Twenty years ago I sleepwalked into a Masters degree in Marketing because I’d failed a bunch of other courses and it seemed like something I could blag my way through.
At some time in the first few months, someone gave me a copy of No Logo by Naomi Klein. It set me off. I’ve still got a box in the shed somewhere full of faded, yellowing assignments covered with scrawled comments from confused professors wondering why I kept swerving off into extended critiques of the lack of ethics in the Marketing profession they were preparing me to be a part of.
I bailed on marketing when I left University and sleepwalked into a career in corporate consulting. Sold my time and energy to a procession of companies where the share price is on your login screen when you arrive at work in the morning and then on the screensaver when you come back from lunch. A few years into a stint working for a global oil company eventually broke me, almost ended me. But at least it woke me up.
I’ve spent the years since putting myself back together. I’m halfway through my life now and feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. After so many years treading water, drifting with the tide, I can finally touch the bottom and get some control over where I’m heading.
Throughout those years I’ve been writing, at times a lot. Ten years ago I was working on a book that was supposed to be a grand unveiling of the unethical marketing techniques I’d been taught, but slowly revealed itself to be an exploration of why we all keep falling for them.
I had to bail on the book too. A child and the need to provide snuck in as I was finishing the first draft. In the years since I’ve tried half a dozen ways to try and finish it off around being a Dad and a business owner. With Dark Green Auckland, I plan to dust it off and get the sucker done. Piece by piece.