Growing up, I had a strong desire to be “cool” as do most kids. In school, I am not even sure I could define it, but it was clear who had it. Those were the kids who wore the right clothes, said witty things, and never looked too ruffled... and that was definitely not me.
It was not until much later in life that someone pointed out the meaning of cool when used in this context: lacking in interest or enthusiasm. It was like a lightbulb went on for me. These were also the kids who did not show much interest in school or where they wanted to go in life. No wonder I was not cool!
In 2006, I joined one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies in San Diego as the paid search manager. This was where a lot of the people who were cool in high school ended up working. It was exciting to talk about what was new and trendy in the advertising world... for a while.
My problem was when it came to “growing” client accounts. We would pitch them on the latest and greatest in digital advertising. It did not matter if it was good for the client in the long-term, in part because clients often switched agencies to get the latest and greatest. Relationships were as fickle as in high school...
I lasted for less than two years in that environment. I left to find something where I could show interest and enthusiasm for a company’s success. A year after leaving the agency, I started Factor Four Consulting.
From the start, we have been focused on helping clients succeed. It really matters to me. We eschew the trendy and cool things in digital advertising and focus on what works. The difference is that now, I embrace my complete lack of coolness. I would much rather authentically care about my clients’ success.
This is message #20 in 21 Days of Authenticity. If that would like to receive the rest of the 21 Days of Authenticity via email, please click here to sign up