Day Fifty Three

Artwork from Myers + Chang

The other night, I was trying to think of ways BEAM and Recess differ as agencies. And to be completely honest, I found they have more in common than I would’ve thought. They work hard, play hard and have a knack for concocting outside-of-the-box ideas. Perhaps that’s why I so greatly admire them.

However, despite all the similarities, I’ve come to find that BEAM has an entirely different atmosphere. For most of the day, everyone here is either shuffling between meetings or buried in their work with an unbreakable concentration. It’s only when a burst of laughter rings out that I’m reminded how much fun everyone is having. I think there’s this odd stigma to offices, in that the only way to enjoy your work is to be loud, carefree and treated to an endless array of distractions. That's where BEAM and Recess break the mold. 

In truth, if you love the work you do, it’s not only rewarding—it’s entertaining. I think that’s my problem with a show like The Crazy Ones. It makes advertising appear to be a big party, full of quirky characters. Don’t get me wrong, this industry is full of personality, but fun always needs to be measured against the level of work you’re doing. If you work too hard, your creative will suffer. If you play too hard, you’ll achieve the same results.

While Recess and BEAM go about it in different ways, they’ve both achieved a balance that works to their advantage. I know I’ve briefly discussed this concept in a previous blog, but I’m beginning to see just how crucial that balance truly is. I’m also beginning to understand that it’s something you can’t force. This balance must come about naturally, by gathering a team that understands one another on multiple levels. These individuals form an agency’s personality, in turn creating that ideal balance.

I’ve worked in agencies where some people absolutely hate being there, day in and day out. And they toss everything out of whack. It’s almost like throwing a wrench into a car engine—no matter how well you take care of it; you’re going to end up ruining it. So, if there’s one lesson I want to convey in this blog, it’s this:

Don’t force your agency to be something it’s not. Build a team that understands one another and find a balance that works for everyone. That’s how you’ll find your true identity.

I think as I continue on this journey, I’m going to find that most, if not all, of the participating agencies have found strong, unique personalities that everyone can believe in. I know I do.