Life Lessons from Advertising Tycoon, Jordan Zimmerman

By Patricia Arribas Pablos, Director at PRLab


Lauren Oubre, PRLab President of Client Services (left), Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising (center) and Sebastian Kogler, PRLab President of Operations (left)

Last Thursday, September 28, Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising, and his family, inaugurated the Zimmerman Family Social Activation Center at Boston University’s College of Communication. At the inauguration, Zimmerman delivered a thought-provoking speech about his career, the public relations and advertising industries, and valuable advice for the future.

Here are four of the inspiring life lessons that have driven his success:

Brand-telling philosophy: output vs. outcome

“Build a brand over time, but build yourselves overnight.”

Always remember that when working with a client, their success is your success. Everything you do for them must be monetized, focusing on the outcome rather than the output. It’s not about what you create for them, but about the effect your creations have on their business. How are you going to provide business solutions that will hit and exceed their goals and objectives?

Thinking outside the box

“If you ever saw the Apple video The Crazy Ones, you can choose to be you and be normal, or you can choose to be different and have amazing success in life.”

You will not succeed by doing what everyone else is doing. Instead, you have to think different and break the rules, while innovating and differentiating yourself along the way. Know where the world is going, and find a way to get there faster than everyone else.

Hard work, perseverance, and never quitting

“If you persevere, you will succeed. If you allow others to knock you down and knock you out, then that’s your fault.”

According to Zimmerman, you don’t have to be the smartest, but you have to work the hardest. You have to embrace and overcome challenges instead of running away from them. To succeed, you must find your fuel. What was Zimmerman’s challenge? The fear of failure. He didn’t have wealthy parents or anything to fall back on: for him, failing was not an option.

Making sacrifices

“Understand who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go.”

You must be there for your clients “24/7 (seriously),” because if you are not available, they will find someone else to go to. This is the kind of sacrifice you have to make now, while you are still young, to succeed short-term and long-term. Dare to dream big, and if you concentrate hard on it and live it every day, you will succeed. Ask yourself: if you continue down the path you are going, where will you end up?