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Austin, TX
United States

The branding studio of Brian Thompson. Freelance copywriter and creative director.

I write in hope that my thoughts become clear.

BrandWriter is the studio of Brian Thompson. Freelance Copywriter and Creative Director.

Filtering by Tag: birthday

Feeling lucky

Brian Thompson

At the craps table, I like to bet “eight the hard way” when it is the point. If you roll 4-4, you win big.
I share my goals on my birthday every year. Here they are for year 44. 
So blow on the dice, I need a hot streak. 

1. Make my wife my first priority.

We’re both so overwhelmed with making all the moving pieces of our lives work that we’re not doing the work it takes to enjoy a happy marriage.

I want to say something nice to her every day. And I need to mind my tone and words when I’m stressed.

I can’t be the perfect husband every day. But I can be the man that Brooke deserves.

2. Give my girls the structure and freedom to thrive.

I joke that I’m surrounded by three independent women. It’s frustrating. Really frustrating.

But everything in the media makes me realize that raising strong girls is the most important thing I can accomplish in this world.

“You’re not the boss of me” is a common refrain in our house. And they’re right. The less I push, the better we all do. The less I yell, the happier we all are.

Brooke and I need to work together to give them the rules and responsibility they need – and also the time and flexibility to do it their way.

3. Never get a real job again

I feel like the universe has forced me to make the decision I wanted to make anyway. (You can read what happened to my last job in the recap of last year’s goals.)

For the past few months, I’ve been building my laser engraving business and freelancing to bridge the gap.

My goal is have several revenue streams running out of the BrandWriter studio (aka my garage). I’m starting my next big project next month.

4. Read books instead of tweets

I miss reading the way I did in high school and college – deeply, randomly and constantly. I need fiction and I want to dive into researching one single topic until I exhaust every thread.

5. Run to Evan’s school and back

Walking her to school has been the highlight of my day. But then we took her training wheels off and I became a huffing, puffing mess.

So far this school year, I’m getting better. Now I can keep up with her about two/thirds of the way before I start falling a half block behind.

But I want to be able to run the whole way… at least before Ayla starts kindergarten there next year.

Stretch goal

Touch my toes. (See what I did there?)

On my birthday, I publicly share my goals for the coming year. Looking over the five years I’ve been doing this, I discovered that they always cover four categories: marriage, fatherhood, work and health. Never stop learning.   


43 threw me some curve balls

Brian Thompson

I set six goals for my 43rd year. Despite striking out on most of them, I still feel like I’m winning. (OK, I never was good at sports.)

1. Make my wife feel special every day. 

We are not where we want to be in our marriage. And more days than not lately it feels like we’re moving in the wrong direction.

Brooke tells her clients that everyone has a cup. Some cups are big and some are small. But each cup only holds so much. The trick is to get a saucer that catches any thing that spills out. I love that metaphor.

I'm supposed to be her saucer.

But our cups are overflowing and both our saucers are full. Heck, we’ve been spilling coffee all over ourselves.

2. Don't lose my cool with the girls. 

I’ve stopped being the Dad who snapped at them, got angry and yelled. We have a phrase, “practice your patience” and I’m still working on it.

My girls are growing up and keep getting more intelligent, helpful, strong-willed and fun. I’m pretty sure that’s happening despite most of my parenting instead of because of it.

3. Keep a good exercise and sleep routine. 

I have a vague recollection of working at this earlier in the year. But now my gut feels bigger than it has ever been and I’m back to working into the wee hours several nights a week.

4. Rock my new job.

The transition from my career in ad agencies to a corporate role was even harder than I expected.

Building bridges with other departments took more time and attention off mentoring my own team than I wanted. And having to lay off the team leaders they looked up to made it even tougher to earn their respect. But I hope I helped make them even better at their jobs. I’m proud of their work. And I love the rebranding campaign we launched. But then a week later, I got laid off myself.

5. Become a serial entrepreneur. 

My laser engraving business is growing. But I shelved again. My next project is mapped out.

6. Help make #CMsummit16 awesome. 

In less than seven days, over 200 CreativeMornings organizers from around the globe will meet in Austin to learn and celebrate together.

It is going to be amazing. But I don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep until it’s over.

I've been sharing my goals on my birthday since I turned 39. You can look back at how little I've accomplished and how much I've done since then here.  

All the right pieces but no box

Brian Thompson

Each year on my birthday, I write my goals for the coming year. 43 will be a jigsaw puzzle. Everything has to come together to make the big picture beautiful. 

1. Make my wife feel special every day. 

Well, at the very least appreciated. We're great partners. But I'm not always a good husband. Doing the dishes or getting the girls dressed doesn't mean much if I snap at her or forget to ask about her day. So I'm going to put our relationship first. I'm going to be patient. Listen. And scratch her back before she asks.  

2. Don't lose my cool with the girls. 

I don't want them to remember the scary Dad who yells and storms off. They love the silly Dad who wears tiaras and gets dirty doing art projects. The Dad who listens and helps. Be that Dad all the time. 

3. Keep a good exercise and sleep routine. 

I stay up way too late one night and fall asleep in the middle of a bedtime story the next. When I do finally get in bed, I only roll over to sleep after my phone smacks me in the face. 
So I'm going to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up 20 minutes early to exercise. (And no more endlessly scrolling through my social streams in bed.)

4. Rock my new job.

I wanted more responsibility. So after 15 years of working for advertising agencies, I made the leap to the client side. Going into the holidays, I need to hire a new agency, restructure my team and rebrand the company. Be careful what you wish for. 

5. Become a serial entrepreneur. 

I need to hire someone to help grow And I've asked some friends to help me launch - and whatever project we dream up next.

6. Help make #CMsummit16 awesome. 

Outside of my family, CreativeMornings/Austin is the most fulfilling thing I've ever been a part of. We just won the pitch to host the second summit for organizers from over 130 chapters around the world. Part conference. Part workshops. All party.
The first summit in Brooklyn last year changed my outlook on what is possible to accomplish in life. We have until next Fall to figure out how we're going to top it. 

I've been sharing my birthday goals since I turned 39. You can review how I've grown here