“If you aren’t in business to make the world better, then what are you in business to do?”
Oftentimes we paint entrepreneurship as a selfish endeavor. Images of scruffy millennials wearing graphic tees tapping away at their keyboards in coffee shops emerge. Tired tales of moms missing soccer games and college students neglecting fraternity friendships fill metaphorical pages of the mind. We imagine entrepreneurs pouring their savings, free time, and soul into an idea that could be concrete or quicksand.
But there’s more to the story. Entrepreneurs are motivated by a passion much larger than them. “It’s always product and people.” That’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook said of what matters in business during a recent interview with Fast Company. And when you consider innovation from an historical standpoint, his case is compelling.
More than 150 years ago, the British devised an arc lamp capable of emitting electric light. Sparking an innovation war spanning 4 decades, hordes of inventors tinkered with the product and materials. With each tweak, they inched closer and closer to cutting production costs and increasing energy duration. Long before Thomas Edison secured a patent for the light-bulb, a community of creators laid the groundwork for his final design.
Entrepreneurship is so clearly a pursuit that extends far beyond the individual. It’s compassionate dreamers coming together to leave this world a little brighter and better than they entered it. After all, if you aren’t in business to make the world better then what are you in business to do? I started What Now Creative, an innovative creative marketing agency, after 13 years in graphic design and various marketing roles. Long before I knew I’d be an entrepreneur, one boss gave me the keys to start the ignition. The epitome of entrepreneurship, he bootstrapped the agency we built.
From his cramped living room, our small team blossomed into a leading innovator in the patient retention marketing space. Before his guidance, I thought what made a “brand” was a logo, fonts, colors, and the overall aesthetic. But I quickly learned that your “brand” is a reflection of how you make your consumers feel during each touchpoint. It’s about a feeling, not a look.
Therefore, no marketing agency can wave a magic wand and increase your sales. However, a high degree of openness from both agency and client can work wonders. While my team defines a new era of innovative marketing, we also redefine the agency-client relationship to one built on trust and a willingness to push the boundaries of normalcy.
At What Now Creative, our campaigns straddle the line between typical and edgy by eliminating noise from traditional marketing tactics. To discover opportunities, we evaluate company values and assess the psychology of the population they serve. Then, develop innovative marketing materials that elicit an emotional response from people with eye-catching design, video, text, and more. Simplified messaging and relatable content is the name of our game. Moving forward, we hope to foster a reputation for innovative marketing within the Nashville community, the nation, and the world. So, what now? The path isn’t clear yet and that’s okay. We’re focused on the journey, not the place or destination.