Not Elite but Still So Sweet
The first part of the next sentence you read is a not true:
I just got an article published in the Journal of Marketing, one of the elite academic journals in my field.
The second part of that sentence is absolutely true. Take my word for it, I’m a marketing professor.
Quite frankly, it would be amazing if I ever got published in JM, especially since I’ve never even sent them anything to publish. Just an occasional subscription payment.
Also because I made the professional decision years ago that, as much as I enjoy the research that I do, I can build a very rewarding career even if it’s not… what’s the word I used… “elite.”
Why am I telling you this?
Well, the JM article that caused me to write the half-truth in the second sentence, the one that was published recently, was on a topic that I did write about, not so very long ago.
By the way, I’m on not going to mention the name of my article or the other article because I don’t want it to sound like I’m complaining.
Like I said, I did publish an article on this topic. A colleague and I brainstormed, developed a research idea, turned it into a project, and that led to two journal articles and three conference presentations. For us, that’s a pretty good outcome.
But it’s not “elite.”
Could it have been elite? I don’t’ know.
When we put our ideas together about six years ago, there weren’t a lot of articles like ours to refer too. Am I slyly trying to suggest that my coauthor and I were just too brilliant, too far ahead of our time for even the most elite journals to understand our vision?
Sure, why not?
Okay, my second lie of the day. That was just an excuse.
Part of being brilliant, a visionary, a leader, is the ability to not only have wonderful and inspirational ideas, but the talent to communicate those ideas to others, to sell them so that others can share your vision and help you reach goals that you have in common.
At least as far as that research idea goes, I didn’t do that.
Part of my decision to be okay with not being elite stems back to my academic training. There are programs where if you aren’t publishing in the elite journals like JM, well, don’t bother.
Just don’t bother.
It might look good at your next job, but not here.
I saw people for whom that was a perfect arrangement, transcendent research artists… and people who collapsed under that pressure.
That wasn’t for me.
But now, the good news. Somebody published an “elite” take on the idea that my partner and I have worked on.
This isn’t one of those “the second mouse gets the cheese” scenarios. The folks who published in JM, they got the cheese. Well-earned cheese.
More importantly, their publication gives credibility to the idea that we share. That shows that maybe we are on to something worth exploring. A door is open.
In fact, I want to encourage you to decide. Do you want the big sale, the desirable promotion, the sweet job that you don’t currently have?
Then my friend, you have to determine that you’re not satisfied any other way.
Then put in the time and the effort and the background research and the networking to make it happen. To use just the punchline to an old joke, “Would you at least buy a ticket?”
(Let me know if you want the set-up to that punchline, too… long version or short version.)
I’m happy where I am. I’m even happier knowing that a door is open for me when I’m ready to push myself harder.
I hope you’re happy. If you can be happier, find an open door or put in the work to blast it open yourself.