How Long Does It Take for The Penny to Drop?


How Long Does it Take for the Penny To Drop in the New Normal?

There is a good chance you are reading this, when upon publishing, that I will be in Buenos Aires.  Hopefully having a Café Con Leche or a glass of Malbec sitting at Café Biala looking at the Recoleta Cemetery where Evita is buried. Maybe people watching as the people go by.

It took me a little while to get here.  In November 2008 I spoke to the Cleveland Ad Club.  It was not the best of times.  Lehman Brothers had gone down and jobs were disappearing rapidly.  Worry and fear prevailed.

I met somebody prior to being introduced and we exchanged cards.  The card said offices in Cleveland and Buenos Aires.  It kind of stopped me for a bit and a smile came to my face.  I felt the pleasure of Buenos Aires.  I had just recently returned and was wearing a jacket that I had purchased in San Telmo. I had watched the world melt in Spanish in Buenos Aires.

He told me that they had twenty developers in Buenos Aires working on a number of clients.

I had been working with a creative resource in Argentina for a few years already.  An Argentinian of Italian decent as many are.  We crossed paths in OC where he had worked for a while but had never met.   We meet in person in Buenos Aires in 2004.  He was in his mid-twenties.  We had a three hour lunch.

I returned home from Cleveland and followed up with my new contact. We didn’t talk much afterwards but then again there weren’t too many good things to talk about in those years. But they were listening.

In May 2010 I attended a Conference sponsored by Harvard and USC.  It was not the best of times.  The Keynote speaker was Tony Hsieh the CEO of Zappos.  He had some simple advice.  Don’t chase the money.  Follow your vision and the money will come he said.  My first impression was that it was an easy thing for a CEO to say but the thought came home with me. I told the pile of bills that greeted me on my foyer table not to chase the money.

I started to blog more and my content spread slowly.  Maybe somebody in Cleveland read it.

Fast forward to today and I heard from some folks at the company that gave me the card with offices in Cleveland and Buenos Aires.  They called and said we now have 50 developers down there and only work with U.S. agencies and clients.  We remembered you and wanted to see if you could consult with us. We want you to meet with our folks in Buenos Aires. The penny dropped.  The vision realized.

In the New Normal we all want immediate gratification.  Some of that is based on desperation. Who isn’t desperate when they are in transition? Everyone wants to return to the patterns and rhythms of work. Some of that was created by the way technology had become portable and immediate. Some of that expectation was created by advertising agencies that I worked at convincing people that we can have it all.

We live in a world where people want jobs quickly and companies hire people slowly even when they need them.  Too busy to screen candidates and interview them because there is too much work to do.

Many agencies want New Business people to be Svengalis and Magicians providing instant success when client budget approvals move like glaciers.

So how long will it take for your penny to drop in the New Normal?  Mine took over five years.  When I sit in a café in Buenos Aires it doesn’t seem like a very long time.  Ciao Ciao.

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Read: Networking in Buenos Aires

Watch: Why Companies Need To Change Their Hiring Lens


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