It’s 4 am as I write this. Two hours after rolling around in bed trying to fall back asleep. It’s the exception, not the rule, but it happens every once in a while. More so lately with the state of the world and how it’s turned everything upside down. I’ve learned to just get up and be productive. There’s also something calming about being up before my part of the world is…there’s a peacefulness to it.
These days, it’s one hell of a time to try and keep a marketing agency afloat when so many businesses are just trying to stay afloat themselves. Even though our circumstances have us online more than ever, and doubling down on digital marketing would seem like a given, it’s hard to advise companies that have to decide between that and keeping their people employed…I can’t do it. It’s not who I or the company I want to build aim to be.
But it keeps me up at night. Not so much because I worry about myself. I’ll find a way to make ends meet. And honestly, there are so many other people and businesses that are in far worse situations, so I refuse to feel sorry for myself. No…whatever occasionally keeps me up at night is less about me and more about making sure the people I care about are taken care of.
I always knew I wanted to start my own agency. The freedom, independence…being able to build something the way I wanted to. Removing the corporate barriers I’d come to loathe for so many years…endless unnecessary meetings, hours in traffic, etc. So many reasons that doing this that I was wired and destined for. But something else happened along the way that I didn’t really think about as much before starting this adventure…I found some amazing people to join me on the adventure. Call it luck, good timing, or maybe just being good at finding good people…most likely a combination of all of that.
You see, I’m not only an introvert, but I’ve let my life lead me down a life of solitude. Outside of my wife and 2 boys, my social life pretty much consists of streaming and snacks. Don’t cry for me Argentina….that’s on me. Needless to say, my inner circle is small…but if you are in it, I will fight to the death for you. This applies to my immediate family, and now, it applies to my new family…the people that I’ve hired to join me on this entrepreneurial adventure.
I fight for them. Whatever anxiety or stress I feel about trying to build a stable, successful business starts with wanting to make sure they are taken care of, and that I can give them the life they dream of. I figure if I can do that, then anything regarding myself will work itself out naturally.
We’re so good at what we do…our clients love us, but we’re still small, relatively unknown. A bootstrapped small little agency fighting for every opportunity against much bigger and financially strong agencies that can easily outspend us when it comes to marketing. But we’re doing things the right way, I truly believe it’s not a matter of if, but when. The when is just taking a little longer these days…and screwing with some of my sleeping patterns.
A few weeks ago one of the gals on my team sent me a Slack message out of the blue that made my day. Hell, made my year. There’s no better way to convey why I do what I do then to share what she shared with me:
What comes to mind when you hear “agency life”? I’ll tell you what I think of. Unreasonable clients, unreasonable requests, long hours often, short hours never, tears, beers, roller coaster office mood, frantic lay-offs and frantic hires. It’s just how agency life is, they say. Well, not if you’re Jason Yormark.-Joanna B.
I started working with Jason, owner of Socialistics, in November of 2019. We are quashing the status quo in a world where an agency’s success is often measured by how frantically its people are working. At Socialistics: If a client relationship isn’t fruitful for one or both parties, we part ways. Amicably and respectfully. There are no lock-in contracts, for both of our sakes. Respect for employees and clients AND from employees and clients is the number one priority. The culture isn’t free beers at 3 on a Friday, it is unwavering support from the whole team when life happens. We do not clock in and clock out. We’re not warm bodies in seats. We get our work done and delivered well and on time.
When there are ups and downs, we respect and support each other. The ‘office mood’ is consistently positive. There is no finger-pointing when something goes wrong. We are a team of humans who help each other learn and grow. There is a lot of finger-pointing when something goes right. The team is recognized and work is specifically called into the spotlight. We do not churn and burn through employees and we do not churn and burn through clients.
If you want a standard agency to do a standard job, you’ve got your pick of the litter. If you want an agency to do an outstanding job, because they’re an outstanding agency through and through, choose Socialistics.
For all the middle of the night restless sleepers, hang in there, keep grinding, and most importantly, try to surround yourself with people better than you to help make it all worth it.
Time to give this sleeping thing another shot.