When i started my career in advertising, trying to grow what was initially a small agency called Profero (now a big agency called LoweProfero), I think that one of the reasons we were successful is that we recognised that we were young and inexperienced. So we surrounded ourselves with some very experienced and brilliant people (we were very lucky – our non execs/advisors included Christine Walker, Amanda Walsh, Patrick Collister, Jonathan Kestenbaum and Lord Puttnam ) who provided us invaluable advice throughout our growth – our job was to work out which advice to take and which advice to ignore. Advice has helped shape my career and continues to do so (see this great piece by Marc Lewis about how to pick your mentor).

Therefore when David Pugh Jones asked Jim Haynes, the founder of Supper Clubs, “What’s the best piece of Advice you have ever been given?” I was interested before he answered. However it when he told us “if you do something for someone, forget it immediately. If someone does something for you, remember it always” that I realised how powerful this question could be. It ended up inspiring a book which is available as an absolutely beautiful ebook in which we collaborated with Bernstein & Andrulli to illustrate some of the best advice received by our Socials. Here are some of my favourites:

Anyway we continue to build on the question and it was honour to host a panel at Shoreditch House last month which consisted of Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Creative Content Director of NOWNESS, Georgia Barretta, UK Design Director at Geometry Global, Laura Jordan-Bambach, Creative Partner at Mr President and Nick Blunden, Global Managing Director at The Economist who captivated with the best piece of advice they have ever been given:

Best Piece of Advice Ever from CreativeSocial

They talked to us about how advice has really helped shaped their own careers and how advice from family to the famous and helped them to strive to be better. The theme that most came across from me was that idea of relentless curiosity and openness to new ideas that really defines what I think makes a great creative and business leader.

However what I also love about the question, is that the advice itself without any context can just be inspiring. This is what Jake who was in the audience gave us:

So it’s a question we ask a lot and below I have included all the best pieces of advice we got from our Socials at last month’s CS Fresh in London. Perhaps my favourite is this one from Emma Perkins, ECD at Lowe Open:

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Have a think and work out what impact it has had on your life. And if it has made a real difference, be sure to go and thank that person who gave it to you in the first place. They probably don’t know what a difference it has made.

CS Fresh

Learn to love your clients, sympathise with them because they will learn to trust you and that’s when you really create amazing work – to Laura Richardson, Head of Marketing & Partnership, The Dots

“Don’t ever think that what you’re doing is nuts as we live in a nuts world”. – to Sam Summerskill, London Director at Bernstein & Andrulli

“Do one thing everyday that drives you forward” Alwyn Welch, CEO Cap Gemini to Paul Cackett, Founder & CEO, Playth1ng

“Spend as Much time outside your comfort Zone as Possible” Mrs Homman to Ben Golik, ECD, Digitas Lbi

I was about to put up a piece of work that I was proud of on the wall when my former CS, Jesper Kouthoofd said “Don’t ever do that! Don’t look back! Put something that inspires you on the wall instead!”. Fredrik Josefsson, Art Director & Partner, Akestamholst

“You’re only as good as your last piece of work” Ajaz Ahmed to Rikki Khana, Managing Partner, Khana & Reidinga

“You can always try again” to Stefan Pettersson Noord, Digital Director, The Innovation Chapel

“ Just by yourself. But not too much” to Tim Polder, Strategy & Innovation, Cheil UK by his mum (and Daniele Fiandaca)

Fern Miller, Chief Strategy and Insight Officer, Digitas LBi – “Most people aren’t paying attention” by her dad AND “The more you do, the more you do”

“Always Listen to your inner kid” told to Sam De Volder, ECD at These Days Y&R, by his grandfather

“Remember… not everyone is the world is going to like you” told to Jason Fulton, Director, This Memento, by his mum when he left home at 19

“Go Home, you’re drunk” told to Hesling Reidinga, Creative Partner, Khana & Reidinga

“Fuck it, ship it” John Borthwick to Dom Buthcello, Lead Designer, Betaworks

“Be Curious” to Sille Opstrup, Head of Digital, Pernod Ricard, UK AND Marcelo Raimondi, Head of Digital & Creative Director, F&Q Brasil

“Feeling Scared is the best bit” to Helen Fuchs, Creative Director Digitas LBi by her first CD

“The only person you have to listen to is yourself” to Christopher Lee Ball, Executive Customer Experience Director, by his mum

“Never ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no” to Jason Apaliski, Creative, Pereira O’Dell by his first boss D Nachnawi

“Create the chicken to your own egg. And Vice Versa” to Vincent Van de Wetering, Creative Director, Media Monks

“Trust on your instinct” to Jop Quirindongo, Partner, Dog and Pony

“Make Things” said by Peter Souter to Jonas Lembke, Creative Director, Innovation Chapel

“Be humble about your talents: inspire others to find theirs” said to Bart Heideman, Design Director & Owner, Dog and Pony by his former boss at the local bar

“Just do It”. Francesca Briginshaw, Business Development at Pitch & Synch by (Nike) and her dad

“Go to a therapist” to Nilla Juvas, Senior Art Director, Britny

“Pain is temporary, suck is forever” to Dinesh Sonak, Managing Direcor, ADCN by Michael Johnson from Pixar


“Do not fear mistakes – there are none” Dinesh Sonak from Miles Davis and his dad [Donak’s dad not Mile’s]

“If it looks right, it is right” from Robert Egger of Specialized bikes to Justin Day, Co-founder and Creative Director, McFaul+Day


“Go for it, life’s too short” from his dad

“Be stubborn about your goals but flexible in your methods” to John McFaul, Director and Co-founder, McFaul+Day

“Make you wildest dreams happen” to Alex Lavery, Director, Pitch & Sync by his grandmother Ryland

“Don’t wait to be asked to get involved” Simon White, Founder, Formation London to himself!


“When you spot a chance to impress, take it” to Simon White from a man who had the strange name of ANON

“The best way to give your creative ambitions a chance, is to keep your company as small as you can” to Bas Welling, Executive Producer & Co-founder, WeFilm

“Never listen to good advice. If it feels right, it is right” to Johan Verkruyssen, Head of Strategy, Britny

“The finest quality in any field of achievement is obstinacy. It doesn’t matter how talent, or smart or handsome you are. Ultimately it only matters how stubborn you can be” to Henry Cowling, Creative Director, Unit9

“Don’t worry about what anyone thinks of you” to Katie Dent, Events Manager, Creative Social” by her mum

“Anxiety is a signal that you are standing on the edge of the dizzying effect of freedom” by Kierkegaard to Matt Follows

“Anyone who says they can make or break your career is full of shit” by Nathan Cooper (@rubbishcorp) to Niels Straatsma, Creative, Achtung!

And if you want to check out our original ebook, you can find it here or you might even want to buy one of the stunning images in poster format from Jealous Galleries here including some of these:

Don’t suffer fools gladly” by Tristan Eaton

“If it was easy it would be easy” by Jeremyville

“Be yourself” by Ben Wachenje