Last week I departed from my typical workweek activities to attend a two-day seminar in Pennsylvania with nine other advertising professionals. The purpose of the Second Wind Zoom Group Seminar was simple: Provide an open, transparent environment in which strangers can share a commonality of success and struggle.
It was an absolutely enlightening experience.
The grouping of individuals couldn’t have been more intriguing. One man’s start-up drove him to military accounts in the South, while another woman manages a 100 percent outsourced marketing management firm in the Northeast. One was results-focused, another solely on branding and identity.
I must admit that during the first couple hours I felt very out of place. I was the only “employee” in the group; all the others were founders or owners of their agencies. Then, if you totaled all of the employees from the nine agencies together, Mudd’s team was larger by nearly threefold. I felt like I was in the presence of terrific, passionate people who love our industry, but would not be interested in my perspective or background.
But then something happened. We started talking about people. Complacency. Best practices for motivation and drive. Workflow processes. Dedication to clients.
It all began to sync. I was in.
We all had something to contribute. We all, regardless of size, targeted industries or expertise had similar daily goals. Even as an employee, I felt like I fully identified with operational needs and revenue ideation. I saw the same time management debates and drive to make one’s own company more efficient and profitable. The conversations were time well spent, and I came back refreshed with new ideas on how to tackle the same struggles other agencies across the U.S. are working to overcome every day. In short, the seminar served as a great reminder that when it comes down to it we’re more alike than different – but it’s finding ways to cultivate the differences that really launch us to success.