time.
After the dust settled from the funeral, I called up Zebra Marketing and told them to hire me. I had never been an independent contractor before or worked from home before. They say if your goals don’t scare you they aren’t big enough. I WAS TERRIFIED but I knew this was the next step.
Today, I am into my third year in business and I love being a happiness dealer. If I thought my clients wouldn’t get upset with me I would throw glitter and confetti every time I came to their offices because work is just that much fun. If you are not having fun then quit and find a new job now because life is short. Don’t spend 8+ hours a day doing something you hate. Go out and do something you love because one day you will blink and it will all be over. I know you’re scared but I have faith in you. Face that fear and I will bring you a Happy.
Summer Nichols is an account executive for Zebra Marketing in the West Tennessee area. She is a firm believer that when advertising makes people happy it will also make them profitable. You can connect with her using one of the vehicles below.