Jason Heller, Laredo Group on Synchronicity, Digital Natives and Swimming with Hammerheads
Susan Bratton

Episode 49 - Jason Heller, Laredo Group on Synchronicity, Digital Natives and Swimming with Hammerheads

Jason Heller is a guy who just wants to give back. He wants to tell you everything he knows about digital media buying and selling. He wants to show you the beauty of sharks through his underwater photography so they will stop getting harvested for soup. He wants to live a life of honesty and humbleness to set an example for the world. Jason Heller is a cool guy, living an amazing life that perfectly suits him.

Life wasn't always this great for Jason. He's had some hard knocks, and made some questionable decisions he's regretted - temporarily. But he's believed in synchronicity since he called it "the power of positive thinking" in high school.

When Jason is fulfilling his duties as EVP at Laredo Group, a training company that teaches digital media to online buyers and sales pros, he trains the biggest agencies in the business --- all the names you'd know. Jason gets pure pleasure from sharing his 12 years of agency experience with those he trains, now that he's sold his agency, Mass Transit, to Horizon Media. Jason beautifully balances dual careers, the first - training. His "other" career is underwater photography. 

Learn about Jason's axiom, his mentors, and his travels to Southeast Asia. Learn the subtle differences between Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Hear the story of how he swam with and photographed more than 1,000 hammerhead sharks. (see the photo on the DishyMix blog) and catch Jason's deep thinking on his blog, The Digital Blur, where you can also see his Columbian Drug Lord Alter Ego caricature.

This is a heart warming and entertaining episode of DishyMix. Learn how Jason gets the work/life balance just right. And you can too.



Susan Bratton: Welcome to “Dishy Mix”. I am your host Susan Bratton. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today. I have somebody that you are going to have a lot of fun with, Jason Heller.

Jason is currently the EVP at the Lorado Group. The Lorado Group does a lot of sales and media training. We are going to talk about what some of the most important things are to know in the world of digital media today.

But Jason is so much more than the EVP of the Lorado Group. He is a digital expert, a blogger, and an amazing under water photographer, to name a few things. So we are going to get to know him.

But before I bring him on the show I want to give a shout out to some “Dishy Mix” listeners. I gave away three copies of Joe Pines book “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want”. Congratulations to Brook Bryan from Symantec. She is a marketing programs manager there who has a hot new copy of “Authenticity” in her hands. Also to Mark Marinovich who is the marketing director at Jan Marini Skin Research and Mathew Scott the founder and head coach at the Life’s Work group. I hope you’ll all enjoy the book as much as I did.

And if you haven’t listened to the episode with Joe Pine talking about infusing authenticity into your brand, I hop you will.

Last shout out before we get started with Jason is to Scot Eckter. Scot is the director of strategy at IMC squared, a top interactive agency in New York. He won my precious autographed copy of “Ignited” by Vince Thompson. He had a fabulous middle management horror story that you can read on the “Dishy Mix” blog at dishymix.com.
I sent that copy, autographed by Vince Thompson, off to Scott.

And if you haven’t heard that and you are in middle management that is a great show to.

So join the “Dishy Mix” fan club, which is on FaceBook, to find out more about how you can get freebies from my guests in the future.

So let’s get on to Jason Heller.

Jason ,on today’s show we will talk to him about: synchronicity, about swimming with crocodiles; about tangee based tattoos; Sir Martin Sorrel; mediocrity reform; and we will take a little trip through South East Asia.

Jason Heller: You know, if you Twitter to the rescue and now I can actually, sort of, Twitter all of my comings and goings  and, you know, all the airports that I am in and all the messaging that I see, and all the cool culture and arts and artifacts.

In the early stages, in 1998, in the early stages of the digital media word we became know as one of the first really successful digital media agencies.

It is such a liberating feeling to be able to really share my knowledge with other agencies as opposed to keeping it close to the vest.

Yes, I am a double agent and since it is actually a 12 hour time difference on the other side of the world you can actually say that I am doing that at night.

You know I am just trying to create a better image for sharks and their beauty and grace because there is nothing more humbling and beautiful than swimming next to a shark with all of its magnificence.

Susan Bratton: Welcome Jason.

Jason Heller: Hey, Susan thanks for having me on.

Susan Bratton: Absolutely! Well it was tough to track you down. You’ve just have gotten back from where? Where were you? In Thailand this time?

Jason Heller: Indonesia.

Susan Bratton: You were in Indonesia. You know what?  I would have saved this question for last but- You have recently been doing underwater photography in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. I have never been to South East Asia. Can you just tell us the difference between those three places; just typify them for us a little bit?

Jason Heller:  Well besides an extra thousand dollars in air fair that you are not used to paying to get to that side of the world, it is just an amazing place to be. The culture is totally different. If you can think of the polar opposite culture to what we are used to here in New York, or in San Francisco, or in Los Angeles, or wherever you may be in the US that is what you are looking at there. You know, total paradise, total, sort of, ancient culture.

The architecture, the cultures that we think are old here are really new in the eyes of somebody that is living in an area where you have got thousand, two thousand year old ruins and temples It is just really…It’s balancing, if you want to look at it that way.

Susan Bratton: If you had to typify Indonesia versus Thailand, give me a flavor for the three places.

Jason Heller: Well I guess from a tourism perspective Thailand is definitely a little bit more developed. You have an infrastructure there. They have internet cafes up the wazoo. Indonesian internet access is like having two coconuts on either end and a lot of hope. But amazing biodiversity, really verdant landscapes and really lush corral reefs, and the whole nine yards as for as the whole nature things goes.

But being a connected individual it is a little disheartening not being connected to the world. It is actually kind of a double edged sword. Malaysia is kind of some where in the middle of the two. But definitely, from a marketing standpoint- I know that is not what you are asking here but, of course, it is in my veins.- but from a marketing standpoint it is really cool looking at all of the mobile marketing that is happening out there and the way that they are using their devices. Which fortunately for us when we are traveling to that side of the world allow us to stay connected in a pretty interesting way.

Susan Bratton: Now I read- maybe on a Twitter- that you were going to try to Twitter from Indonesia. How did that go?

Jason Heller: Ah, you read that, huh?

Susan Bratton: I am reading you baby. I am feeling you baby.

Jason Heller: Aw oh!  So yeah, actually the internet access in Indonesia is incredibly slow. It is like watching the grass grow. So when I go away I usually put up a little thing on my blog saying that I am going to take a few weeks off. This is after I try in denial over the fact the internet is the pits out there and, you know, here is Twitter to the rescue.

Now I can actually Twitter all of my, sort of, comings and goings, you know, all the airports that I am in and all the messaging that I see, and all the cool culture, and arts, and artifacts, and environments that I am going through. Hopefully, no volcanoes go off  or no more Tsunamis happen while I happen to be under water. Which, if it does everybody will here about that first through Twitter because it is , kind of, interesting.

Susan Bratton: Now, are you using TwitPic where you can take a picture with your phone and then Twitter the image.

Jason Heller: I am not. You know, you learn something new everyday and that is my learning for the day. I am going to need to learn to do that.

Susan Bratton: But we are just getting started. I can teach you so much more.

Jason Heller: I am sure.

Susan Bratton: But you are here to teach us. So let’s segue over.

One of the things that I want you to do- and I want you to be brief about this because I have a lot to ask you- I want you to tell us the story of MassTransit. You started… I asked you about your worst disaster fork in the road and MassTransit was part of that. You have come through it unscathed, but tell us the story of creating your own agency and selling your own agency and the bad and good decisions you made so that we can learn from that and not screw ourselves up in the future.

Jason Heller: Mass Transit Interactive was an agency that I started together with my ex-partner Jason Burnham in 1998. We literally started the agency out of an apartment in Brookeland. We had sort of meager beginnings and didn’t have the same kind of expectations of growing a business as you might have if you started a business today.

And very quickly went from, sort of, a small unknown independent shop to a digital shop with really large dot com and blue chip clients. Within six months we had millions of dollars of billings in clients like AltaVista, and shopping.com, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and City Bank, and…

It was really just a great time. We caught a fantastic tail end of an opportunity in 1998 in the early stages of the digital media world. We became known as one of the first really successful digital media agencies.

And unfortunately, my crystal ball wasn’t working in the year 2000 when we thought that our trajectory would continue in the way that it was going. I turned down a lot of offers from companies like ITG and some of the other really large advertising companies. Then we hit a low- I like to call it a low as opposed to the “dot com boom” that other people like to call it.- in 2001.

And we literally got cut off by the ankles, had to let go of the majority of our staff and built a company that came back up, started working with Horizon Media in 2003-2004 and after working for them and helping Horizon Media handle interactive media responsibilities for their client I ended up selling the company to them. In 2005 the other Jason took off and started his own business. I stayed on with Horizon Interactive for a couple of years, helped to build and expand the business. And last year, in 2007, I decided I was going to resign from the agency.

That is when I got a call from Les Lurado and joined the Lorado group. Now it is such a liberating feeling to be able to share my knowledge with other agencies. As opposed to keeping it close to the vest and always having to hide secrets, and approaches and strategies. I have got 12 years of experience behind me and it was a nice fun roller coater ride. I guess my only regret is having a crystal ball that was dysfunctional in the year 2000.

Susan Bratton: So, what was the best offer you ever got for your business cash wise?

Jason Heller: Oh that is a hard thing to bring back up. It is a very tough memory, to be really honest with you. But I could tell you that the reason why we didn’t take it was, t was actually from some IPG in 2000, and the reason that we did not take it was that they couldn’t answer a very simple question, which is what are you going to do with us once you buy us. They couldn’t answer that question.

And in retrospect the – I don’t know if you want to call it arrogance or if you want to… To day it wouldn’t be arrogance. Today it would be a wise decision not to sell to a company that doesn’t have a firm plan of integration in what to do with you after words, which is the same reason why we made that decision back then.

But of course, the year after that the market tanked and our business got cut off by the ankles like everybody else’s did back then. In retrospect, it is a deal that I probably would have taken if I could look into the future.

Susan Bratton: But the way you made the decision was the right way and you have at leas the satisfaction of that.

I want to switch now to the Lorado group you were talking about how you were able now to fully share the 12 years of agency experience in doing your training with Lorado group. Lorado group is primarily- as I understand it- focused on training digital media sellers and digital media buyers in the fine arts. Is that about right?

Jason Heller: Yep. That is about right. We also have a consultancy arm where we work with agencies and media sellers and revenue models and building businesses and we help with new business pitches, and anything an agency or a publisher might need us to come in and help with.

Susan Bratton: Got it. And very similar to Upstream group. Doug weaver; always been kind of in the market together in a positive way, in the business go around, and Doug has been on this show as well.

I wanted to know about this. When you can now share openly your experience, what surprises you when you explain it to people that it is a very valuable piece of information that, kind of, surprises you that they wouldn’t have known that or where is there an interesting connect there?

Jason Heller: Well I guess…most of the people that come to our public courses are really looking to learn some of the fundamentals and although it doesn’t really surprise me how many people are entering the market and how many people have sort of been thrown into the fire in the market so to speak then decide to take a course or whose employer decides to send them to take a course after they have been thrown into the fire for a couple of years.

What actually surprises me more, quite honestly, is how many people are working in the industry that need the education and need the courses and who don’t take these courses. You know, one of the first steps to being successful in any business, it doesn’t matter what industry we are talking about, is having the right education and the right tools for the job.

I think people who come to courses like Lorado Groups courses really are taking that step in the right direction. They have made that first assessment that they need more tools, they need more education.

We do find some surprises here and there with whether it is an agency or a publisher that has had people on the job for two three four five years with no formal training, with no formal understanding, of what they are doing and they are sort of just winging it. I would say that’s not the norm but we do see that here and there.

But generally speaking what really surprises me is the number of people I see in the market and opposed to the number of people that are coming to our courses that really do need the education and don’t do anything about it.

Susan Bratton: One of the things that I notice is when you have a room full of people who have been in the business for 1 to5 years, so relatively new in the industry, typically younger people-That is how we are growing our business we are bringing in new recruits and we need to train them. There is a desperate need for training.-  What I notice is that, in general, gross generalization, that an individual will have grokked the companies product or services for whom they work. So they will understand the thing they are selling. They can articulate it and effectively present it.

But that they don’t have anything to hang it on, they don’t have that wider industry knowledge, or anything that is traditional marketing rigor, or an understanding of how traditional and online work together, and how marketers approach their business. So to me that seems like it is what gets people caught up is to know their thing but not much else out in the ecosystem. Do you find that as well?

Jason Heller: I definitely see that as being true. There is also another interesting aspect that I see amongst digital people in particular. That really is- you know, you kind of hit the nail on the head- that there is so many people working in the digital media world both in the buying and selling side that really understand in their silo how to plan, buy, sell, manage, talk about, online media without having the context of what marketing is all about and what business is all about.

It’s truly interesting. We like to call people that have grown up- and I was one of those people at some point early on in my career where I had no media background no, sort, of formal marketing background when I started Mass Transit. Well I should say, I had very little formal background when I started MassTransit. We were digital natives. We grew up with this as our bread and butter.

Eventually, we realized, early on, that if you can’t calculate a GRP and more importantly if you don’t know why contextually marketers are relying on metrics like GRP to evaluate a media plan, an investment in media, then you really can’t sit down at the table and have an intelligent conversation with anybody other than somebody else just like yourself that knows nothing about the rest of the marketing ecosystem.

I do see that out there, which…You know, again I don’t see those kind of folks at our trainings but I do see these digital natives, sort of, lurking about the industry. Unfortunately, that used to be a fantastic selling point and unique, sort of, personal selling proposition and it is moving from a benefit to a weakness.

Susan Bratton: That makes sense.

I want to transition, just before we go to break my last question.  I had asked you if there was anyone in the industry to whom you looked up, anyone who you tracked and watched. And your answer was interesting to me. You said Sir Martin Sorrell. Why?

Jason Heller: Well if you asked me what my favorite movie was I wouldn’t give you one answer either, by the way. But I don’t  believe in favorites. I think the world is to big a place to have one favorite anything including mentors or people you look up to.

I mentioned Martin Sorrell as somebody who I have been watching very closely for the last year or so mainly because I am an entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur in the ad agency business, in the add agency world. Martin Sorrell is the CEO of the largest agency holding company in the world.

And interestingly enough over the last year I have heard him mention Google as a competitor more often than he has talked about Omnicom and IPG. I have watched him acquire publishers. I have watched him acquire technology companies. I have watched him build a business against the most monumental amount of change that we have seen in our industry in the last fifty years he has done it with grace. He has done it, to a degree, under the radar screen with as much press as there is around it.  It is still not water cooler conversation, if you will.

It is truly amazing, if you think about the size of the shift that he is navigating, that he has actually built this changing business while everybody else is struggling. And granted WPTN and all of the agencies under WPT still have the same challenges as anybody else but, you know, to take the 800 pound gorilla and to adapt it to the crazy times we live in today is a huge huge huge feat.

 It is easy to move a small ship. It is easy to adapt and independent agency or a digital only shop but to take the 800 pound gorilla and adapt it to the year 2008 and the marking disciples.

 And some of the technology companies that they have acquired I have had the pleasure of spending some time with because I do a lot of training for MindShare and  for some  other WPTN companies. It is just truly inspirational to see that there is somebody working at that level that at lest gets it conceptually- or at least my perception is that he gets it, just because I have not had the pleasure of meeting him yet.

Susan Bratton: Nice.

Well I have a feeling that if he reads a copy of this transcript, which I will copy and forward to him, he is going to want to meet you.

Jason Heller: Well I would love that. Thank you.

Susan Bratton: I would love that for you too.

So we are going to take a break. And when we come back I want to talk to you about, crocodiles, tanjee, and all kinds of things.

I am your host Susan Bratton. And you are getting to know Jason Heller the EVP at the Lorado Group.

Stay tuned. We are going to thank our sponsors. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We will be right back.


Susan Bratton: We are back. I am your host Susan Bratton and we are with Jason Heller. Jason is the EVP at the Lorado Group. If you need some training, obviously, I’ve found your man.

So Jason you live some what of a double life. You’re an agency entrepreneur trying the industry by day and- well maybe not by night.- the other day you are out all over South East Asia splitting your time with a company that is really a big passion of yours, as well, underwater photography.

Jason Heller: Yes. I am a double agent. Since it is actually a 12 hour time difference on the other side of the world you can actually say that I am doing that at night.

Susan Bratton: Hey, that is good. I like that. Good! Good! Good!

So when did you get into underwater photography?  And when did this start to be a really big thing for you? Because it is a really big thing for you now, isn’t it?

Jason Heller: It is. I became a professional underwater as a part time balancing activity, you can say. I’d say maybe 4 or 5 years ago when being a media guy sitting behind a desk all day dealing with analytics and numbers and wall papering offices with spread sheets just, sort of, started to eat my soul up inside. I needed something to balance my life and  started scuba diving; decided that I wanted to bring back some pictures for my friends. And you should have seen my office 4 or 5 years ago. I had pictures everywhere. I forced my staff to watch my slide shows. It was such a pathetic little thing.

And from there it just, sort of, turned into a passion- a very very expensive passion, I would add- and eventually turned into a secondary career.

Susan Bratton: So you have a website. It’s divephotoguide.com and you have got some beautiful images up there.

Jason Heller: Thank you.

Susan Bratton: How are you making money? How can we as “Dishy Mix” listeners support you in funding your passion? What do you need us to do? We need to hire us for something, what is it?

Jason Heller: Well, divephotoguide.com is actually a media company that I started with my wife and, unfortunately, we don’t take any out of context advertising on the site. We are only working with in category advertisers.

There is another site that I run, which is my personal photography site, which is jasonheller.com. That one is pretty easy to remember. And ironically enough I am moving with that site from the media side of the industry to the creative side of the industry.

And I would love for any art directors or creative directors who need underwater photography- I do plenty of fashion work underwater, beyond shooting corral reefs and sharks, and all sorts of fun stuff in the ocean- to take a look at my work.

I have been shooting for some advertising agencies and some clients both here and abroad. It definitely doesn’t pay as well media but it is a lot more fun.

Susan Bratton: And you also put me in touch with some of the people who are mentors for you in the photography world. I was looking at Howard Schatz. He is a fashion photographer and he has a series, if you are listening to the show, you have to go to his site. The work he did with models and their mothers is so beautiful. To see the beauty of these young perfect women and their mothers and how beautiful in their age too, that was really heartwarming.

Then the other one you pointed me to, who is a mentor for you, is David Doubilet. And what I mentioned about the crocodiles is that he has some amazing underwater shots where he is swimming with crocodiles. Do you ever get close to any scary animals like that in your work?

Jason Heller: Well, you know, I haven’t actually worked with crocodiles yet. Although. I plan on it. I do a lot of photography with sharks. In fact, I swam in the Galopicas Islands in a school of- I would probably estimate- about a thousand to two thousand hammerhead sharks and shot away at them. I have worked with other species of sharks, as well.

You know, sharks have this personal that the media has created that they are evil creatures. The reality is that a hundred million sharks a year are getting killed because we as humans are slicing off their fins and serving shark fin soup all throughout the world, particularly, in Asia.

Especially, when I go out to Asia it is just so upsetting to see shark fin soup on the menu everywhere.  I am just trying to create a better image for sharks in their beauty and grace because there is nothing more humbling and beautiful than swimming next to a shark with all of its magnificence.

Susan Bratton: Well, that is how you are bringing you contribution to the world, which is though raising awareness of the beauty of these animals. Which I think is great. 

It is funny too. I was just thinking about…I just got a new camera and I am loving it. For all of us who don’t have your talent, I just got the Cannon Power Shot G9. Do you know about that?

Jason Heller: It is an awesome camera.

Susan Bratton: It is a good camera.

Jason Heller: It’s a n awesome camera.\

Susan Bratton: I take a lot of pictures, mostly, of people because I love people. That is why I do “Dishy Mix”. And I am always taking pictures of people. I got a Sony Cyber Shot. What a hunk of junk. I couldn’t get a good picture out of it.

I was sitting at the Ted Conference watching this guy sitting in front of me taking the pictures that I wanted to take and I said, “Hey, what is your camera?”  and he said, “ Oh, it is the Cannon Power Shot G9.” And I said, “Oh, do you think I could handle that?” and he said, “Look this is the point and shoot for all the National Geographic photographers.” And I said, “Hey, wait a minute. You are the editor of National Geographic. You are the photo editor of National Geographic aren’t you?” And he said, “Yeah.” I said,” So you know all those guys and what they use.” He said, “Exactly!”

I went out and bought that camera and I have been taking gorgeous pictures, comparatively.

Jason Heller: Remember it is not the camera. It is the photographer. So pat yourself on the back.

Susan Bratton: Oh well, I don’t know. Maybe, a little… I am learning to use it and what all the little pieces mean. So if you are listening to Jason right now and thinking I can’t take a good picture. I can tell you that an upgraded camera… It was like 500 bucks for this camera. It is the same price as some of the little point and shoots, but just a fabulous piece of equipment. I love it.

Jason Heller: Yeah. I have heard really good things about that.

Hey., by the way, I just wanted to mention, you know, before you had talked about my mentors Howard and David,  and for all the listeners out there there is a word that I like to think of when I think of these to guys. I think everybody…You know, I mentioned earlier that I don’t like to say that I have one favorite in anything. But the word that I think of when I think of the two photography mentors I have is the word virtuoso. The word virtuoso is somebody that is the absolute best at a  particular craft, a particular hobby, or activity.

And that is something to strive for. It is one of those things that when you are doing something artistic or you are doing something that requires so much skill and it is not as objective and not as scientific as what we might do in the media world or the marketing world, for example, where yes it is subjective but there is a lot more, sort of, scientific knowledge factual based background to it. It is amazing to see people take their passion and turn it into something that is just so light years above what the rest of the world is doing.

And I have to stress to anybody listening to this show that you have to check out these two guys’ websites because it will blow your mind, what they do.

Susan Bratton: Well, I will put the related links right next to your episode. They are in the transcript. I will also post them on the blog, so that no matter where you go you can find them.

Jason Heller: There we go.

Susan Bratton: Here is another one word that I know about you and that is the word synchronicity. I asked you what book you most asked to your friends and you said it is the same title by two different authors. Tell us about that.

Jason Heller: Well I have got a friend of mine, another gentleman, who I would say that I have looked up to over the years, a guy by the name of Robin Johnson. You might know Robin. He started InfoSeek, back in the days.

And Robin who is just a brilliant mind, once day I had lunch with him  and we got into some philosophical discussion about life and business. Without any request or motivation on my part two days later I get a shipment from Amazon and there is three or four books in there. A couple of them are about quantum physics and two other them are these synchronicity books.

And we got into this conversation about “that perfect day”. Susan have you ever had that day where everything goes right and you think to yourself, “Oh, I wish this could be every single day in my life”?

Susan Bratton: I have that a lot.


Jason Heller: You know what? That is synchronicity.

And people who have synchronicity in their life they attracted other people who have synchronicity in there life. The concept of synchronicity is really an a quazial connection principal. It is something more that coincidence but not quite spiritual, if you want to look at it that say.

I highly recommend the book because it is, kind of- for lay people I usually describe it as the power of positive thinking on steroids- it is about keeping your energy aligned with the universe and the world. Not just being positive but getting into that vibe, getting into that groove, and really making things happen. It is not just coincidence. And it is not just thinking positively, There is a n energy about it. And people that have it attract other people that have it and then it builds upon itself.

The guy who discovered, or created, this concept is a quantum physicist, actually, who had a lot of disagreements with Einstein, a guy by the name of Carl Jung.

Then it was adapted into a, sort of, business publication, late in the 70’s, by the son of the district attorney that was going to try Nixon for the Water Gate fiasco. And he ended up, actually, becoming the head scenario planner for the Dutch Shell Oil company. Just an amazing amazing brilliant mind and talks about how all of these things fell into place for him because of this concept of synchronicity.

I certainly give a lot of credit to my success over the years to my belief in this. And I have had a belief in it without realizing I had a belief in it until the day that Robin Johnson sent me this book. I read the book and it changed my life.

Susan Bratton: Wow! That is a good story. I will post links to synchronicity, both by Carl Young and Joseph Jawarski, as well.

You know, thinking about being positive in your life and creating happiness through the synchronicity,  I asked you the axiom by which you live your life  and you actually believe so strongly in this axiom that it is tattooed on your body in tangeen.

Tell us about it.

Jason Heller: Yes. Well, it is this concept that I have of knowing yourself and knowing what makes you happy and pursuing your dreams, and pursuing your desires.

At some point in my life, late teens, I decided I really wanted to get a tattoo because, of course, that is what you do when you are that age. I had to do something that I knew I would want to keep on my body for the rest of my life. So I had to go with this axiom of the way that I live my everyday life.

Essentially, the phrase is translated, pretty literally from Tangeen to English, as “with self knowledge comes happiness”. It is something that I have always really believed in. That you kind of live these daily grind life styles and yes we all want to be successful and yes we want to make a lot of money but at the same time you need to do it in the spirit of what is true to you and what’s true to the essence of what makes you you. Live your life with full transparency. Insure that everybody understands who you are and what you represent and not put out a false image of yourself because ultimately, eventually, over time the only person that you fool is yourself.

I feel that this concept combined with other things like synchronicity and…This is how I thought when I was in high school , before I actually know what any of this stuff actually meant. Fortunately for me, I though that way, because most of my friends from high school are still doing what they were doing in high school and I am probably one of the few people that is not, from my peer group back then.

I remember my mom coming into the office when we first started Mass Transit, like a year into the business. She comes into my new staff and says,” You should have seen this gy a few years ago.” I thought that was kind of funny. It is away to embarrass your son.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, but you love your mom.

Jason Heller: Oh yeah.

Susan Bratton: You have come so far. You are also in a transition time where you are levering the experience that you’ve had and sharing that with others. That is a way you are giving back. You’re exploring into your dream and becoming even more so and underwater photographer. You are giving back by showcasing the beauty of the ocean. You are married. You have a Siberian husky. You have a really cute caricature. Who did your caricature?

Jason Heller: The same guy who did the logo for my underwater website

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Jason Heller: did my caricature and my wife calls that my Columbian drug lord caricature.

Susan Bratton: He is a little swarthy. Isn’t he?


He is a little more swarthy then you are, but he is very masculine. He is very macho. He is really cute.

Jason Heller: Are you calling me unmasculine?


Susan Bratton: No. I am just calling your caricature particularly masculine.

Jason Heller: That is my Columbian drug lord alter ego.

Susan Bratton: I love it.

If you want to see your Columbian drug lord alter ego you would go to digitalblurr because that is your blog and the place you have for some of your media post writing. You are a columnist for them so that is where you put that, right?

Jason Heller: Yep. And it is actually vdigitalburr.com.

Susan Bratton: Thank you. Yeah. Thank you.

Jason Heller: Unfortunately, sometimes you want that perfect url. It is taken already but there is  a purpose – just like anything that I do in my life- there is a purpose behind the name of that blog.

Really, I started the blog just shortly after I left Horizon Media knowing that I was going to go out into the world. Actually, I originally thought that I might end up doing some consulting but I predominantly thought that I was going to be doing photography before I got a call from Lesley Lorado from the Lorado Group.

The reason behind the digital blurr is that we live in an age where the line between media and creative and media and technology is blurring. Also, things are moving so quickly that we live in such a blurr. So the digital blurr, to me,  is such an appropriate name for the times that we live in as it relates to media and marketing; and the challenges ahead for us in terms of that line in the sand that used to delineate our roles, our responsibilities, the way we thought, are approaches, is now disappeared. We need to be collaborative. We need to work together harder to be successful to archive results for clients or for our own brand. And what better way to describe it that the digital blurr.

Susan Bratton: I love it.

This is the perfect place to stop. We have got to let our listeners get back to their lives. You’ve- I know- made an impact on our listener’s day today. Thank you for that Jason.

Jason Heller:  I appreciate that Susan. I am glad to get my “Dishy Mix” on today.


Susan Bratton: Get your “Dishy Mix” on.

I am really glad that you came on. I could just hand the microphone to you, walk away, go out to lunch, get my toe nails done,  come back, and you  would still be saying fabulous interesting things.

Jason Heller: Oh, thank you.

Susan Bratton: So I would like to put  a date on your calendar for, maybe, next year. I want to have you back on again and see what you are up to. We are gonna track ya.

Jason Heller: That will be fantastic. The one thing I would say is that, again, for sure this knew role that I have I am loving the ability share all of the stuff that has been bottled up inside

Susan Bratton: Nice.

Jason Heller: and protected and intellectual property with other agencies and with the world. And, you know, the Lorado Group has given me the opportunity to do that and I feel like there is this very beneficial monster that has come out of me. I don’t have to keep anything close to the vest anymore. It is just a wonderful feeling.

You had mentioned being able to share things with the world. I fell like I am finally able to do that. It is a fantastic feeling.

Susan Bratton: Well, you heard Jason. He is ready to give it to you. So you better go get it.

Alright, Jason thanks so much for coming on the show.

Jason Heller: Thanks you Susan.

Susan Bratton: It was a pleasure for us all to hear what you had to say.

I am your host Susan Bratton. You have been listening to Jason Heller EVP of the Lorado Group. I will make sure I post all those links for you.

I hope you will forward “Dishy Mix” to a friend if you have enjoyed it today. Don’t forget we have transcripts of the show for you at personllifemedia.com.

Have a great day.

I am your host Susan Bratton. I hope I will get to talk to you next week.


Susan Bratton: Oh hey, it is Susan. I want to ask you a question. Would you take my listener’s survey. It takes 5 minutes. It is totally anonymous. It helps me understand you  and present you, my listening audience, to my show sponsors. That is how I support myself. So if you will do me a big favor and pop off a quick response, you just go to dishymix.com and type survey into the search box and the link will pop right up. Thanks so much for helping me with this. I really appreciate it.