I am a LONG LONG TIME Envato customer (since around 1998 or 1999 I believe). I’m embarrassed to say this is somehow the first time I’ve decided to hop on the forums and say hello / share my experience, and seek everyone’s wisdom.
I am a creative services guy with a long stint at Cisco Systems behind me as my only official full-time employee position. Whille at Cisco I started a small company to some small success, eventually selling it in 2006. In 2011 I started a (in my opinion) wildly successful small creative services company that I am currently running (RockerDown Studios).
RockerDown was lucky. We landed our first >100k / year client before we had even officially formed the company as an LLC. Our next year or so was really funded because of that company (Allscripts). We then quickly went on to land several other major companies in rapid succession. American Express, MetLife, Adobe, Cisco, Equate (Oil Company based in Kuwait), Lenovo, Quintiles, SAP, Skillsoft, Toshiba, Ulta Beauty… Yeah - that’s right… I can offically claim to be an ulta BEATY Consultant… hahaha.
BUT, I was not yet capable of fully leading this company and I was too slow to recognize that in order for the company to succeed, I needed to take the creative hat off… Frankly, at the time, I would have been unwilling even had I been capable of recognizing the need.
RockerDown exploded into the business so fast, we had NO infrastructure or process to support the rapid-fire projects that our long-term customers were tossing at us with tight deadlines. With me in create mode, there was no time… At one point we had 17 creative employees, and 2 project managers, with me acting as Creative Director, while also taking on the more challenging projects and/or demanding customers.
Two years ago I set out to manage an intentional reduction in business and because our clients are so large, and in a couple instances, had become systemically dependent on us for A LOT. It wouldn’t have been right to suddenly slow down on them.
Recently I’ve seen some success there, and hope to have the patience of the customers while we build a reliable internal system and process to be able to continue to supprt them while not killing ourselves, OR eachother while we scramble to make sure they feel they made a good decision coming to us.
Frankly, the company got too big too fast and the chaos got to me in personal ways.
And now I must decide if I want to run the company or be the creative force behind it… Decisions decisions.
I started my career with multimedia in 1997 with Future Splash (became Flash a short time later) while I was an Intern Technical Writer with a team dream of moving some simpler text-based manuals to a multimedia experience.
I don’t know I ever thought of myself as a creative person before Flash came along. I was a sheet metal roofer with an injured back, hence my scholastic endeavors to become a technical writer… And also never thought I could be a programmer until Flash introduced ActionScript (2, more so than 1, and 3 really bumped me into the next level).
And I’d never have gotten into animation, or video production, or video motion graphics, or, or, or… all the things that I assume we all play with for kicks… I mean, for a job.
I have a sincere passion for building. Teams, companies, projects… whatever… Some would call it empire building. And it’s true, I do love the building… not so much the maintaining once built.
I also know I REALLY love to freely share my experience with those who would seek to benefit. Honestly should have put that at the top. I LOVE helping people avoid the same mistakes that I learned from…
I also have a passion for collaborative leading. Leading teams by seeking the wisdom of the team, as it were…
And, while not leading, I have a passion for taking orders and doing so in a way that makes the person telling me what to do look like a freaking amazing employee to the person telling them what to do…
I do my best to keep my focus on making others look good because… A) it’s the right thing to do, and, B) it keeps my ego out of review meetings ;-).
With all that positive stuff, I will leave you with a quote from a Disney Animator who I used to work with… don’t get excited, the quote has nothing to do with art.
“No matter how pretty she is, there’s someone out there who used to date her and absolutely hates her frigging guts and never wants to see her ugly face again.” [edited for “G” audiences]
In other words, I ain’t all charm and grace and success. But I am always seeking to improve in my triangle of balance, and my failures help me get closer to perfection.
I am often told I come across as arrogant, which is funny because I rarely feel confident, let alone overly so… so, please know I am never placing myself above anyone else. And I never enter a dialog with a closed mind, thinking I am right because I heard from somewhere else it was this way… I am always seeking answers, rarely confident mine is the right one…
I also have delusions of being a quality stand-up comedian. I say stuff I think is funny, and, most times I get haha’s back… occasionally they’re duds… and sometimes… only sometimes, I offend folks - if I ever offend you, please remember that I am 99% Ha-Ha, and 1% OH NO… and also dyslexic… Wait for it… it willl grab you…
Seriously though, I never intend to offend but I hear from folks enough to call it out in advance and pre-emptively ask for your understanding, and freedom to call me out if I do write something thougtless. That’s what it will be… thoughtless, not intentional. I speak plainly and directly, largely because iamalwaysinahurry.
While I try to go back and soften things up, I don’t always remember… so, if it ever happens, please remember I would NEVER disrespect someone intentionally, and I would greatly appreciate your having the courage to let me know if I ever do… that helps us be besties, and also helps me get better at these @$#%^ing communication skills. Sigh…
Was that an overshare??? Darned ADD / Manic / Anxiety / and darn the medicine I take for all of those that cause explosive diar… uhhhh … oversharing again.
And yes, my background image was created using a template from VideoHive :-). Thanks, @cyzercraft - you’re freaking hilarious…
Here’s my reasons for loving life and working hard.