I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices – that true underlying question. As they ask “Why did you decide to go out on your own?”, the underlying question in their face is less subdued. It’s “What on earth would possess you to give up a good job to start your own advertising agency? Now? In the worst economic conditions since the great depression?” The first time I could sense the real question of shock, was with my closest friends shortly after I made my move. From there, the question grew to be a standard among friends, family and industry colleagues. And who can blame them for their skepticism? After all, with unemployment above 10% and continuing to climb, and stories of companies cutting their budgets, it doesn’t seem like the best time to start out. Right?
But, when you boil it down, the answer to the almost silent question of my sanity is really quite simple. It can be expressed in only one word – Vision. It’s a vision for a different kind of agency. An agency structure that will elevate service to clients, mitigate common frustrations and transform the agency/client relationship. As I listened to the seminars at the AEM Executive Conference, I heard speakers talk about innovation and changing the way we think about and shape our businesses. And as I sat there, I couldn’t help but smile. Smile, because for the first time since breaking out on my own, I was listening to someone who completely understood why I did what I did. Vision. And the opportunity to build it.
Share with me your experiences of working with an agency — the positive, the negative and the “it would be really great if….:” And then be a part of shaping the vision.