1First, tell us about yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
SweetRush is a dynamic company in a dynamic field, which means navigating constant change, and I get to be a protagonist in helping move us forward on our unique path. I say “unique” because we really are different. For example, we’ve been 100% virtual since 2009—with teammates in 12 countries—and yet our team of 150 plus is remarkably connected.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
Boiled down, we work with the world’s most successful companies to help them be better at what they do, and, boiled again, it gets down to improving the performance of their people. At a high level, we analyze the perceived needs of a line of business and who the people are that need to change in some way, and then we find relevant ways to get to these people to help them modify their behavior. As a co-pilot of sorts, I cover a lot of territories. I believe everyone has a superpower, and mine, I hope, is helping others to maximize theirs.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2018 Muse Creative Awards, what does winning this award mean to you and your team?
Being judged by your peers as doing the best work is deeply satisfying for our team. And, on a marketing level, one way that clients find us is via awards, as they too want to work with vendors doing work judged by others to be the best. For us in particular, being in the Learning and Development space, the Muse Awards are doubly satisfying as they are being judged more at an agency level, hence the award for us is that much sweeter.
4Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
Can I start next week! Technology is enabling innovation; for example, we just started a virtual reality service. For us, a fully immersive, interactive, hands-on experience is hard to beat. But that is now, this moment, and the beat goes on. All that said, the foundation of work well done is and will always be storytelling, authenticity, and making an emotional connection. In Learning and Development, it’s all about finding ways to connect with our audience, which is what we do and why we’ve been successful. So, everything will change, and everything will stay the same.
5What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
We impact real lives. We get to infuse creativity into the landscape. Our industry is dynamic and change is constant, yet the principles of storytelling, authenticity, and making an emotional connection remain. Fun stuff.
6Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Mr. Lewis, my sixth-grade teacher, saw and valued me, and he infused me with worth. That he had this power taught me I could affect the lives of others. He was a master, and I am a shadow, but it’s something that has inspired me to this day and gives me something to strive for.
7What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
The United States is the 800-pound gorilla in the Learning and Development space, and it drives the market. But we are now in 12 countries, and it’s clear there are super creative people in every country. It’s all connected now, and there are no boundaries, creative or otherwise.
8If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a career in creative industry, what would it be?
Cultivate your eye, but learn storytelling, authenticity, and how to connect emotionally.
9What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the advertising industry?
It’s a digital world, and you need to be fluent. That said, learn about storytelling, and learn about people.
10Finally, what is your key to success?
I try to care about others. I try to remember it’s about them, not me.