26 Jan

IT AIN'T EASY

Posted by Marck E. Estemil

How can I begin but to proclaim in the vernacular "It ain't easy." I will also begin by reflecting on one of my favorite quotes that I have recently been drawn to which reads...

I began my entrepreneur journey perhaps in the 6th grade in grammar school. I remember decorating my desk as if it were an office desk. It wasn't too fun for my classmates that shared my desk, but for me it was liberating.

Now fast forward back to my days at UConn in 1997-1999. My good friend at the time, and I, ventured on our first entrepreneurial attempt while we were yet earning our degree in graphic design. We managed to land a few clients and we thought that we could just straightway bypass working for anyone. That enthusiasm was short lived when my good friend and I lost touch after graduation.

I then moved to NYC and began to make my customary rounds of working for major global-renowned ad agencies that would hire me for my talent. The money was great and there was little motivation for wanting to venture on my entrepreneurial dreams. Even still, I managed to befriend two very knowledgeable peers who brought me under their wings, and they invited me into their attempt at launching their own small agency. I don't even think we got a chance to land any clients but our egos clashed and rather than sever our friendship, we decided to call the attempt at an agency quits.

Let's fast forward to now three years ago when I decided to go at it in my second attempt in launching an agency on my own. My first attempt on my own was shaky at best, making little to no profit. I got cold feet and I quickly retreated myself back into the safe security of a dependable job. This time around, when I launched ME-Creative Agency, LLC, I promised myself that I was going to persevere through the harsh reality of not making a tremendous amount of profit within my first year. I began taking the council of successful entrepreneurs who taught me that any new business venture usually goes through a 5-year cycle before reaping a tremendous amount of success and that I have to be willing to trust the process.

Right then and there I seized an opportunity to launch a creative agency for entrepreneurs like myself who are going through the process. My experience working for the major ad agencies in NYC has taught me that much of the success of global brands is dependent on their ability to properly market and advertise their products and services to the right niche of consumers/companies interested in their product or service. I then thought to myself, "I wonder how many entrepreneurs are aware of this need to properly brand and advertise themselves so that they may get an upper edge at succeeding?"

I went enthusiastically on my quest to educate and serve this entrepreneurial segment with a solid business plan catered for this demographic. I was looking at the "ching-ching" like most of the entrepreneurial clients that I myself was targeting. On year 3 I realize that the "ching-ching" is not as easily accessible as I had hoped. Don't get me wrong, I have and still experience success, but the process is a slower ascent and it is not for the faint hearted.

Back to my quote above; "Authentic leaders walk the path with you. Not make the path for you." -Jason Houch.

In my third year as an entrepreneur I have decided that I will try my best to be an authentic leader. I will "walk the path" with my clients. I will understand their challenges, their limitations, and work together to find a solution that is best for their respective business. My last two years I took upon myself the burden of making the path for the clients that I serve; and it was exhausting and perhaps not as productive. I'm now at the half-way point between year one and year five. I'm looking forward to the journey.

Thank you for your support now and in the future.