They said “No.”
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(As a visual person I’m sad to say that I have no photography relevant to this post, but here’s a flower to brighten your day.)
Almost 8 months ago I started this blog. For me it began as a creative outlet – mainly for photography. That’s why I blog, but that’s not what got me started. Something happened to tip me over the edge, to move me forward in starting the blog. Something triggered me to get going.
Something very simple.
Our children were getting older, more independent. I could see how, very soon, I would have more and more independence of my own too. And while it would be nice to think I could just waltz back into my old career, who’s going to hire a former art director that’s been a full-time stay at home mom for the past 11 years?
As a prior creative in advertising, I’m constantly thinking of tag lines, headlines, slogans, funny quips, jingles and visual puns. I secretly rate commercials. It’s what I do. Ideas for Saturday Night Live skits flow through my mind – like it’s my job or something.
And, believe me, I know I’m not alone. Creative people are everywhere. Everywhere.
So one day, about this time last year, when I had an idea for a Chick-fil-A cow commercial, it shouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary. But it was a good idea.
So obvious and grand that I decided to contact one of Chick-fil-A’s ad agencies of record in Texas via email to share the concept.
Genius. The sheer brilliance.
That’s sarcasm people. I don’t make a habit of tooting my horn and haven’t contacted an agency for a job since quitting years ago, much less to tell them I’m a creative marvel. So what was I thinking? I was a stay at home mom. The last time I had been in a brainstorming session (with associates much more creative than me) was during the first trimester of my now 11 year old. I could barely admit to others in public that I liked to take pictures and now I’m contacting an ad agency to tell them I’m the bomb with a good idea?
All I can say is that when you hit 40 things change. A new kind of confidence (or carelessness) emerges.
I looked for the actual email exchange. I must’ve deleted it, but as I recall it went something like this…
Dear Oh Mighty Creative Ad Agency,
You don’t know me but I rock. I eat Chick-fil-A all the time and had a burst of creative inspiration whilst eating one of their tasty sandwiches last week. As a former art director I’m not just any Chick-fil-A eating numbskull who thinks they have a good idea. I actually have a good idea. An idea for a commercial with the cows.
Please contact me so I can share my great mind with you.
The marvelous mind of Amy
And their response…
Oh dear, Amy,
Thank you but we’re disinclined to acquiesce to your request.
(Yes, again sarcasm. I’m full of it.)
Of course I’m aware of all the advertising standards, policies, contracts, etc, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received a no. I understood and fully expected it. I’m sure they get crazies contacting them all the time.
But, still it was a good idea and I was frustrated. Angry even.
I began to stew about it. It churned my insides. Funny how it took someone saying “no, we don’t even want to hear what you think” to get me going. A conversation with myself ensued and continued over the course of weeks ’til I was convinced that they could suck it and I should open my own agency.
(For the record, I would never tell anyone to suck it. That’s just not very nice at all.)
Anyway, out of my frustration grew the desire to push past any barricade for my creativeness and do my own thing. Hence the blog, She Wears Many Hats, was born.
So thank you sweet lady from the ad agency in Texas who wouldn’t even listen to my idea.
Thanks. I now have a blog.
And not only do I have a creative outlet, but I’ve learned to spread my wings.
And yeah, my little ol’ blog is one of several hundreds of thousands, but it’s mine. Mine.
And it’s been fun – it’s made me look at every day with a different set of eyes.
And it’s made me push myself out of my comfort zone many times. It’s given me more confidence.
And while I’ll never call myself a writer (writers have editors, proofreaders, writers know how to always use perfect subject verb agreement), it’s given me a voice.
And most of all, very most of all, the one thing I never expected, is that it’s given me new friends, from everywhere. So many super, wonderful people I would’ve never met otherwise.
So thank you again advertising chick in Texas. I now have a blog, partly thanks to you.
(And I still have a great idea for a Chick-fil-A ad, so ha!)
So, tell me, what in your life has pushed you out of your comfort zone?
Or are you still stuck and need a little nudge?
I recently stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading it! I have a career, but one that needs to evolve in order to be there in the long run. So my “comfort zone” is fast approaching the end. The steps I need to take to make the changes I need are scary to me because you’re right, as women we are afraid of embarassment, rejection, etc. I also have a desire to be more creative. So I feel that I am at a “crossroads” of sorts. Now, if I could just get my bottom in gear to make the changes I need to make! I recently created a blog as starting point for the creative part of me who wants to pursue being, well, creative! I hope it will be an outlet to help me in my journey!
Wonderful post! I attempted a return to teaching afer being home for four years with my kids. I was searching for something and thought work would fulfill me.
Thankfully they (read: GOD) Said No.
I am still a SAHM, but I have managed to redirect my energies to writing and photography, every now and then, and most of all my family. I am feeling very complete, except for the certitude that I am not done birthing babies, and can’t get my darling husband on the same page. (Can we say biological clock?)
Anyhoo.. Chick-Fil-A: Suck It. I’m sure I would’ve hee-hawed over your commercial.
Hah, hah ha… Ho ho ho… Reading you write ‘suck it’ made me giggle. I don’t know why. I guess it’s because I would never say it either — but I definitely think it sometimes!
You know, I went out of my comfort zone once… My hubby and I moved to Colorado with no jobs and no prospects, and we lived there for six years and I will always remember it fondly. We had some good little adventures there. However, now I feel like I’m kind of stuck again! But we’ve had some big changes in the past few years, so I’m a bit content to be ‘stuck’ for awhile. I need to regain my bearings.
HOWEVER, it is always good to read about ladies like you, continuing to challenge themselves. It gives me lots of inspiration for when I’m ready to get ‘unstuck’ again! 😉
When you figure out how one gets an idea in to the powers that be at Chick-fil-a give us a call. They are sooo missing out…a commercial idea from you and a calendar idea from Adam!
This post is inspirational! I’m starting to noodle on what’s next for me once this season of home-educating closes. I’m trying to enjoy and live fully in these rapidly fleeting moments while planning for the future…praying for Divine direction!!
Starting a blog has ROCKED MY WORLD!
And that happened after 40 for me, too.
Meeting you was one of the greatest gifts. 🙂 Thanks for this post!
Just wanted to let you know I passed on the ‘Beautiful Blogger’ award to you over at my site. Click my name to go see!
Glad I hopped my way here tongight (from PW)! And I hear you! Blogging has been such a fantastic experience this last year. Connecting with so many different people from all over is not only fun, but inspirational as well. Coming here tonight, to a new blog to me, has given me a chuckle (great sarcasm!), introduced another fun blog & blogging mama, and taken me to one more spot on the globe.
So…what’s pushed me out of my comfort zone?? Hubby and I visit art galleries every year on our anniversary. And every year, I want to paint. Without logic or reason, I was drawn to it. Creativity wasn’t something that scares me, so I didn’t know what was holding me back from trying. Interestingly enough, after blogging for 3 1/2 months, I suddenly couldn’t tell myself ‘no’ anymore. I even already had everything I needed to try….had the supplies for years. So, out came a canvas, paints, and brushes and I went for it. Painting still scares me, but I’m amazed at how natural it feels and everytime I put a brush in my hand, I feel like I’m stepping out of my everyday life and entering another world, another me!
Thanks for a great post and again, I’m happy to have stopped by! :>
LOL…… I have one for Kraft Mac and cheese! LOL……They don’t know about it because I didn’t write to them and tell them but I’m sure if I had I would have received the same response as you did. But it’s still really good and I guess it will have to be saved for me to perform to my friends and family. LOL
Love your blog and happy to have met you because of blogging! You rock girlfriend and I’m sure your commercial idea would make me want to eat at chick-fil-a.
PS…… Let’s get together for a chicken sandwhich and some mac-n-cheese sometime. =)
Just found your blog. I enjoyed reading this post. I’m just trying to get unstuck and step out of the safety zone. I think I live in a black hole. I really didn’t know so many blogs existed until I stumbled on a few after the Haiti earthquake. One blog led me to another and the chain kept going. I’ve been drawn in. I’m working on a blog. Not quite brave enough yet to put it out there for the world but I’m working on it. I think I’m almost there. Thanks for your post today!
Love this post. I love how social media makes it so easy to use your voice.
I’m on the edge of my comfort zone, dabbling my toe in the great unknown, waiting for someone to push me off the edge so I can fly!
Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!
Amy~ You crack me up!!! We are all in the same boat…so many times a day, Kristin and I call each other with the next “big idea”. We are genius we say over and over…ha, ha, ha! Nobody knows it just yet. And, yes our blog was hatched over wanting to create an outlet for creativity! We’ve mastered laundry and stain removal over the years and it was time to move on! 🙂 We’ve got an great idea for a big huge brand…who we know…wants us..(LOL)..reality..we’ll see….but the joy is in the journey right? We had a lot of laughs and made a lot of friends and created are own world..part fiction part reality….all real….whoa!!…does that make us sound crazy! Anyway…so glad to have met and sat next to you at Blissdom….turns out brilliance attracts brilliance!! Have a great day. Chicka Flicka needs to call…..have you tried twittering them? Don’t give up!! Stay crazy!! (Then we won’t be the only ones!) Chris Ann
This is so much like me…I have been through so many health issues and cancer with my husband after quitting my big, fancy job in Boston and moving to Hotlanta. It was liked the World caved in! Blogging has almost brought me back to life.
There are so many brilliant and witty women who are blogging. I feel like I may have finally found my place after struggling for 8 or 9 years after moving and getting married. Oh…that could be another blog! 😉
By the way, I think you are close by (sort of). We go to Highlands a good bit. Maybe we will meet up at some point. Thanks for your honesty and humor!
Oh Amy…you are fabulous. First off, I’m dying to know where you were once a creative. As someone who works in (the non-creative side of) advertising, I feel your pain. Not having any form of creative outlet at work, I, too, started a blog. Alas, mine pales in comparison to the incredible work you have here.
But…just reading your “why you got into blogging” page, has made my day and…has made me a reader for life. Keep up the incredible recipes…the beautiful pictures…and the neverending creativity.
OH MY GOODNESS, is all I can say! As I pick myself up off of the floor!…
I just left an entry for your darling bird nest contest and now I read THIS!
I just started MY own blog for similar reasons two weeks ago. Although, I made handmade greeting cards… have a 12 & 9 year old.. and didn’t have a fun idea for a commercial (see how similar?) 🙂 – I too was CRAVING a creative outlet and desiring to find something, ANYTHING to satiate my constant desire to entertain, cook, bake, decorate, or submerge myself in countless DIY projets!
In 2 short weeks, blogging has already fed my soul in ways that I cannot explain, except to say that it has completed me in some strange, surreal way. And knowing that I am in the company of bloggers like you gives me the reassurance that I am indeed on the right track! I thank you and look forward to reading more!
LOVE this post Amy! Thanks for sharing your story of how you got started.
Just over a year ago, I was in a “challenging” mindset. I was honestly looking for that get rich quick solution (really all I wanted was a get money to pay my bills solution), to put a bandaid over our finances from my unsuccessful job hunt for 4 months.
I told my bestie that I was thinking about writing a book. I informed her that I had lots of material stuffed into file folders with notes and ideas to develop content. My bestie Laura suggested I start a blog, to get my creative writing juices flowing.
I questioned what a blog was and she probably for at least the 3rd time suggested I go to The Pioneer Woman’s website (one of my idols) and for the first time, I did and finally got it. Have an amazing day!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and especially why you started blogging. You are an inspiration! Count me as a fan.
I really enjoy your writing and I can see I am definitely not the only one who does! I cannot believe they didn’t even contact you about your ad. As if they have all the ideas they can hold! HA! I bet that chic was tapping her pencil on her desk all day hoping to have a decent idea to save her job…
I’m glad you started blogging. Srsly.
I bet it’s weird at times to be getting more of that independance. I almost wish my daughter was younger so I could have her longer. 🙂 But alas reality sets in and she is growing.
I used to be pushed out of my comfort zone on a daily basis when I worked in the coffee industry. Shy by nature, it was sheer adrenaline that pushed me to initiate conversation with complete strangers that truly seemed disinterested in anything I had to say! But I learned how to talk to people and how to read the signs that people give and I eventually came out of my shell. (Although the first time I fired someone that sure was a rush! LOL!)
My most recent job ended when my former boss and former friend turned my work into a bikini barista joint. Dislike.
I’ve never actually told anyone to suck it either although I have come very close. You’re right it’s not nice but it is fitting at times. Very fitting. The last time I felt the urge I only refrained because the impolite subject of my aggravation was trying to get a rise out of me. I disappointed them to say the least…but they can still suck it! :p
I have just recently started a blog, much like you as a creative outlet. I have been a stay at home mom for 10 years now and I have to say, moms are some of the most resourceful people on earth. Ingenuity comes natural because we have to take life as it comes, figuring it out along the way because babies and kids don’t come with instruction manuals! I also find mom’s to be some of the most driven set of adults, we get up everyday to the same cooking, cleaning, organizing, errand running, etc. as we did the day before, with no more incentive than the first day, and we do it all over again. Day in and day out without a supervisor of any sort. Unless you count my baby, she is the boss around here! I think that any company would be lucky to have you, that girl denied your request because she didn’t want to be outsmarted. 😉 Enjoy your day!
Hello! I just found your blog on Twitter and really like the variety of topics and great photos. I especially enjoyed the post about Belize (I went snorkeling off Ambergris Caye a few years ago). Love the response from Chick-fil-A; one of my favorite lines from Pirates of the Caribbean. I look forward to reading your blog!