What I Learned In 2020 – Drake Paul, John McNeil Studio

By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

2020 was a lot—for everyone—but I had an especially different kind of year. I moved from Chicago to the Bay Area in August of 2019, with my pregnant wife and dog. Became a dad in January. And then, like everyone else, locked down in March. That feels like important context.

Here’s what I learned…

People try to scare you before you have your first kid, but kids are actually a lot of fun (I highly recommend having one). 

Making ads doesn’t always matter—but working with your friends and making stuff does. 

Take more pictures of things that matter, and things that don’t, you’ll never regret having more. 

Take your dog for a walk without listening to a podcast or music or taking a call. 

Buy the matching family sweaters, pajamas, and whatever else you can find.

Explore your neighborhood. 

Watch the birds out your window.

Write the headline that’s only there to make someone laugh. 

Be yourself when you present your work and talk to clients (it’ll be easier and better). 

Buy an expensive water bottle.

It’s worth paying for better coffee. 

Say “hi” to people when you walk past them. 

Ask your neighbor for their name again. 

If you have a partner, hug them and kiss them every day.

When it’s safe, hug the people you care about. 

Take a nap. 

Read before bed. 

Socks and underwear are an investment. 

Buy those shoes (even if you have nowhere to wear them).

Turn off your phone for 30 minutes.  

Actually watch the show your coworker recommended. 

Tell the people you admire that you admire them. 

Remember that other people are also people. 

Try to do better next time, but to do better you do have to try.


Drake Paul is an Associate Creative Director at John McNeil Studio





  1. Karin January 12, 2021

    Love it!!! Thanks for sharing. (2020 has made us all a bit more reflective.) And btw… if you think parenting is fun just wait for grandparenting 😉

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