As some of you may know, the Women's World Cup starts in less than a month, and as US Soccer did for the men's team last year, they released the "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." series for the women's team recently.

If you didn't know already, I am a huge soccer fan, especially when it comes to cheering on my country. So obviously, I watched all 23 stories the minute they were released, and I can't believe I'm going to say this [because it's basically blasphemy for me to talk bad about US Soccer] but I was kind of dissappointed. Not that they were bad... they just weren't all that exciting. It felt like most of the  players talked about having older brothers [or siblings in general] who made them really competitive growing up. That's cool and all, but after watching a dozen or so people talk about that, it was kind of boring and repetitive and they started running together in my brain. A few that stood out, though, were Sydney Leroux getting a terrible flaming soccerball tattoo when she was 14 after a bet with her mom, finding out Tobin Heath is basically a vagabond, Heather O'Reilly and teammates recreating her epic game face and Meghan Klingenberg doing a nunchuck routine to NSYNC in her elementary school talent show. Then yesterday, Deb sent me the outtakes and behind the scenes video. 

This one I really enjoyed, and if you read the comments on Youtube, I'm not the only one. The consensus seems to be that this one shows way more of the players' personalities and was a lot more fun. I got to see that Christen Press has two awesome dogs and one of them is named Khaleesi [can we be best friends now?]. So yeah, I know that the series is called "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." but when most of those stories are similar, I lose a little interest. So let's get more of the terrible tattoo and elementary school talent show-type stories. Way more fun.

And guess what! We at Old Hat, make these sorts of fun "Get to Know" videos that showcase student athletes. While these videos can be some of the more tedious projects I work on, going through and picking out the best bits to trim down to a quickly consumable video, they're also a lot of fun for me to do. I frequently find myself giggling when going through the footage of student athletes showing off their hidden talents, favorite karaoke songs or doing an impression of a coach or teammate. These questions allow your fans to see a lot more of their favorite player's personality than just asking about what their life was like growing up. I actually find myself cheering for these student althetes of rival universities when it comes to March Madness or whatever competition they're in because I feel like I've gotten to know them. So you know your fans will definitely want to come out and support a team they feel they know and not just because they wear your logo while balling out.

When I was in school we had classes that “taught” us how to brainstorm and come up with ideas. For some reason that firmly placed in my mind the idea that good ideas came to you like a bolt of lightning.  All of sudden you had this amazing idea, like a lightning bolt in the night.   

Turns out, my young mind could not be more inaccurate to what I experience now. 

Most of the time a good idea takes time.  It involves back and forth between people and getting through a lot of bad ideas.  It is definitely a process and it is a process that is almost always going on at Old Hat in one way or another.  

It is interesting to me that my mood can dictate the best way for me to come up with ideas at the time.  There are three ways I typically brainstorm.  Each produces results, but which prefer varies. 

  1. The normal method of getting a group together and discussing it.  This is probably my favorite and one that I think produces some of the best results.  I am very fortunate to be surrounded by so many creative and talented people.  Surrounding myself with those same people while brainstorming can be incredibly beneficial.  It allows me to borrow some of their genius and feed off of the creativity they bring to the table.  It produces results and can be fun. 
  2. Another method I use a lot is more isolated.  I will meet with the involved parties and get an idea for what they are looking to accomplish.  If there is copy that needs to be written or a template, I make sure to get that information.  Then I typically lock myself to my desk, put the head phones in, and start typing.  I type a lot of crap, but eventually I find my way to something that is worth sharing with others.  This method works great if you work alone and then take your findings to a group like above. 
  3. This is probably the most natural brainstorming for me and it is pretty much in complete isolation.  It is not something that I view as direct brainstorming, but it works.  In fact, this is probably more inspiration than it is brainstorming.  Sometimes ideas come that can be built upon and this results in brainstorming.  For me, I need to be completely relaxed and not thinking about a problem.  That is when good ideas tend to come.  Interestingly enough this never happens for me at a convenient time.  In the shower. Fishing. Hiking. Working in the garden.  On vacation.  It seems that I have better (or more useful) ideas the more relaxed I am.   

    All of these instances are places when good ideas come, but not a place where it is easy to record the notes.  My girlfriend hates when she sees me walk off talking to my phone when we are on vacation, but I have to record my thoughts.  Siri is a great help for this and while I may seem like a crazy person, I usually have her take my notes.  I have also been given some waterproof writing pads.  I can take these in the shower or out in the rain and write anything without worry about the water.  

Brainstorming can be hard.  Coming up with new ideas is hard.  However, I have found that the more I learn about myself the easier it becomes.  Finding that right balance of focus and relaxation is key for me.  


How do you brainstorm?

This past weekend I decided to brave the crazy Oklahoma weather and travel to Stillwater to see my sister graduate. (she is the one on the far right in that picture above). She is freaking out becuase she doesn't have a job yet and doesn't think she is ever going to get one, which is totally not true. 

(She is a fashion major so if you know of anything....let me know...)

Anyway, it got me thinking about all this advice I would have given myself when I graduated 5 years ago. So I am going to share that with you now, internet. 

•  It doesn't matter what you know, it matters who you know. Networking is the worst thing ever in the moment but the best thing in the long run. Every opportunity you have to network with someone in your desired job, do it. Knowing people is what gets you a job. Thats how I got my job at Old Hat. 

• Work your ass off. Work hard. Don't be lazy. Hard work will give you good references. Do the crap jobs and stuff outside your job description. In my internship right out of college, I helped out my other interns and it got noticed. Those boys didn't know how to use excel, so I did a lot of their work, and people picked up on it. Those references I had also helped me get my job here. 

• Be patient. I didn't have a job when I walked across the stage, and I didn't get one for a couple weeks after. Then after that job ended, I didn't have a job, but I was patient and it all worked out. 

• Budget. Don't assume your parents are always going to take care of you. You're an adult now! Pay for things. You have responsiblities, take care of them. 

• Carefully consider who you live with. Living with a stranger or a messy roommate can make your life awful. If you can afford to live alone, do it...and don't go back to living with a roommate. 

• Take risks. There isn't anyother time in your life (if you are single) that you won't have to consider someone else's life before you make big decisions like taking a job in a new state or city. Jump at the opportunity. You have the rest of your life to settle down, live a little, take those fun trips and enjoy it...but keep in mind that budget.

• You won't get your dream job right away. You have to start somewhere. Don't expect to be making six figures right out of college. Think about how many other people have come before you and worked harder for longer. They deserve the six figures. Your time will come. Don't be a brat. 

• Becareful about what you put online. Every potential employer is going to check on all your online stuff. So don't be posting stupid things. Use your brain and common sense. 

• Trust that it will all work out. There is a greater plan for you, and you willl figure it out. Everything is going to work out. 


Those are my thoughts. Shoutout to my wonderful family pictured above! They are the best. 

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