One of the pillars of Unconventional Agency grew out of a single idea: the belief in the power of the story.
Stories have power over every aspect of our lives, whether they are stories that we tell ourselves, ones we share with our loved ones, or those that exist within society and the global human narrative.
In any story, the characters in them are presented with the concept of agency.
the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
As storytellers, we want our characters to have choices. We don’t want things to happen to them, but for things to happen as a result of choices they made.
This is true in our own lives as well.
Simply put, we desire control over our own narratives.
That sentiment is all to familiar to me. It has been a constant thread in my own meditations on self-identity since I was a teenager — understandable having been heavily influenced by “Absurdism,” a philosophy founded on the belief that life is inherently meaningless; therefore, we are actually free to make our own meaning.
To me, life was a story to be written. My story. My magnum opus. It’s up to me to live the life I want to live.
Easier said than done, of course.
I’ve found making choices in life as hard as writing—it’s often easier to stop and stare at the blank page, a scenario most writers are familiar with. The difference is, in life, the world continues with or without you.
Life does not wait for you to feel “inspired.”
Agency. We have it, but only if we choose to exercise it.
When I started to work on my own business, I simply connected two threads. I had in-demand skills as a marketer, and there were brands out there who needed marketers.
Hence, providing marketing services to brands.
As a marketer, I knew that wasn’t enough to “set me apart.” There are plenty of professionals and agencies out there for hire.
As a person, I knew that wasn't wholly fulfilling either. I wanted my work, my business, to be a part of something “bigger.”
At first, I sat there, waiting for “inspiration” to strike… until I realized I was doing exactly the opposite of what I would advise my clients to do.
So I acted.
I knew it was flawed, but it was a start.
My messaging and brand wasn’t perfect (and it was nowhere near my ideal), but it was what it needed to be at that moment in time because...
It took me one step closer to where I wanted to be!
(I'm of the opinion that we're always learning and growing as people. More on that in a future article!)
It also allowed me to take myself and my business from the realm of abstraction to the world of reality where I can experiment and gather data in the hopes of informing my next move.
To act again. Evolve.
I knew why I didn’t act at first. Fear. Fear that what I created would not fully reflect my true vision and ambitions.
It’s foolish to think that we can put out a perfect product on a first try. (It’s becoming a cliche at this point to cite the importance of failure in success.)
It’s much easier to get closer to our goals… one step at a time.
This continuous and ongoing evolution is something I'll return to in time.
Just remember, these identity crises, they're natural.
It’s part of life, and it’s a part of the lifecycle of brands.
Long story short, I established Unconventional Agency to help our clients recognize and exercise agency in their businesses, to make conscious choices that move them closer to achieving their vision.
The will to act escapes us at times...
But it’s a whole lot easier to take action when there’s a process in place. When you know what comes next after you act. When you have a plan.
Yes, it’s easier said than done. There’s a reason many brands struggle with this, from big businesses to solo entrepreneurs.
Because they're unwilling to invest the time and resources to establish the mindset, culture, and framework needed...
Because the easy way out is to wait... until a deadline looms or a crisis strikes. Then, you must act because you were provoked to react.
I've seen this reactive mindset plague many a organization.
Take control of your narrative.
With Unconventional Agency, we will show you the process. And soon, the will to act will simply become a part of your growth and evolution rather than a by-product various crises.
We (both people and brands) need only learn to grow and evolve.
What can I offer to brands that no other marketing professional or agency could?
As I mentioned, this question stumped me for the longest time. Sure, broadly speaking, I wanted to make a difference in the world. I knew I wanted to use marketing for "good."
That doesn't set me apart though. Not really.
One day, as part of my own evolution, I came to the realization that I spelled out to you in this essay... I knew that I wanted to help my clients recognize their agency.
Thus, it became a core tenet of Unconventional Agency.