Step Back and Savor the Highs

Why I Do What I Do

By Published on .

Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
I was sitting in a meeting the other day, while my team presented a new brand identity package for a billion-dollar client of ours. Essentially, we redefined the company's positioning, renamed it, developed a graphic mark for the new name, and came up with a new color palate and tag line. As I sat there with pride in the ideas and listened to the dynamic exchange and enthusiastic feedback between my team and our client, I thought to myself: This is why I'm in this business. It was just pure fun.

As the owner of a small agency, my days don't always include meetings like that one. Running an agency today means finding new ways to delight clients. Finding the right clients to grow the agency. Hunting for fresh talent for our team. Keeping the good talent we already have. Positioning the agency for continued relevancy. Structuring the firm to keep us nimble and responsive. And finding time to inform and motivate all the talent I am privileged to work with.

Often that means there's little time to come up for air, let alone enjoy the presentation of a new identity for a big client. The challenges of running an agency in an era of rapid industry change are greater than ever now. Sure, many of the changes that affect us are incredibly energizing -- Like embracing interactive strategies and tools to make clients successful. Or shifting the meaning of public relations beyond media relations to where we touch our clients' customers at events, on the street, at the mall -- wherever they are. That's cool stuff. But there's also the tough stuff I outlined above, and that takes a big chunk of time to manage on a daily basis.

So my thought is just this: Take the time to step back and savor the highs in our business, because the daily challenges of leading an agency can take you away from ideas. For me, ideas are why I'm in this business. When I see the ideas my teams come up with for our clients, especially the ideas that are unexpected in their elegance and execution, it truly instills a sense of pride for doing what I do. And seeing clients grow successful as a result of our ideas? What's better than that! OK, getting paid well to make clients successful is better. But you get what I'm saying. We all get mired in the stuff that distracts. That's why it's so important to come up for air, and smell the good concepts.
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