One of the joys of working in the creative industries, unlike finance, is the constant range of good ideas that pop up almost weekly.
As an industry, we are very vocal and like to share our views and ideas.
So I was very impressed when I heard about Creative Business Leaders, a sort of TED for our media industry.
For anyone thinking of starting their own business now, or in the future, it contains valuable advice from some of the industry’s top people. Covering PR, digital direct, design, technology, media, advertising and many other fields.
Featuring top names like Andrew Knowles (JKR), Sarah Wood (Unruly) and Jason Goodman (Albion) and many others (with new one added monthly), each interview covers their experience, lessons they have learnt, views on people, passions, creativity, leadership, the future and more.
The community based site has started to capture the insights and lessons from some of the industry’s successful players, which makes for fascinating viewing and will hopefully inspire younger creative to take the leap from those boring corporate dungeons of agencies and start their own.
The site has been founded by Gordon Christiansen (former MD of the London Graphic Centre) and Susanna Simpson (founder of Limelight PR) – the founders hope it will stimulate discussion and debate, as well as inform.
As a founder of three successful ad agencies, I found many of the interviews really interesting, in part because I can relate to the highs and lows of starting up and running a business, which can be very scary at first, especially when the romance of the start up has vanished and the reality sets in.
Throughout the process of building a business we all learn the hard way, often by making mistakes. There are no short cuts.
When crisis strikes, and it always does at the most unpredictable and most inconvenient time, there are no rule books to turn to, instead gut instinct, hard work and smart thinking gets you through. We’ve all been there, but not of us survive alas.
So listening to others similar experienced was very emotional.
I believe this initiative will become a valuable bank of knowledge and I think it would be essential viewing if you plan to start you own business, but it’s equally as valuable to experienced entrepreneurs as we can always learn from each other.
I will be interested to see if the site, through natural evolution, starts to link up different creative business leaders, resulting in shared ideas and problems.
It could then start to create change through its community. Championing some of the positive opportunities, like more training for young people, while also tackling some of the more challenging issues that face the industry, like clients who don’t have ethical payment policies.