The Yes Man

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Brad Houldsworth is a multi-channel marketing professional currently working at the full-service digital agency are a custom SAS agency that creates, develops and markets bespoke software for clients nationwide.

Biggest fuck up?

I realised how much of a “yes man” I was. By nature, I am a pleaser, and so my natural reaction to most situations or life events is to try and please – however, it took me a long time to realise that this wasn’t doing me any favours.

This habit was born out of mainly being worried about losing something – whether it be a client, a team member or someone’s respect. But by being a “yes man”, I realised I was actually coming across as untrustworthy and fake because of the inevitable fact that work or time wasn’t actually able to be given.

This mistake was rubbing off on everyone around me, both at work and at home.

I found it hard to say no and always avoided rocking the boat, yet this was holding me back personally and professionally. So I started to work on:

  • Asking for what I want and being more upfront
  • Stopped apologising all the time
  • Stopped trying to manage and instead began leading
  • Having more time to myself (buying a £1k mountain bike & new PS4 helped!)

In retrospect, I should have just watched “Yes Man”…

I also learnt something else about myself in 2016 – I thought that working hard meant working a lot, but soon found out that I am just crap at prioritising, and I find it hard to multitask. But to be honest, these were quite easy to fix.

A lightbulb moment

The phrase “good marketing takes your message from the eyes to the brain, great marketing takes it to the heart” has stuck with me for a long time and continues to influence most suggestions that I or my team make. Using this theory ensured all client campaigns were as emotive and engaging as possible.

A recent lightbulb moment was realising we were overcomplicating a strategy and not actually answering a popular search query with the data we already had. Far faster wins were made by 3 hours of collaborative teamwork.

Useful advice

Trello & Toggl are a winning solution for project/task & time management. Use Toggl like a diary and push clients to use Trello to streamline processes and workflows.


  1. I can related this article to myself. Great advice from Bradlie, we need this platform to share the lessons we have learned in the past has helped us the most in our career. #NOWankyBollocks


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