What’s in a name? No matter what company I chose to be called, I still kept getting calls. They called me directly, that’s good, right?
As an entrepreneur and a thought leader, I’ve tried from the start to always lead with creativity, and lead with the mind. If you’re tying EBITA to something I would suggest the mind isn’t the first place to start. You should have assets, and the company should be able to run with or without you there. Sadly, this was not the case for me.
I started a company called Faduchi Group in 2008, joining with a partner in 2010. I committed to a five-year plan to see where this brought us. We specialized in Graphic Design and Web Development. At the time everyone and their mom needed what I had, It was an easy sell. But as I got closer to the work or the task of the clients, I kept wanting to help with more. I quickly grew into a strategic marketing role, which at the time didn’t make sense to me. The word “Marketing” always struck me as cheesy or sales-focused, what old men used to do. And when it comes to strategy, no one wanted to pay you for ideas back then…so it was something I shoved into a design title somewhere in the quote.
For years we grew our business on a word-of-mouth basis, from small clients to much larger clients in the span of five years. As the company grew, I also grew in knowledge and how business works through working with my clients. I adapted in many ways and saw a different future for me. After five years with a partner, I decided to go my own way, thinking of leaving the company behind and starting something a little different. Something more mature, with a strategic focus. I had been in the room with CEOs of companies, I had seen how great ideas change things…I fixed major problems for them. This is more of what I wanted to do.
Around the same time as wrapping things up, I heard from a colleague of mine in a different space of business. He’d mentioned he’d bought a company that was product-focused, designing and curating products overseas for clients like Indigo, DavidsTea, Shiseido, and more. I was of course intrigued and saw the opportunity to learn a lot, which I did. I didn’t come in guns a-blazin’ thinking I would be the guy to run it all, in fact, I was hoping the opposite. I could see what life is like in this part of the world, learn a bunch of things and apply them to the strategic marketing world I may come back to one day. I committed to five years of it, I usually see five years ahead and try to stick with that.
The 5-year plan:
• You can’t change the world in one year.
• By year two you’ve just started to build.
• Three should be your first profitable year.
• The fourth year is seeing if you can do it all again but a little better.
• Five is time to dig in for another five or duck out.
I learned how to handle international relationships, I learned how to conduct business at a very high level, and most importantly I learned how to manage a much larger company and team. But, was this the company I was meant to run?
The first few years were extremely fun, we merged both companies together renaming it Valiant Creative Agency, which focused on product development (70% of our business) and strategic marketing (30% of our business) for clients in Food & Drink, Luxury Lifestyle and the Financial sector. From 2016-2018 that was a great plan and served us well, but I had struggled with this company becoming my identity. Was I slowly turning into what the company was, turning from my ways to turn a profit or a product that wouldn’t last more than a year? Was I just a product guy?
I questioned this for years and started making changes in the company for that reason. Our motto (which was plaster on the first wall you saw walking into our office) was “Sell your mind, not your soul.” I had put that there to remember who we were, and each time I walked by it I felt like it was getting further and further away from being the truth.
Not too long after we started making huge changes in the company my business partner came to me and said he couldn’t run the company anymore. It was a shock, seeing it was his in the first place, but I decided to buy him out for a few reasons. One, I had spent almost five years of my life (and my family’s life) gunning for this company. There was blood, sweat, and too many tears wrapped up in the hard work I’d put in since our start in 2015. Two because I respected him, and didn’t want to give up on the dream we had built together.
So, I bought the company and start thinking about the future. This was Oct 2019. I took over the company in January 2020. 2020 y’all.
I won’t get into all the details of the virus, no one wants to hear that again. I will say this though, by March we were bleeding hundreds of thousands monthly from our product business, and as a “Strategic Thinker” losing isn’t an option. I sat in my office for 24 hours and thought of a way out of this, how we survive, pay the staff’s rent and keep things afloat until we see an end in sight. I could solve these problems for a client…time to do it for myself. Within 10 days of my decision, we had moved out of our office and into my small smoking shed in my backyard. Closed down the office, wrapped up our international business and said goodbye to the product game for good.
At that point, I’d rather have money in my account for my staff than the bells and whistles anyway. We were in survival mode for a good year, coming up with ways to pay debts, fighting back lawsuits, and of course, trying not to die from a worldwide virus. I’m not one for taking government money, so we tried to stay afloat from the money we had left over and the little that was coming in. That worked for a good while, but we never saw that “end in sight” we hoped for. By 2021 the company had boiled down to two and a few contractors, which for a few months seemed pretty devastating.
During these crazy few months my wife and I had been making life choices, we have four kids and saw the importance of being there for them more than anything. I had always wanted to leave the GTA, and since 2016 I had been looking around for a “simpler life” and a place that wasn’t so impossible to afford. Working for yourself, running a large company, living in the GTA…it’s all a bit too much to handle. We decided to move the family away to Prince Edward Island, for our sanity, for the lifestyle, and ultimately because I had no ties with business. Any time I thought of moving away the business tied me down, but the world was changing so I took the chance.
Once we got here, we knew we had made the best choice ever! I took a year off, only working on the house and property to clear my mind and refocus. The year was very important to me, I had looked back at the 20 years I had been designing, and working towards this goal of entrepreneur and self-made creative. Some days I questioned what 20 years actually got me, some days I questioned why I wouldn’t keep going. In frustration one day I told my wife I was just becoming a farmer, who cares about the agency life…I didn’t want it.
But, I’m thankful I questioned it, I’m thankful for friends around me who challenged me on things and pushed me. It brought me here, right where I want to be.
I’ve decided to build a company that has no rules we’re comfortable with, a company that is built around well-being, not profit. I’m building a company that is highly focused on great ideas changing people’s minds, ideas that last a lifetime and are backed by integrity.
This company is called Considerate Agency.
It’s a mix of what I wanted to build for years, and the role the pandemic had played in my life. This would look much different than usual. Was there going to be an office in PEI and the GTA? Was there going to be full-time staff? Surely we needed social media, email, and hours of operations. Hmmm, how about none of the above?
Well, now you look like a contractor or a consultant that has no office, or credentials…heck you’ll look small! Ok, cool.
Since 2010 I’ve spent every year building this “thing” to be bigger and better. Starting now, I’m not building anything…I’m just helping my clients solve problems like always. I’m doing it without the rules of agency life and I’m doing it without the stress of having to be more for people vs being enough for my family.
Considerate will be a strong company built of Luminary Marketing Strategists, Lumineers for short. Creatives around the globe who all pour in their talents for the clients we serve. Deadlines will be met, but there isn’t a day-to-day, 9-5 we abide by, heck most of our best work was between 2-4 am anyway. It will leave time for the creative mind to run wild, and come up with the best ideas, campaigns, stories, and productions. It will also leave time for other creative ventures, in education and technology…but more about that later.
For now, it’s Considerate (Consider It) Agency. We’re here to change things, we’re here to solve problems, and we’re here for you.
Hope to talk to you soon, we don’t have an email address…so call us at 905.299.5722