Staying Motivated in a “401 k World”

v26-1FIRST IT WAS TOM FRIEDMAN writing in the New York Times two days ago about  the 401 k world where pension responsibility is thrust back on the individual worker, instead of custodial employers, unions, the Social Security Administration. Next came the Matthew Yglesias piece in Slate yesterday, “It’s a 401 k World and It Sucks.”

It’s hard for the small-business owner and artisanal producer – who’s very often the supply-buyer, the marketer, the Flea Market hawker, the copywriter and the chalkboard artist , and sometimes also holding down a day job too– to stay motivated in a such a low-payoff world. Too often there’s no über-corporation to put matching funds into one’s artisanal retirement account. But wait!

Let Bill Jones keep you pumped! Out of the pages of history comes a bunch of illustrated sayings of this fictional Brit, in inspirational posters put out by a printing company called Parker-Holladay. We’ve pulled some together from various archives, and mixed in others from sources like the Chicago-based Mather Company and the WPA, and will be posting them from time to time to fuel your creativity – and/or your staff.we-can-do-it

Because of the eras in which they were created, most are addressed to men, but it’s out of this tradition that WWII’s Rosie the Riveter came to celebrate and motivate the women who were serving the country. For the collector, poster historian and art director Steven Heller looks to the Reinhard Brown Gallery. (And just in case the artisanal chili-pepper face cream business never takes off, you might want to take out the thumbtacks and stash your dad’s Milton Glaser poster of Dylan with the psychedelic hair (1966) and even your Shepard Fairey Obama “Hope” poster into sturdy archival tubes.) Bill Jones Size of the Fight in the Dog


  1. […] what used to be called a magazine article is now “long-form journalism.” But this Mather poster advocates not only brevity but “snap.” Brooklyn Artisan long ago offered thoughts on […]


  2. […] (Mather Company posters from 1920s and 30s) […]


  3. […] fictional Bill Jones was the voice of career advice in the 1920s and 30s posters put out by a British printing company. […]


  4. […] the conventional wisdom, but does it still apply? (Business and career coach Bill Jones first appeared on motivational posters in the 1920s and […]


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