A New Chapter
“Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten”- Natasha Bedingfield
When Unwriitten was first released in 2004, it coincided with the beginning of my career as a Brand Strategist working on Brands with True Impact. Like Toyota’s cutting-edge hybrid synergy drive fuel cell technology. That technology started a fundamental revolution in the automotive industry that for a century had 100% depended on fossil fuels for cars, busses and all independent vehicles in the USA, beginning with the Prius.
It was a brave move by a then underdog company challenging the standards of Detroit, and the Big 3 (GM, Chrysler and Ford).
Today, no one would dare call Toyota that, as its hybrid cars and on-going push to be the greenest auto company on the planet have enabled it become not only the second largest but the 2nd greenest auto manufacturer on every level.
That chapter in my life also set a new standard for me as a communications strategist. I only wanted to work with clients and brands that cared about the humans and the planet they serve; making the choice to do good by spending their valuable, hard-earned money easy and obvious for average people. Up until then I’d actually had no idea what I wanted to do in advertising or even if advertising suited my personality and inherent need to make a positive impact in the world. Many had warned me it was a “dirty business” of “selling lies”. But that simple first and unforeseen step steered me in a completely different direction from the “Dirt” of the “Mad Men” era. Instead of having to deal with gropers, I worked with good, big-hearted Australian creatives who showed me what creative vision could be and that the role of the strategist in the creative product and communications process — was not to pander to clients, but to enforce brand vision, clarity and integrity.
That Unwritten and unpredictable beginning led me to Dove and the Campaign for Real Beauty, Vaseline’s desire to give our living. Sea of Skin its voice. And P&G’s capacity to support healthy early childhood development and environmental sustainability in its products throughout the manufacturing and purchase process from cradle to grave.
And when I launched my solo practice in 2011, I never could have predicted it would lead me to the rebranding of Harvard (my alma mater) as the most powerful positive change-maker in the world, from its students, to its professors, staff and Public Health practitioners.
And in 2014, I certainly couldn’t have predicted or would have written an 8-year chapter fighting cancer. Or a few unfortunate steps into fighting for political change and trying to live overseas, while launching a coaching and communications consultancy in the midst of finishing Cancer and avoiding Covid.
But all of them have led me here. To yet another Unwritten chapter. Cancer-free, and back in New York. And I’m embracing it with arms wide open.
So if you, are in a similar position to me, facing a blank and unpredictable page, perhaps, now is an opportunity for you to let opportunity take you and your pen by the hand.
Holly Lynch is a 20+ year ESG and DEI communications veteran, board member, strategist and investor who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges, transitions and transformations in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching and consulting with those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to adapt to change while rebuilding their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.