The old cliché of being at the right place at the right time applies to me. In fact, I think it applies to everyone. Most of us think this cliché means they happen to be driving through a neighborhood right when the house they want goes on the market. I know that it is more than that. Events happen to all of us and opportunities arise out of them. The key to it is: when you are at that right place at the right time, do you recognize that opportunity and take advantage of it?
When I started my career at a small marketing agency called Invision, I got my first taste of this cliché. I previously had been bouncing around from job to job, sales mostly. I really didn’t enjoy being a salesman for companies whose products were common, boring and commoditized. It didn’t make for a fun environment for me. If I hadn’t got the job at Invision when I did, I know I would have stopped chasing my dream and resigned myself to average employment that would have crushed my vision.
Invision was run by a couple of brothers who worked really well together and had built a reputable marketing and advertising agency in a small town. The creative director, who was one of the owners, was brilliant and really had a keen marketing mind. Like anyone, he had his faults, but all in all he was a mentor of sorts during the infancy of my career. Other marketing agencies in town played second fiddle to Invision for many years. Invision had built a client list that boasted highly regarded and recognized brands not only here in Denver, but nationwide. Several advertising agencies in larger cities consistently contacted Invision inquiring about the possibility of farming out some of their services to them. It was very flattering.
During the course of my employment there, I was lucky enough to see the entire workings of a marketing agency, from soup to nuts. Account management, creative, online (although it was in its infancy), public relations, multimedia, accounting and strategy were just some of the disciplines I got to study. After several months, I recognized that there was an opportunity for me to establish my own firm and move forward with being the boss. I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but I was truly at the right place at the right time.
Invision has since folded because of a change of direction, but I know it played a critical role in my career teaching me to seek my own path, challenge the status quo and take a risk. I was lucky enough to subtly see the opportunity and, although I didn’t act on it at that time, I established the foundation I needed to strike when I knew I was ready.
President, Encite Marketing