As 2010 winds down to a close, the business world slowly closes their books, and prepare to start writing a new chapter for the new year.
And we’re not so different.
This has been Year 2 for JDW: The Charlotte Agency, and year 2 for me being a small busines as owner/partner.
What a year.
Below is my list of five of my thoughts for 2010.
1. It’s Good to Have a Good Partner
Business partner, to be specific. My good friend, co-owner and executive creative director John Dermott has been a fantastic source of energy, creativity, and information. JDW and the city of Charlotte (once it gets its !@#$% together) will soar to seemingly impassable heights because of his artful creative direction. Thank you for buying into my idea of starting something new and exciting. Hopefully you’ll never regret it.
2. It’s Good to Have an Awesome Girlfriend
You think my business partner has it bad enough for putting up with me, try this girl who can’t seem to get rid of me. Trying to make a business work is no easy feat, and it certainly takes a toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. I thank you, Mackenzie, for sticking with me and all the craziness I tend to bring. You keep me sane and crazy at the same time, and I appreciate that.
3. The Sleeves Are Rolled Up, Queen City. We’re kicking you right in the TEETH
We tried to play nice with the others. We even tried reaching out to those who don’t play with others to see if us “new people” could change their minds. No dice.
So mark 2010 as the final year JDW: The Charlotte Agency paraded in the dark, amongst the freelancers, the fake SEO’ers, the “know-it-alls-who-noone-really-knows”. We’re not going to try to come up with new words for ‘marketing’, or ‘advertising’. I think that’s silly. If you have to come up with a new word for what you’re doing…that says something. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure there’s a word for it.
However, there are negative connotations for words like marketing and advertising. People who have engaged in poor advertising, and unethical marketing practices have demonized the majority of those who do good work.
And instead of forcing these people out of the business, what do we do?
Nothing. At least, nothing that has worked.
So that’s what we’re going to do. Charlotte wants to call itself the next New Energy Capital? We like the “South Madison Avenue“. If you’re with us, great! If note, don’t bother us while we work.
4. Education and Mentorship is Key
The Charlotte business sector knows it needs marketing and communications. The small business community is in desperate need of support. As newcomers arrive, the good-ol-boy network will weaken; and those small businesses that depended on it will struggle. The community needs to know about good, effective marketing, and what that actually means.
As for mentorship, everybody should have one. Whether it is in the form of an advisory board, or a person who’s done this before, their feedback is going to help you think things out. Thank you to all those who’ve helped us along the way.
5. Embracing the Unplanned Continues to Work
But don’t plan on the unplanned, that might not work too well. As a company, The Charlotte Agency has done well in surviving these troubling economic times. And in its brief existence, The Charlotte Agency has already experienced several hills and valleys. Sometimes what seems to good to be true could be real, and what looks terrible might not actually be so bad.
And lastly, a huge thanks to my friends, family, colleagues and random readers for all the support, praise, criticism, love, jokes, and everything in between.
2010 has been a whirlwind. I thought I’d never get out of it. But here we are, looking 2011 right in the face.