4A’s MAIP Summit & George Swisher: Being The Real MVP On Your Team
Agency advisor, investor and speaker George Swisher led a “Business Fundamentals” workshop at the recent 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) Summit. MAIP is a professional development program for young professionals that combines real-world work experience, training and development, and networking opportunities within the industry.
Swisher grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia and made his mark in business with no more than a high school diploma and guts. At the workshop, he talked to the audience about how knowing business as a creative made him the most valuable player on his team, and in the industry. He established the finer points of developing a better understanding of business -- with a creative cap. Here are some of the highlights:
Know how to handle yourself
· Adapt to any situation
· Get along with anyone and everyone. No matter how hard it may be, keep the final goal in mind.
· Nothing to lose mentality – Ask questions. Step up to lead projects. Take on the challenges.
· You will survive – Remember that. We are not saving lives.
Recognize these four basics business bits:
1. Customers - don’t equal consumer all the time. Know the customers that your company cares about.
2. Money - identify how it goes in and out of your shop, how it’s spent and how it’s made. Distinguish what your agency does better than any other agency (this is a huge key to the money-making).
3. People - who are the big players? Vendors? Who are the people that matter and when do they matter?
4. What You Make - How? Why? Where? When? Be knowledgeable about this in general about all things pertaining to the goals of your business.
Other words of advice for the young professionals:
You are currently doing something called “Contextual Learning,” aka you are receiving on-the-job-training. Take advantage of it. It’s free business training in real time.
The smarter you are about the business, the:
a. MORE involved you get
b. MORE money for your pockets and the agency
c. MORE competitive our shop becomes
d. MORE profitability, which lead to MORE money for MORE Taco Tuesdays