September 4th marks our sixth birthday. This is particularly significant for me. When I socialised the idea of starting my own agency in 2015, a very well-respected agency owner warned me that making it past five years would be a major milestone…and that was without a global pandemic!
Not only did we make it beyond five but we’re thriving. I’ve made mistakes along the way, learned a lot more than I ever thought I would and had the pleasure of working with some of the best people I’ve ever met. I’m also proud of the ‘Pace Alumni’ – it seems when team members move on, they stay in touch with each other, which is testament to the culture we’ve built here.
So as we celebrate turning six, the team asked me what six things I’d learned in the last year:
1. Relationships are built on proximity
There are some people who enjoy working from home, and there are those who prefer the office environment…but if you want to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues, boss or clients, those relationships will be much stronger and more authentic if they’re a result of being together…and not via a screen.
2. Collaboration is much better done in person
We’re a creative business; we’re all creative, regardless of our job title. And that creativity comes to the fore when we can collaborate, share our ideas and be spontaneous. Anyone who isn’t ‘in the room’ can’t make the same contribution and feels left out. Being ‘disconnected’ from your team mates is a lonely place to be.
3. Misinformation is more prevalent than ever
Like it or loathe it, social media has a role to play in our lives, personally and professionally. However, regulation can’t come soon enough. Like many others, I’ve been shocked at the extent of the misinformation shared at a time when we’ve needed truth and facts.
4. We’re much braver – it’s ok to say no
We’re incredibly busy, which is fantastic. Most of our work comes from recommendations. Our reputation is a result of six years’ hard work so we now feel brave enough to say “no thank you” if we feel something isn’t right for us, or if we’re not right for them.
5. Focus on what we’re brilliant at
As an eager ‘start up’, our only answer was “yes we can do that”. Six years on, we know what we do really, really well. Equally, we’ve learned what we’re not so good at – so we don’t do that anymore. We have a deliberate focus to build on our brilliance.
6. Value what we do
Agency life is very competitive so it’s imperative our clients always value what we do. But we can’t expect any client to do that if we don’t value ourselves first. We’ve been guilty of underselling ourselves in the past. We are now unashamedly confident in who are we and what we do.
I know it’s a cliché but six years have flown by. The last 12 months have tested us in many ways but I think we’ve come out of it in a better place. I love what we’ve achieved here at Pace since those innocent days back in 2015 and I thank everyone whose joined us, in whatever capacity, along the way.