Go Your Own Way
Dear M & A,
Working for other people used to be a great way to secure a steady job with good benefits, regular salary and all that kind of stuff. It wasn’t that long ago that most people stayed with the same company for the majority, if not all, of their working life.
That kind of security doesn’t seem to exist anymore and this change has reinforced my opinion how important it is for you to do your own thing if it’s at all possible.
I spent a lot of time working in big multi-national advertising agencies full of creative people working for someone else. It’s a strange phenomenon that seems to only exist in adland. I can’t think of another creative field where the market is dominated by big companies. You don’t see piles of architects or fashion designers all hanging in the same company. Many prefer to do their own thing. They start their own companies.
This seems particularly true in the Australian interior design industry, where if you read any style magazine they all seem to be running their own companies and living in beautiful houses near the beach filled with lovely furniture. It seems far more enjoyable than slaving away for someone else. There’s a great quote that pretty much sums it up:
If you won’t follow your own dreams, someone will pay you to follow theirs.
Being your own boss isn’t easy. It’s usually more work than working for someone else. But the rewards are all yours, as are the feelings of achievement.
It’s a brave step, one that I think is either part of your nature or it isn’t. I didn’t grow up in that kind of environment, it wasn’t about doing your own thing, it was more about getting a steady job. But it turns out I’m a bit of a control freak and can’t handle others being in charge of my destiny.
One of my goals now, if I decide to stay in advertising, is to start my own agency. I may never have the guts to do it, but I hope that I can encourage you to want to be your own bosses. Back yourselves and believe in yourselves, because your mum and I will back you because we believe in you.