Streamtime Radio caught up with For The People Co Founders Damian Borchok, Jason Little and Andy Wright to discuss working with startups, life without client service managers and bringing your own lunch to work.
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Alternatively, if you’d prefer to read For The People’s insights, here is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Who are For The People?
Andy Wright: I used to be a tennis coach…for a little while anyway and I actually fell into marketing because I coached this guy’s kids. He worked for a company called Dulux. I said “I kind of like marketing.” and he said “I think there’s a job down in London.” I fell into marketing like that, did it for a year.
Then I worked for a few internet companies and met an Aussie girl and moved to Sydney and met these guys when we worked at Landor, which was around ten years ago. So we worked together about a year and then I went off into the world of men’s magazines for three years and emerged slightly more knowledgeable, a little bit sweatier, certainly more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of magazines and what gets men going.
“We decided it was time to do our own thing based on the experiences that we’d had and some of the frustrations that we had…so For The People was born out of that”
Then Damian approached me to run Interbrand, down in Melbourne. So we built up Interbrand in Melbourne and then I came to Sydney and worked for a company called RGA, which had launched here about a year before. Then we all had a chat, came together and decided it was time to do our own thing based on the experiences that we’d had and some of the frustrations that we had and what we wanted to try and achieve in this industry, so For The People was born out of that.
Damian Borchok: I kind of fell into this industry as well. I started in banking and then worked for a winery for a while. I always had a passion for design and a point of view around communications and how businesses work. Somebody said there’s a job going at a design firm and that kind of gave me my grounding in the industry. It taught me as much about what not to do, as what to do.
“I always had a passion for design and a point of view around communications and how businesses work.”
Then I moved to Landor and got asked to start their brand strategy practice and had no idea what to do to start with, we made it up as we went along. It got kind of successful and then Jason and Andy came on board and I eventually left to start at Interbrand. I was asked to be CEO for Interbrand so I did that for about seven years and thought I had enough of working for large global organisations and seeing so much of the market changing and the need to respond to that and start fresh in terms of not only in a new business, but my own career as well. That’s where we got together talking. It was an interesting experiment to see where we could take this business in our careers.
Jason Little: I had sort of a classic design background in terms of I liked to draw and wanted something to do with that when I grew up. I went and studied architecture actually, which was cool, although it wasn’t for me. I got an internship which led to an apprenticeship in design and so I did study design. I did that for about 18 or 19 years now, a long time. It wasn’t good for a long time, I wasn’t good not that it wasn’t good. Yeah and so that was in the UK, Scotland mostly, then I moved over to Australia worked at Landor.
“I went and studied architecture actually, which was cool, although it wasn’t for me.”
After working in a number of agencies, I seemed to move on every year when I first arrived, for the first five years and then finally found my footing in Landor in terms of what I was looking for, surprisingly. Then I met Damian, met Andy, worked there for a decent stint, moved to Paris, worked there for a decent stint with Landor as well, so that was cool. Then came back worked for another agency and then finally had just had enough of people being my boss or thinking you’re the boss, but really there’s other people holding the strings, you know?
And obviously, why wouldn’t you want to go into business with people like these guys, who know what they’re doing, equally have their own vision about what things could be. I think the cool thing about it is everyone is kind of product based. As in we are all working on stuff, we’re not facilitating stuff, we’re thinking and solving stuff. So yeah…I was kind of lucky for it to work out this way.
“Why wouldn’t you want to go into business with people like these guys.”
Making the leap
Kye: When did the seed get planted, where you one day wanted to work together again and possibly in your own business?
Damian: I don’t know that we talked about it much before. There was a time when I was looking for another Executive Creative Director at Interbrand and I immediately thought of Jason. We had a conversation and rather than me going “Jason, do you want to be our next Executive Creative Director?” He kind of turned the conversation around and said “why don’t you leave that business and why don’t we start our own thing?”
That was nine months before it really happened. I was going through a process of just thinking what my options were. Can I do this? Do I just walk away from a decent salary, when you’ve got a mortgage you’ve got to pay, to walk into no income for a period of time? So that was a big consideration and I think when Andy came along as well, it made the opportunity an even bigger one. We thought, at least for me, it was time to make the change.
“Can I do this? Do I just walk away from a decent salary, when you’ve got a mortgage you’ve got to pay, to walk into no income for a period of time?”
Jason: The truth though is once that conversation happened, then all three of us got together. Damian, getting him to leave this really cushy job as the head honcho was a lot harder. After we had a dinner together and talked about the possibility he still didn’t…he was like “that would be cool.” But it’s like walking away from a meeting and then going, “right now what?” Me and Andy met the next day and then we had lunch, had a few drinks and then went “timing’s right we should do this, let’s do this.” We shook on it, texted or called Damian and said “we’re doing this, are you in?” And it was like an elbow to the ribs “come on” and so he did, obviously.
Kye: It’s a scary thing right?
Andy: It’s best described by Damian’s lunch I think. Damian brings a very small kids sandwich box to work every day. It has two pieces of bread with maybe a piece of ham in between or maybe one of those little cheese and bacon things that you can get from Baker’s Delight and maybe some cherry tomatoes, I think and that’s pretty much what he eats every day.
“Damian brings a very small, kids sandwich box to work every day.”
Damian: I’m still doing it. But it is, when you’re without an income and you’ve still got massive outgoings it is very difficult. It’s very hard to then sort of live the life that you are used to. You have to reevaluate everything. I think we kind of started businesses before, but we had the foundation of a big company to keep the money coming through, whereas this time there was no safety net at all.
At the end of the day that became the motivation for why you want to ramp the business up, big enough, fast enough so that you’ve got the cash flow so you can start paying yourself something, most of it is still away from what our previous salaries were. It’s now easier, 12 months in that at least you can cover the cost.
Kye: Now that you’re giving yourselves a bit of cash, is it a better trade off, maybe not as much money, but a better quality of life, a better quality of business life then working for somebody else?
Andy: Yes we are in control of our own destiny, that makes a big difference. We get to decide if we want to work with clients or not. There are a lot of clients that we’re working with now, smaller but way more interesting in terms of a lot business startups or social enterprises that we would have had to say no to before because the cost structure just doesn’t allow you to work with them.
“We are in control of our own destiny, that makes a big difference.”
We can take that stuff on now. But we certainly haven’t got it sorted. At the same time we love a big client that we can do great work for, but yeah we are much more in control of the situation. We are certainly happier, but just less well off.
Jason: And work life balance has taken a massive dive I reckon. It feels like we just work nonstop, there is no switch that says “finish work.” That switch was a grey area anyway, but now I think it’s just on a slight dim through the sleeping period until we get up again. It just doesn’t stop. You’re just constantly aware that you’ve got people where you pay their salaries; you’ve got a business where you’ve got a constant load of work coming up ahead, plus a gazillion projects that you’re working on currently that you’re not meeting deadlines on. Everything has an impact on everything else. In a good way.
“We are certainly happier, but just less well off.”
How we’re different
Kye: So how are you different to other agencies?
Andy: I think some of the ways that we are different, we don’t hire client management, so everyone is responsible for managing their own projects, managing their own clients. It means that we don’t deliver particularly good client service and we don’t profess to either, we make that pretty clear at the beginning. We don’t do things like timesheets, but we still have to try and manage our way through in terms of deadlines, so that we know that we’re not spending too much money.
We try and get people of different disciplines and skills sets for the project at the beginning versus passing batons on. We want a developer, a strategist, a designer and a copywriter at the very, very beginning of the project, because we don’t know what the answer is meant to be.
Damian: I think one of our distinctive qualities is that we’re kind of counter intuitive in how we behave to what some of the industry norms are.
“I think one of our distinctive qualities is that we’re kind of counter intuitive in how we behave to what some of the industry norms are.”
For example, as Andy said, no client services but we actually think we deliver a better product for that and we certainly help deliver better value in terms of what clients get. Things like we’re not afraid to tell clients when we’re not happy with how things are working or what they look like or in terms of the way their business operates. We’re happy if we are in a pitch situation, to actually walk away from it. In a number of instances where we have done that, they have actually come back to us and awarded us work.
Most organisations would be terrified of giving up the work. There’s kind of a brutal honesty to how we work but I think clients appreciate that and that gets us to the heart of problems as well as answers a lot faster. We see the problem differently and as a result the answers are different as well. I think that…in a lot of ways it’s cultural that’s the difference.
“There’s kind of a brutal honesty to how we work but I think clients appreciate that.”
Jason: One other area we’re trying to be different is with regards to people, which you would expect with our name. But there’s been a really strong push to the types of people that we hire or focus on, the types of people that we hire. That means not taking on work that would mean we would have to hire a certain type of person that keeps an engine running, but isn’t necessarily pioneering or innovating within their space.
We go through this vigorous interview, like half the time when we hire creatives, we don’t even look at their folios for like the first three interviews. We’re always erring on the side of thinkers and the people who are doing stuff beyond the job description. Anyone who fits the job description isn’t going to be working with us. Just bringing in a whole diverse set of skill sets, but not going “that’s what you’re hired for, do your job on that single piece.” Actually, alright you’re brought in to be a thinker that means you can put your hand to any of these things.
Some people might have an extra special skill set that can help deliver some of that thinking in a certain area. But everyone is responsible for the ideas and anyone can lead, anyone can take the reins and make it something better, so it’s cool. That changes everything for me. It’s just a very different dynamic.
“Everyone is responsible for the ideas and anyone can lead, anyone can take the reins and make it something better. That changes everything for me.”
Andy: We spend a lot of time talking as a group. We have something called book club, which is almost like group therapy. We read a book together as homework and then we talk about the things from it. We just read the Google book, How Google Works.
What’s interesting is we have one or two forums a week where we’re able to talk about what’s going on in the business. It can be about anything like how we approach hiring, or how we approach a project, are we doing enough on a project, how do we know when to stop or just keep going, is everyone happy with who they’re working with and who they’re not working with, and all that kind of stuff.
Knowing from past agencies that stuff gets talked about but in silos and very small circles, it can poison a business and culture pretty quickly because people are talking about things individually and other people don’t know anything about it. Where as ours is very much out in the open and if you’ve got a problem, let’s all get together and see what we can sort out. That’s been good for us.
Jason: That and we have our book club on Tuesdays and we have we our stand up for Monday where we kind of work out what’s going on, but we talk about other stuff. This week we talked about our finances and just how projects run. Then we have wrap up on Friday, where we talk through projects and understand what’s going on.
The future is flat
Kye: You guys have a flat structure, are you finding that’s working?
Andy: Back to culture, is one of the reasons for doing that. So often in agencies people will be unhappy or they will see somebody else got a promotion and so they get given a title change. Sometimes that’s enough for them to be happy. Their role didn’t change, their pay didn’t change, but they’ve got this little kind of addendum to their title. When you look back at an agencies structure, there’s 14 different levels to something and it’s ridiculous.
Really what’s happening is people are just going through their careers looking for the next notch on their career bedpost. If they don’t get it at your place, they’ll move on to somewhere else. To get rid of that kind of culture was to just say “if you’re looking for the next notch, that’s not with us, you are just going to be called a discipline here, not senior discipline or associate senior”, like that.
“Really what’s happening is people are just going through their careers looking for the next notch on their career bedpost.”
Kye: If you’ve come from a traditional agency background and you’re a designer, normally you’re protected a little bit by client service so when something doesn’t get done you can sort of hide behind that. But now everyone’s responsible so that could feel a bit…
Damian: It’s a tradeoff. When you’re in those agencies of client services, people complain that they get treated like a child with someone standing over them all of the time. The tradeoff is that you don’t have that safety net anymore, but you then get treated like an adult. You’re responsible for your work. You stand and deliver. If there’s a problem you’re on the phone directly with the client. You have to confront the deadline, there is nobody else there that is going to confront that for you. You work as a team and that’s self-supporting, but you don’t have that layer to hide behind anymore.
The upside is that everybody gets to behave like grown-ups and take responsibility and also be able to work together on work that’s meaningful and not getting caught up in the management of the business because it’s much more pure structured this way. You are doing the work and you’re having a direct interaction with the client about the work and there’s no layer in between that anymore. We are very product oriented and that is the core of what we want to do for our clients is deliver great product. That is probably the most pure model that you can have to achieve that.
“The tradeoff is that you don’t have that safety net anymore, but you then get treated like an adult.”
Kye: Are you finding they’re thriving with this responsibility?
Jason: I would say that people are getting used to it. I think there’s an acclimatisation period, because if you’re used to being managed and then suddenly not knowing how to approach a client or feeling like you can’t just say the truth.
We’ve all worked in businesses where there has always been a hierarchy like “who presents?” Wheel in the grey hair in the old agency model. Or “this meeting really matters, so you guys aren’t even in the meeting to explain the work that you’ve done and hopefully we are going to explain it the way that you wanted to and then come back with a whole bunch of feedback, that we are then going to put on you to change it and you won’t know why”. And there’s going to be all that kind of weirdness about it trying to work out what someone was saying. With us, they’re in the room so we get to have these adult conversations.
Often our meetings aren’t meetings, they’re creative sessions as in you solve the problems in those meetings, so no one is going “what am I going to do after this?”.
To pitch or not to pitch
Kye: Another thing that’s different about you guys is you don’t necessarily like to pitch. How did you get your first client?
Damian: You talk to people you know and each of us obviously had a lot of interaction with clients in the past. I was really heartened to see how quickly when you tell people you’re on, there’s actually a real desire to help you out.
Any business development is a network of conversations you’re always having anyway. Yes we were given opportunities early on, but I hope that as we continue to grow, that we still don’t have to pitch. It’s really expensive and I actually think the process is dysfunctional. It never actually highlights the real skills, it’s such a heightened, unrealistic level and then it sets an expectation that the client never meets in terms of the quality of creative they want or what they really want from you. You know it’s always a bit strange.
“I actually think the process is dysfunctional.”
I think there are just better ways of doing business and we prefer to have that conversation and then say “look give us go.” Again, a pitch is often high risk because of the volume of value involved, where as our work tends to start very small and modest where the risk to actually go “okay we’ll try you out on that,” is much lower and the confidence building is much quicker because within a week or two you actually know what our thinking is like live, on a real problem. That immediately gives them a sense of confidence more often than not that the next stage is an obvious choice.
Weird and wonderful clients
Kye: How does a company that doesn’t do timesheets, have a client who builds timesheets? How does that happen?
Andy: The client/agency relationship with us is all about ambition. When it was very clear what you wanted to do with Streamtime and also seeing some of the history of what you had achieved with Streamtime, it was that, that dictated whether we should work together or not.
We kind of joke that maybe it’s because of our mutual hatred of things like timesheets. Maybe that is why we’re so keen to be able to help fix it. Like why should this stuff be the bane of everyone’s lives? It’s really amazing when you interview someone for a role at our company and you throw in “oh yeah and we don’t do timesheets” and they go “what?!” Like you could have just said “I will give you a bar of gold if you join us”, it is almost the equivalent. We’re keen to try and work out ways to fix that.
“The client/agency relationship with us is all about ambition.”
It is true, you’ve told us stories of people who think that they are making money off jobs, but when they actually look at the time spent on their jobs, they came nowhere near to it. It is important places know that and there are plenty of places that do need timesheets.
It’s ambition that drove us together not what the product was. We work on a whole heap of weird, different products and it’s that that drives us forward.
Kye: Is diversity in clients something that’s exciting?
Damian: Yeah, we don’t want to become specialist in any industry. It’s really about how we philosophically approach a problem as opposed to being experts in telecommunications or technology or arts or whatever. It’s absolutely ambition. It’s the will the client wants to put behind the kind of transformation they’re looking for.
Because they’re kind of rare in this market and it seems to be more concentrated in the startup world than the large, organised bureaucracies where really what you’re looking for is a way to manage your way through the day, the week, the month and the year, as opposed to actually achieving anything of any real, substantial consequence. If you’re in that corporatised model, that’s just not useful for your career or the development of your own life or actually any achievement you can do, that’s why we’ve kind of gravitated to where we are.
Andy: There is some real substance in ambition. We have had meetings where companies want to work with us and we kind of push them to find out what their goals might be and they go “oh yeah, we want to grow by 50 percent or 100 percent” or something. You can pick it fairly easily as to whether they really mean it or they just like the idea of being ambitious and then expect you to do absolutely everything. They have to have some sort of vision of where their business is going or some understanding of why it needs to be changed.
Jason: In our industry you always get to work with awesome clients that are so diverse from a cup-a-soup, to a car brand, and then an airline or a city or a country or a telco or whatever. That’s really cool anyway in our industry and you have to become experts in that.
The one thing that is interesting now with this whole start up thing is everyone is coming up with these new products and models that you have to get your head around even what it is and how it’s going to work. It’s opening up a new avenue in our minds, in my mind definitely, of what’s possible. It almost wants you to be an entrepreneur and come up with products yourself. When you’re working with these people you’re like “wow, I can’t believe they come up with that great idea, I wish I was doing that.” And then we get to work with them and make them successful again and get none of the money that they make.
Working with Startups
Kye: What are the issues facing startups today? Are they different from the past or has it always been the same issues? Are there any?
Andy: Working with startups is still relatively new for us so I’m not sure about past issues. One of the most common things we find is…most start ups have some sort of game changing piece of technology, that doesn’t currently exist in their market, that’s why they’re doing it because they see some sort of opportunity there.
What they really struggle with is being able to tell a story around that, that is different or is simple enough for everyone to go “oh right, this is that thing I should have!” So there is this ability to tell a story and they see so much potential in their product, but it could be 10 different things and they just don’t know which one to pick so they put all them on a web page for example.
Then the other part is that, especially in digital kind of products, is that they’re engineers, they’re technology people, so they’re very kind of rational, kind of logical, they know how to work out systems and solutions, but when it comes to creating magical experiences it’s not. And there is so much that is talked about and effort put into things like a minimum, viable product. But then they put it out in the market and low and behold the experience is a bit shit. It’s not fun or is a little bit underwhelming for people.
So, we spend a lot of time down in user experience, one to create some of the logic, but two to create some of the fun in a product. Often we are looking for things like “why would you tell someone else about this?”, “why do you want to share it with somebody else?” That doesn’t happen a lot of the time in terms of their thinking. That’s fair enough. A lot of their time is spent trying to build the thing. That is where we come in and help them.
Damian: I think one of the other areas that they struggle with is that I don’t think they fully understand design. I think design is talked about a lot, but it gets left by the sideline more often than not when the final product comes out. There seems to be a gap in their understanding, it’s not simply the functionality of the product that makes a product engaging. It’s the way that people can relate to the story, they can relate to an aesthetic, the way the thing simply moves and functions, the little touches that might seem superfluous to a rational thinker but I think that human interaction is important and memorable. I think all those things we find incredibly important.
“It’s not simply the functionality of the product that makes a product engaging. It’s the way that people can relate to the story.”
There was one project where a UX Researcher came in to look at our work and immediately stripped out any of the humanity in what we do and it ended up being very utilitarian. That kind of mentality…they are sort of like the dementors of our industry and they take the soul out of everything. A lot of what our focus is on is how do you bring the soul back? How do you introduce the soul into a brand as quickly as possible so that the startup doesn’t simply look like a minimum, viable product early on. Even though you have to work within very tight budgets, you can actually elevate it quickly so it can go to market faster and it can get success faster so you can start the ball rolling.
We aim really high in in terms of what we like to be able to give startups. And I think what they often expect is much lower when they first come to us.
“We aim really high in in terms of what we like to be able to give startups.”
One year on
Kye: You just celebrated your first anniversary, what have you learned in those 12 months?
Andy: We’ve learned a whole heap of things. We’ve learned that we don’t need client managers and it’s something that’s sort of expected. We’re starting to learn how to get people into projects at the very beginning and how to fuse the different disciplines together and also when that stuff doesn’t work. We’ve learned that we don’t have to stick to the model that all agencies stick to, like the 40 hour week, the hourly rate and sticking all that together and assuming that that week is real. A lot of that is not real, ever. Show me the agency that works a 40 hour week and we will all go and work for them.
“Show me the agency that works a 40 hour week and we will all go and work for them.”
Like this ability for people to always be picking on numbers, like “you know your utilisation is terrible this month” or “this job has gone 50 grand over and it’s only a 50 grand job” or whatever it is. Still, when you look to the numbers at the end of the month and the money that came in and the money that came out and you look at the margin that they want to hit, it’s the same so why all the hassle for trying to fit in to the model that doesn’t exist? That’s one of the biggest things, proving that that model doesn’t exist and doesn’t need to exist. I think we want to do even more with that.
I think we’ve learned how to get a little bit more comfortable with showing work that isn’t good.The work only matters when it goes out the door properly at the end of a project in terms of what it looks like, what it does. Sometimes we have a client that will come in and I write up a percentage on the wall which is based on very little science or logging of time or anything like that, and I will say look “we are about 50 percent through this project, so what you’re seeing is 50 percent of work, it’s not there yet, it’s going to change a lot as we go but just feel comfortable, don’t worry that this is it.”
“That’s one of the biggest things, proving that model doesn’t exist and doesn’t need to exist.”
What is every agency presentation like? It’s the big ta da, everyone gets kind of wound up, it’s a late night before and it’s like okay we are going to come in and we are going to do this big presentation and we are going to knock their socks off! But we are only half way through the project and everyone is under a lot of pressure. All these things get designed that are never, ever going to get up or exist they just want to sell an idea.
So all this unnecessary pressure gets heaped upon people throughout the process and really all that matters is what comes out at the end. So we have kind of worked out how to do that. But it is hard to get people into that sense of comfort.
Kye: Have you started working with a client and then just worked out that it wasn’t going to work out between either of you?
Damian: Yeah we work out an exit strategy.Then it’s like “how did we let that one in the door?”
If we had only asked about two or three other questions it probably could have qualified them better and we just miss those in the conversations. You do sometimes regret it, but we are extremely spoiled with the kinds of clients that we have.
Jason: We are just so spoiled by the start up world. Like the art clients that we’ve got, there is just a lot of interesting stuff, you almost see the motivation of the staff’s faces drop when they are faced by a project that actually helps pay the bills.
You can really see the effort kind of changes and it’s like “wow” just because it’s not one of these super cool ones. Actually that’s often the mindset of the staff. It can be cool; it’s just that sometimes there are just a lot cooler clients that we’re working with.
Getting work has been relatively easy. Initially when we started I thought reputation has nothing to do with it and you have got to work hard. Pretty much a week later all these things started appearing. It’s quite flattering when people want to work with you. So when they’re really keen it’s very hard to go “hey, I’m not sure if you are right for us.”
Best piece of advice
Kye:What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Jason: It was from one of my old MDs and it’s a kind of tired saying but it really helped me. Which was “don’t ask for permission, seek forgiveness”, because once you realise that nobody knows the answers, everyone is kind of just blagging it, and if you just do what you think is best, no one is going to argue with you if someone is going to have a stronger idea of what things should be or a driving vision to make something happen. They step out of your way.
“Don’t ask for permission, seek forgiveness.”
That was about eight years ago, nine years ago they said that to me and I think it pretty much set the pace for my career or how I’ve acted in business. Obviously, I’ve had letters from the lawyers, formal warnings, all sorts of things…but I still wouldn’t change that.
Damian: I’m not sure this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly the piece of advice that sort of rings in my ears all the time working in this sort of business.
One of my old bosses said “This industry is a very unusual industry, in that because we’re project based we’re only ever probably two to three months away from going bankrupt.” And that kind of focuses the mind on…very easily your business can fall over and so the idea of keeping the business running, and keeping on top of things and never slowing down, always thinking about how you can be better and how can you find the next opportunity is a really important driver for me. It always sits in the back of my head, that that is the thing we always need to be looking at.
For some people that would be terrifying and unmotivating, whereas for me that intensifies my focus on what we want to achieve. Rather than being fearful of that, it’s almost like embracing that and going “how do we challenge ourselves, how do we challenge our clients, how do we actually excite the industry or the marketplace about what we can be doing for them?” I think that’s proving itself because we haven’t had to formally market ourselves to date.
“How do we challenge ourselves, how do we challenge our clients, how do we actually excite the industry or the marketplace about what we can be doing for them?”
People have just started talking about us and apart from our website and a couple of presentations we’ve given at events, we haven’t done much. Stuff just seems to be working. We can’t always just rest on our laurels and think it’s always going to be that way, but certainly it seems like I guess our ambition is starting to be heard by people.
Andy: I think it’s actually a very recent piece of advice, as in the last couple of years, but it was, “do the right thing.” I think too often you can get carried away and caught up with what’s going on around you and what you think you’re supposed to do versus when you step back and go “actually, what’s the right thing?” And whether that’s by people or by the client or by even yourself, a lot of common sense and logic comes through. I think quite often people don’t get the chance to think that way.
“Do the right thing.”
I think you constantly need to remind yourself of it like are you doing the right thing? We have a business owned by three different people and the three of us are pretty different. You have to realise that we’re not going to agree on everything and we’re all going to want to do things in different ways sometimes and we are all perfectly entitled to do so because we have a third each. When you bring back “do the right thing”, it kind of makes you think “okay, what’s really important and what should we being trying to achieve? And when is it right to take different paths and ways of doing things?”
When we have a flat structure, we have to put all our trust in the people that we hired and we have got to let them run their projects, make decisions, make mistakes. People will make mistakes and that has to be okay and we have to be comfortable with that as well. I think that is the bit that I try and remind myself at the moment.
Jason: We are also working with a client that is all about kindness, like a foundation about kindness…I know since working with them, I feel like “God, I need to be kinder and I need to put other people first at all times.” And I am definitely, acutely aware of when I don’t. I’m like “dammit, why did I say that or why did I do it that way?” So being kinder, I know that sounds lame, but I actually quite like that as a focus.
Kye: Congratulations on your first year of business. I’m sure many more clients will be flocking to work with you.
Go to forthepeople.agency to find out more about For The People.