Heading into Year Three of Data Driven Design, I’m thinking back to when I started the company, and how different my mindset was then than it is now.
If 2018 (almost 2019) Paul told 2016 Paul that he’d have a team of 8-10 solid full time employees spanning the skill sets of custom software development, video content creation, social media marketing, web design and development and project management, he definitely would have spit out his cereal in disbelief.
Not that I didn’t think it could happen, but back then, I literally didn’t want it to happen.
I remember telling my dad, my wife Kate, and my buddy Scott Lockhart that I literally didn’t want any employees. I didn’t want any help. I wanted to be a one-man company and do it all myself, yes, like Russ (even before this anthem came out).
I was just sick of other agencies ripping people off.
I was sick of all the bullshit layers to get through before real decisions could be made.
I was confident that speed and over-communication, and above all else, VALUE, wins in the client services game.
Clients don’t care about fancy. They don’t care about YOUR WAY. VPs of Marketing, IT Directors, COOs – these people have a lot of stuff to do and a lot to worry about.
Small business owners, who are all of the above and more = SAME.
I was and AM STILL so convinced of the right way to execute a first class client experience, from care to communication to deliverables and results tracking, that I wasn’t really even confident that I could find another human being on earth that would jump on board with me.
Even through I’d worked with some amazing people, I just wanted to do things my way.
That Paul was right to do what he did, but man, it’s only been a couple years and I’m NOT that Paul anymore.
Step 1 was realizing that I didn’t really want to be “Paul Hickey Consulting.” I was Data Driven Design, but it was just me, at first.
Step 2 was realizing that in order to do that, and to provide the real client experience I wanted, I had to find great people to work with.
Step 3 was realizing that client services is the Magic Johnson, but it’s not the only player on the team. There are other things Data Driven Design can do, can represent and other ways we can provide value, experience and earn revenue other than simply consulting and growing other people’s businesses.
Step 4 was realizing that on the client services side, I didn’t believe in doing the same thing over and over again. In fact, I’m not even convinced websites are the future of company’s digital marketing strategies. Voice is here, and Alexa Skills are happening now, along with Google My Business and Facebook Ads changing all the time.
And it makes sense that I would change. The freaking technology landscape changes every second of every day.
Heading into Year Three, things are totally different. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’m freaking pumped for every single day.