I just got off the phone with an account director at a humongous WPP agency that was telling me about his six years in the advertising business and his current ‘woe is me story’ (I love this definition: “ironical or humorous exclamation of sorrow or distress.”) My advice? Hey, many architects, dentists, dry cleaners and, yes, even lawyers get very antsy at the six-year mark, so consider taking a year off and go to SE Asia. He’s 30 and single so just do it.
The conversation got me thinking about exit strategies. We are well past the days when people hung in there to get a gold watch for 50 years of dedicated work and people age out of advertising at 43 these days (high salaries? don’t know how to market to millennials? haven’t figured out that Periscope is so much more effective than Tv advertising?) So, if you want… go to the greener pastures. They are out there and some come with great food… see the video below.
- If you are a fed up owner or partner – sell out. Believe me, there is life after agency ownership. And, really, one of the smarter worst case scenarios is to know NOW that you want to sell SOMEDAY and that you should start to position your agency TODAY for an eventual sale. Have you started to do this? Like: Start to imagine that you are a potential buyer. Would you be interested in your agency? I’ve written about the art of selling on this blog and on LinkedIn. By the way, some owners just walk away. Selling a service business – especially a full-service agency – with fickle clients isn’t that easy.
- Unhappy in your first few years? Quit your job and travel. OK, a tough call. But, if you are young, you are going to have at least ten jobs anyway. So, why not make one of those ‘jobs’ be a year playing in Thailand? If that sounds too radical, make sure that your personal brand and story is in order. Your brand will lead you to your next gig.
Need some help getting to Thailand? Like spice? Watch this crazy video.