“Artie, I think I want to start a blog.”
“Ashley, stop thinking.”
And on that fateful day in October 2007, I stopped thinking and started writing.
My first blog (hazy stars) was inspired by Artie Isaac, my employer and my most influential mentor at the time. My sincere desire to work for Young Isaac was a direct result of Artie and his blog, Net Cotton Content. Even before I first met Artie, and way before I started working with him, I followed his blog very closely. I read many of his suggested books. Having so much admiration and respect for the man, it was the natural progression to work with him.
I have the theory, that if you want to become more intelligent, talented and successful, you need to surround yourself with people who are more intelligent, talented and successful than yourself. Artie was such a person, and in my regretfully brief year working with him, I learned several valuable lessons that have helped mold me into the personal brand that I am today.
Three important lessons I learned from Artie were:
1. Self-branding: The man is a master of self-branding. When people “buy” services from him, they aren’t buying a product, they are buying the person.
Oddly enough, my first blog post ever was about myself-branding mission.
Although my original blog was a hodge-podge of political, environmental, marketing, and Ohio related material… I ultimately made the decision to start a themed blog.
And as the story goes, I originally wanted to write a wine blog. Intimidation (from the wine industry) played a huge part in my decision to forgo “Confessions of a Vinophile” and launch “The Columbus Beer Wench.” Now, I’m sure if I told Artie that I was intimidated he probably would have said something like: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Either way, as fate would have it, on February 7th 2008, The Beer Wench was born. And I’ve been branding myself ever since.
2. Creativity: Artie says it best on his site: “Every child is a prodigy until told otherwise.”
“I think Picasso said that. You were once a child, so this goes for you, too… You can return to the prodigy you once were, simply by changing the way you talk to yourself. Once we stop hindering our creativity, we become more creative. So, I’m not only teaching people how to become more creative. I’m also teaching people how to teach creativity. I’m especially teaching people how to teach themselves to be more creative.” — Artie Isaac
3. Goal-setting: In his Teaching Creativity class at The Ohio State University, Artie challenges his students to set consider: “For what am I investing all this time, money and effort? What is my goal?” During what is now a decade of teaching creativity, Artie has guided the goal development by challenging students with a special assignment. Which brings us to where we are today…
The Assignment: Write hypothetical newspaper headlines describing your achievement of four goals — one each for four aspects of your life: personal, family, community, and business. Today I encourage all my friends to read about this assignment and complete it for yourself: click here.
Naturally, I have taken it upon myself to complete this assignment as well. And I’m not going to lie, it is an extremely hard challenge… even for the “most” creative.
The Wench’s Headlines
Personal: This one was hard to narrow down to just one goal. I have a plethora of personal goals, but the assignment requires something newsworthy. This goal might shock some of you, but go big or go home, right?
“Routson becomes 1st Certified Cicerone and Certified Sommelier in beverage History”
Family: This one is pretty hard for me (actually, the hardest of the four). Jokingly, I would love to say “Anthony Bourdain Weds the Beer Wench” — but, let’s not kid ourselves. Anyways, this one is pretty selfish. Essentially, I’m asking my parents to develop an alliance with me in my career path….
“Parents forgo Retirement and Join forces with Craft Beer Industry Daughter”
Community: Another though category. What community do I focus on? My craft beer culture? My local community? My peers? My Twitter community? All of the above?
“Through Education and Advocacy, Social Media Maven Ashley Routson is Changing the Landscape of the Artisan Beverage Culture”
Business: This I had to think about really hard. In my world, business and personal goals overlap. Most of business goals are also personal goals. Here are two goals that I’ve thought seriously about in recent days (both are very lofty, so beware):
“Craft Brewers Conference Announces Routson as Key Note Speaker”
“Routson Named New President of The Brewers Association”
Well, what are you waiting for? Get your creative juices going! Complete the assignment and either post your answers on your website/blog/facebook and link back to me… or simply leave your responses in my comment section! Good luck!!!