Don Hutcheson’s Career
in Words & Pictures
Every day of the week I interview someone on this planet on my podcast Discover Your Talent~Do What You Love®. Someone who has discovered her inborn talents and abilities and figured out how to use them doing work she loves. For herself and the good of all….
I think it only fair that my biography gives you a more in-depth look at my life. Just as I try to do with each person I interview. I hope you find some of the comments or insights about each leg of my journey helpful in yours.
Discover Your Talent~Do What You Love
- As it has turned out, my experiences as entrepreneur, inventor, writer and coach in advertising, publishing and career planning is the perfect foundation of skills, passion and talent to excel in the meteoric rise of podcasting worldwide.
- Add to that the disturbing statistic that 87% of people worldwide do NOT enjoy the work they do every day and this podcast channel truly is an idea whose time has come…. For me and for the people who listen to it around the world.
- Every day I interview someone who has discovered her true talents and figured out how to use them doing work she loves.
- The podcast series is designed for people of every age and background who are looking to build a life and career that uses the best of who they are and to enjoy a life of success, satisfaction and freedom.
- I hope you will subscribe to the podcast, get involved and let me know what you think via our website and social media sites.
Ah! Ha! Hutcheson + Associates
- Late 2009 I read the seminal book, Inbound Marketing by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
- Inbound Marketing is about connecting with qualified consumers online when they are “actively looking” for what you have to offer. It’s a fresh approach on how to integrate your Brand, Website, SEO, Content, Social Media, and PR. Original, engaging content is the key.
- With my background in “classical” advertising and marketing and as a strategist and writer, this new world of Internet marketing dovetails with my talents and skills seamlessly.
- This knowledge has allowed us to build a rock solid marketing foundation for our brand new podcast channel.
The Complete Lawyer
- After coaching senior lawyers for a couple of years I realized that most of them lacked many of the leadership and management skills of the corporate clients I had worked with as an ad man.
- Their interpersonal skills were often suboptimal and their understanding of even basic marketing principles were limited.
- So I created the first online magazine that offered tools and insights into issues that impact every lawyer’s success and satisfaction and every firm’s profitability.
- Distributed by Bar Associations in 36 states.
- Based on my 30 years experience as entrepreneur, inventor and writer, I decided to coach others.
- Completed Coach U.’s comprehensive coaching curriculum and began coaching professionals and executives on career planning issues, start ups, health and wellness, and writing skills-both fiction and non-fiction.
- Continue to coach a select few individuals every year.
- It is satisfying beyond measure helping individuals make big leaps in their journeys, whatever paths they are on….
The Highlands Program
- In 1988 began researching the education, career and life planning market, which was highly fragmented and unfocused in my view.
- Took an assessment that measured my “natural abilities” NOT my interests, skills, IQ or personality like all the others. This was the second career event that changed my life forever.
- Created The Whole Person TechnologyTM—the first-ever holistic approach to educational, career and life planning in history.
- Purchased the rights to that abilities assessment and transformed it from paper and pencil to an online version. Now the gold standard among assessments measuring individuals’ abilities.
- Co-authored two popular books on career planning: The Lemming Conspiracy and Don’t Waste Your Talent. Stephen Covey described Don’t Waste Your Talent as “Brilliant, original and sorely needed by all of us.”
- Sold THP in mid-2001.
- Today The Highlands Company offers its assessments and courses to people around the world via skilled, trained psychologists, counselors and coaches.
- Partnered with advertising superstar Virgil Shutze to launch a new agency built on breakthrough creative.
- Jerry Brown from Ogilvy & Mather and Ron Fisher from Bozell & Jacobs rounded out the all-star leadership team.
- Great talent from across the country clamored to work at HS because of our reputation as a fun place to work and our brand’s maniacal focus on the creative product.
- The HS softball team went undefeated in the advertising league in year two. Key: It was a very tough league!
- In 6 years, HS became one of the S.E’s largest agencies. Fortune 500 clients included: BellSouth, Georgia Pacific, Hardee’s, KinderCare, Norrell Services, Sylvan Learning Centers and Wachovia Bank.
- HS ranked in the Top 1% of most profitable ad agencies in the U.S. Ranked # 7 in worldwide creative awards in 1988 including the Gold Lion at Cannes for best TV spot in the world.
- Sold HS to OMNICOM Group Worldwide, a leading global advertising and marketing communications services company, in late 1990.
Hutcheson & Anderson
- Nine years learning and growing as entrepreneur and publisher, I was ready for a change. The world of advertising had always fascinated me.
- After long conversations with execs at several of the top Atlanta ad agencies I decided there was room for a different kind of agency in Atlanta and started my own.
- Read every classic advertising book, beginning with Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (1923). Ad great David Ogilvy said, “Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life.”
- He was right. Then I read David Ogilvy’s books and all the other classics by the advertising legends—Leo Burnett, Bill Bernbach, Fax Cone. You can never know too much about your field of business.
- First major client was AFLAC. (You know them now by the TV ads with the funny duck). Ad giant Benton & Bowles invited us to “partner” and handle the regional business for Hardee’s and we were off to the races.
- Purchased H&A in late 1983 and launched HutchesonShutze.
- I turned down a coveted job (my first after college) teaching at a prestigious private school to cast my lot with Fred Brown and his brand new, grossly under-funded idea for a new kind of magazine.
- Trusting my gut instinct and taking the road less travelled on my first “real” career decision laid the foundation for the course of my entire life as an entrepreneur.
- After four+ decades BG remains the definitive recreational guidebook to Georgia and beyond on hiking, biking, paddling, lodging, museums, historic homes, restaurants and more…
Don't Waste Your Talent
- Don’t Waste Your Talent was the second book written by Dr. Bob McDonald, co-founder of The Highlands Program, and myself. Rather than outlining its contents here I’ll let this reader’s concise review do the job. Thanks, R.O.!
- “This book is for people serious about gaining more self-awareness of their own abilities. I say that because there are lots of principles and ideas shared in this book, but one of the most valuable parts of it are the ‘thought experiments’ in every chapter which guide you toward personal application of the principles.
- “The authors have crafted what they call the Personal Vision Process, made up of eight components: your natural talents and abilities, skills and life experience, interests, personality, values, goals, family history, and your stage of life development. It is a very comprehensive model and draws on solid work in developmental psychology.
- “For those seeking life direction, this is one of the best processes I’ve seen.”
- Because I was always a good student my father wanted me to become a professional, and attend dental school. Work for myself, shorter schooling than medical school. On the surface it made complete sense at the time.
- We knew zero about career planning so I took no assessments, met with no counselors, read no career planning books–nothing to guide me whatsoever except my dear father’s good intentions.
- The “elephant in the room” was that I have absolutely zero natural abilities or talents to be in the medical field—less than none, other than intelligence and a good work ethic.When I found myself in my first college chemistry class, I knew I was way out of my interest or ability levels.
- I dropped the class one day before the deadline, enrolled in a philosophy and a German class and NEVER gave a second glance at any field of science.
- Trusting my own instincts and a healthy level of self-awareness led me to my own truth. In the end my father was completely supportive of my choices and as proud of me as he could possibly be.
- I loved and admired him for that….
United States Army
- When I told a friend that my lottery number was low and I had been officially drafted to serve in the U.S. Army, he suggested that I take what was then called, The Army Language Aptitude Test. He knew I was studying Russian Language and Literature at Emory. I typically do not perform well on standardized tests. In this one instance, however, my abilities matched up well with the test agenda.
- After completing Basic Training at Ft. Benning, I was assigned to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
- Languages fall into my set of natural talents and abilities, so with much focus and study, I graduated with high honors from this intensive course in the Russian language.
- I was then eligible to serve in the Army Security Agency: Voice & Intercept and was assigned to West Germany.
- I was honorably discharged from my 34-month tour of duty and returned to finish my undergraduate degree at Emory University.