Ryan Kutscher: Founder & CCO of Circus Maximus
Ryan Kutscher, an award-winning writer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Circus Maximus shares his thoughts on building award winning campaigns for brands you know and love. Amazon Prime Video, Angry Orchard, Band-Aid, Smirnoff and Kraft. Plus his work on Volkswagen, Alliance for Climate Protection, and finally the Burger King’s “Whopper Freakout” campaign. All memorable and incredible! I speak with Ryan about all of his work, lessons and more plus his leadership approach including how he encourages his employees to have an entrepreneurship side hustle. This episode is awesome and you won’t want to miss a word. On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.
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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be you just want to make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show and I’m super excited to have my next guest. Here we have Ryan Kutscher, who is the founder and CEO of Circus Maximus, and he is the founder and chief creative officer of Circus Maximus, just to be clear, and I have no doubt that you’ve seen some of Ryan’s award winning campaigns over the years. He is an established creative for not only established brands, but also for emerging brands. Some of them were emerging even before they’re much more established, like Amazon Prime Video, angry orchard, BandAids, Smirnoff craft, you’ve definitely seen some and also others that are nonprofits like the Alliance for Climate Protection, too. And finally, not only did he also do an amazing campaign for Volkswagen, but also Burger King’s Whopper Freakout campaign, which was absolutely awesome. I can’t wait to speak to Ryan about all his incredible work and what it really takes to have the campaign of today with all of the different media options that are going on out there. And also, he’s a founder, so he founded his own agency. He’s worked in really high profile agencies over the years, but Ryan’s journey, I’m sure is going to be very, very exciting for us all to hear about and learn more about from him. So without further ado, welcome, Ryan.
Ryan Kutscher 2:14
Thank you. Happy to be here. I appreciate the long lead in there. The Greatest Hits?
Kara Goldin 2:19
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. So I’d love to hear your backstory straight from you. How did you get into creative agency life? And and was there an event or a person that really inspired you?
Ryan Kutscher 2:32
It’s a good question. I know it was an accident. So yes, and no. It was kind of a total accident. I was in school, I was studying economics. I was in college in Virginia, was studying economics, I was my major and I was doing a business minor. This will be this will be important later in the story, but I dropped out of the business school because I’d like had missed some class. This is William and Mary. Their number one major in the business school was accounting. And I had missed some class in accounting, to be honest, never a real math science guy to begin with spreadsheets. I failed that class. Yeah, so but so I dropped out of the business school. But it was like 2002, you know, 2001, internet, email systems weren’t quite as intuitive, let’s say as they are today. So I still received this invite to take a one credit class offered by the business school, my second semester senior year, this was a class and advertising. And I was like, well, one credit meets once a week. It’s my second semester senior year that feels like about the effort. Willing, willing to put in. But the guy came into the class. His name was John Fitzpatrick, and he was classic like, madman, Don Draper, Ogilvy guy, creative director that had worked at McCann, Erickson, for you know, from the 60s to the 80s. And I was like, what, this is a job. And it was sort of legitimized by being offered by the business school. But I’d never heard of this. I never even crossed my mind really liked it. The things those commercials on TV were like, made by people. And all of this, all of this kind of came together. And it had this, you know, kind of, like no effect of like, that’s, that’s what I’m gonna do. And so that was that was when I first discovered that advertising was a career discipline, and it tied together a lot of things that I actually enjoyed doing, such as writing, being creative, playing, make believe. We say manipulating people, you know, things that I had a lot of practice in. And yeah, that was the beginning of the journey. So that was in college 2002 I graduated. And then he also gave me a really good piece of advice, which was, hey, down the road in Richmond, Virginia, there’s this agency, and they’re pretty cool. And they’re called the Martin agency, you should go check them out. And I did. And that was like an internship program that I applied to the, the application was really creative. It was like, you know, describe yourself as a cartoon character. So whatever either way, it was like, and I was like, this is a job application, I’m gonna crush this. They let me in. They divided us into three little advertising teams, and we had to pitch you know, real advertising executives. My team won. And I was like, Alright, I guess this is it, you hire me, right? And they were like, Absolutely not. You’re gonna go to advertising school, you’re gonna get a portfolio. So it was kind of this, you know, pathway that was starting to open up to me. And they said, you know, there’s one here in Richmond, I just spent four years in Virginia, kind of not knowing if that was, you know, the best idea. And so I was like, I don’t know about Richmond, they said, There’s one in Atlanta. And I was like, That sounds nice, warmer, you know. And then they said, There’s one in Miami Beach, and I was like, gone, you know, headed to Miami Beach. And, and from there, I went to the Miami Ad School. And at the Miami Ad School at that time, they had professors from the real world that were teaching, there was this little agency in Miami called Crispin Porter and Bogusky. And it just so happened that that agency was like, on the threshold of becoming the most popular agency of the decade. And so it was just absolute fate that I went from basically not knowing that this could be a career to being having direct access to the best agency on the planet, within a framework of about five months.
Kara Goldin 6:48
And what was your first big campaign that you worked on that you look back on that kind of you made your mark?
Ryan Kutscher 6:57
Yeah, so it was for Burger King. And we, they were launching a new product called chicken fries. And to launch this private like this rock and roll rebellious way, way to eat chicken, which sounds insane. But that was the strategy. And so we created a rock and roll like a rebellious kind of punk rock and roll band. That it was like, the story of the campaign was that it was like, they were the band that was going to launch this chicken fries thing. And the band was called COC rock. So interesting. Totally different era, this was pre toxic masculinity. This was this was the pro toxic masculinity era. So it was a very different time. 2000
Kara Goldin 7:47
very different. And
Ryan Kutscher 7:50
well, just to prove how bad it was, there was a headline that really wasn’t supposed to get out onto the internet, which was, there was no protocols for like, you know, there was no QC at that time. So like, we had written this headline that was a little too edgy, and like at age, ran a story about it and put it on the front, it was like as the agency gone too far. So I thought my first campaign was going to be my last because it was like, we’re probably going to fire. You know, it was like when I would make sense. But I survived that little brush with fame. And in the end, the guy who was running the agency, after the smoke had cleared, kind of was like, wow, you know, what they say, is no such thing as bad publicity. So I was lucky again, I was very lucky to work at that place at that time, where that, you know, that you could you could run something as provocative of that as that get in trouble for it. And then it was like, Yeah, but the job? Yeah. That’s wild.
Kara Goldin 8:49
So and obviously, I mean, the timing that you’re talking about, you are really early in and kind of, you know, digital, right? So it’s like, how do you I bet there were times when many people were coming to you saying, you know, what do we do with this medium? I mean, how is this different? Should we be? Should we be doing different creative for television versus digital? And how did you how did you think about it, because you were really early on, you know, the beginning frontiers of it.
Ryan Kutscher 9:23
I didn’t think about it, because it was kind of like the world I was in, you know, I, I mean, I’m 43 I’m like the world’s oldest millennial, but I’m just a like, just there. Were, you know, like I said, like, my introduction to advertising came through an email, like a lot of people I know that work in the business that are even like a month older than me. They’re like, what’s email? And so, we, I mean, I was on the web I was doing all of it’s like asking someone why they would do YouTube or tick tock now it’s like, well, that’s just what we did. So I didn’t really process it as being different. And I didn’t have like I said, like, I had only discovered this as a career, several months earlier, I didn’t have some long standing reverence for the TV commercial or Super Bowl work, it was just like, I’ll do whatever seems cool and fun. And, and at that time, like I, like I kind of mentioned, like, there wasn’t really a lot of oversight on what we were putting out in the name of the brands that we worked for online. And the the main goal was just to get traffic, like is one metric was like, did people pay attention. So in my estimation, it was kind of a lot of fun. And those were the opportunities I was getting within the agency world, you had a lot of people that had been working for, you know, halfway through their career further, that were really kind of hogging the good projects, you know, the ones that were going to be like TV, because that was still seen in the industry as sort of the gold standard of what creative was. So it was like all these things, conspiring that I was able to get those opportunities and explore this kind of new, new, new medium. And it wasn’t till we started doing stuff, like, like I just mentioned, or creating microsites for Volkswagen or Burger King. And we’ve started to get all this traffic and all this attention, that people started to take that medium seriously. And we’ve seen that exact same process, repeat itself, with Facebook, with Instagram, with Tik Tok with chat GPT it’s like, those technologies seem to arrive faster and faster. But it’s always the same thing where like the establishment just, it’s like the Gandhi thing. It’s like, First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win kind of thing. You would think that our industry is so creative, that we jump on these new opportunities, but it’s the opposite where people really just like, they don’t quite know what to do with it at first and a few really ambitious people kind of like blaze the trail. You know, you mentioned Gary Vee like, guy just showed the world how YouTube can work for your business. And, and there’s those opportunities. And so that was just what was happening in 2004.
Kara Goldin 12:12
So what are some of the obstacles that you feel like you really had to overcome in this industry? I mean, I feel like most creatives, actually they build a name for themselves. And it kind of doesn’t matter what a just seemed, they kind of make the agency’s I feel like that there was that shift that kind of happened over time. So do you feel like that’s been kind of what you’ve seen as well, that you’ve, you know, moved on to, you know, as you’ve moved on to different agencies, you’ve, I don’t know, had different kind of experiences, or did you feel like you had to move frequently? Or?
Ryan Kutscher 12:54
Well, you know, I was, like I said, I got just so lucky that the stars alive that I was able to kind of slide into this agency that that kind of captured the zeitgeist of basically 2000 to 2010. And I showed up in like 2004, and worked there till about 2010. And so kind of rode this wave, I think, yes, like individual creatives tend to be getting names for themselves. But there’s also agencies that capture the spirit of a of a moment. And CPB was one of those. And it just so happened that whether I was the outsider, because I didn’t have a real advertising background, whatever, I kind of clicked with the way that agency worked at that time. But by about 2010, you could start to sense like the show was kind of coming to an end. You know, you’ve got it’s the real early the primordial stages of the direct to consumer, push the dominated the next decade, you’ve got Facebook, and Google that are kind of asserting their dominance, and you’re just seeing a move away from like, non attributable media into, like the digital age, like for real. And, you know, I think, at that time 2010 If you I just could, I don’t know, I just felt like we’d done everything that we were going to do there, at least in my mind stage of my career. And I was looking for somewhere else to go. And I ended up leaving and freelancing. I tried to start an agency and that failed. And I was just looking for somewhere that felt like home. And I just didn’t really know it was a couple of years there where we weren’t sure what was going to be kind of next. And there’s still great agencies that have kind of persisted through like you got your wide and Kennedys and you’re good views and some of the big names. But I just there was nowhere really so I freelance I find this everywhere I could from you know Amsterdam to Asia. Yeah. And I just I honestly, I didn’t know what to do. So I was like, the first time I was having panic attacks since I was in college was like, time. Because when I don’t have like, I don’t have the mission that I am supposed to be on. I’m like, Oh, this is weird. I’m having my heart’s racing in the middle of the night, it woke me up, you know, that kind of thing. And so I didn’t really have the answer. And the next thing that I guess, seemed like a good idea was I took this job that I basically shouldn’t have ever been given was chief creative officer of a really big of the biggest agency in the planet at in their biggest office in New York. And I was kind of Chief Creative Officer at like, age 32, or something like that completely, you know, out of my depth, but I felt like, oh, maybe that’s the answer. You know, I’ll take this big job that feels like I worked at this kind of Challenger, kind of company. Sure. What would it look like to work on the other end of the spectrum of this completely well established business. And in a way, that was probably the right move. It didn’t last very long, I think 11 months, but it gave me kind of gave me the time to put the feather in the cap, I guess, confirm my suspicions that it probably wasn’t the right job for me, but gave me the time to figure out like, oh, there’s this new thing. This new era kind of dawning that I think I might like to be a part of and that was the more kind of the startup DTC entrepreneurial brand, you know, swirled.
Kara Goldin 16:36
So what is a great campaign to you, when, when you’re thinking about excellent campaigns for any brand, like, what is it?
Ryan Kutscher 16:46
Okay, a great campaign. That’s Thank you for saying that a great campaign is one that knows exactly what it’s trying to do. And then does it. That’s it, because I was talking with, I’m literally on a text chain with a bunch of guys, one of whom was a former fantastic creative director. Now he directs film, and commercials. One of them has a fantastic agency, that he just started in Atlanta. One of them as a creative director at like, a big agency. So we kind of have like, I’m an agent, small agency founder. And we we’ve been talking about the Super Bowl, and like, what do we like about it? What we dislike, we complain about everything like every other guy? And that is the fundamental question of like, what does good mean? And I think over the last 15 years, like with the rise of analytics, and and just like the, the incredible size growth of what the word advertising means, good is like this. Is it good? Because it’s creative? Is it good? Because you remembered it? Is it good? Because it got your attention? I think good is, is it good? Because it had high conversion rate? Is it good? Because we got more opt ins on the website? Is it good? Because we increased our average order value? So I think it’s good is very much about like, what what is it that you’re trying to accomplish? And did you do that?
Kara Goldin 18:12
Interesting, Is it tough to get that out of a brand when they come to you?
Ryan Kutscher 18:18
Well, I think that if we could coach brands, and it’s like, one of the things that I need to do for my agency, is to create kind of like white white papers, blogs, and how tos. And I definitely think one of the services that would be really helpful is like, how to get the best out of your agency. Because that’s what every client is wondering, you know, the value of their agency is always like, the classic, there’s a classic line, I think it’s like 50% of my ad budget is working. I just don’t know which 50%. And it’s like, that’s probably the the primary concern of most clients is like, How can I be sure that what I’m getting from my agency is what I should be getting. And by giving them a brief that they could use to figure out what do you need? That’s where like, we spend 99% of our time as an agency, trying to figure out the problem. Once you do, then the solution is pretty easy. But that’s like, that’s the greatest service. I think, that comes before the creative is what the hell’s going on here.
Kara Goldin 19:29
That’s a that’s interesting. My, you know, my dad actually was a, he was a marketing person internally at at a company called armour food company first and they were acquired by ConAgra. And he had developed a product called Healthy Choice. And he was always he was an advertising in his early years. And so he was always about consumers need to know the story. And so actually, years ago, an agency reached out to me and my Dad had passed away. And they said, we were reading some of the old packaging that he did. And he was like one of the first to actually talk about sourcing and about where, you know, the shrimp came from and how the fishermen went out at four o’clock in the morning. And there was a whole story behind it. And he felt like, the longer somebody holds on to the background of the story, that that’s what success was for a brand. And he would, you know, reiterate this in our head and, and for years, I, you know, people have asked me about our story with with a hint, and I said it probably my dad wore off on me at some sharing the story, but, but I’m so curious how you feel like the story fit into a lot of your brands and the backstory. And obviously, it’s harder for some of these iconic brands that you work on today. But I feel like so many are trying to get that back for their brand.
Ryan Kutscher 21:01
Yeah, I mean, if you go to the website for my agency, we put it pretty succinctly at the top, our role in the world of advertising, we help brands get their stories straight, and tell them interestingly. So we do two things, we help them basically get that narrative structure in place. And then we help them figure out how to tell that in interesting ways to your consumer. So we absolutely subscribe to that belief. And that’s the world that we plan. Now, there’s a lot of different ways you can be an advertising agency, and do different jobs. That’s the job that we do. Because that’s the stuff that’s fun to me. And it’s really hard, like even founders like you can be really close to yours, you can be so close to your story, that you’re not sure how to tell it. Or, or you can be a part of a big marketing group. And there’s, there’s uncertainty as to like, what should the story be. And one of the things that we’ll do is we’ll kind of go and we’ll do like deep interviews with everybody on an individual basis, we really boil it down to five questions. It’s pretty simple. Like your brand story has to answer five questions. That’s it.
Kara Goldin 22:07
What other questions?
Ryan Kutscher 22:08
Yeah. All right, we pull them up.
Kara Goldin 22:12
I love it. Yeah, I
Ryan Kutscher 22:13
got it here. And actually, this is a thing I was saying earlier, it’s about alignment. Like, I was having a conversation with one of our, the CEO of one of the companies that we’ve worked with before. And when I asked him, I was like, they’re a startup, they’ve raised a ton of money, they’ve got this crazy valuation. And I was just kind of saying, like, what’s been the greatest challenge. And he told me, we just went through this process. And it took us six months to figure out what, what we are. And now, the reason why it’s good, is not just because we got a mission statement or something like that. All these really talented people, that work for me, work for the idea, they work for the story, they don’t work for me, they work for the story, so I can get more out of them. Because they’re not trying to make me happy. They’re trying to like observe this mission. And so it has this really unlock the alignment that a great story creates within your organization. And then with your marketing, and then therefore with your customer. Is is the key. Otherwise, you know, there’s so many different touch points, so many channels, so many mechanics, so many should I be doing this kind of an emails, blast are so many ways to get confused that the story is the thing that you come back to. So the five questions are, first is why does your brand exist? Like what? What are you trying to do by building this brand? And that’s it. You can call it brand mission. You could call call it brand purpose. But it’s the thing that gets you out of bed. You know, like, it’s the thing that like, if you don’t do it, you’re not going to feel like it. You resolve that inner drive. So that’s number one is just simply why?
Kara Goldin 24:09
Why does it exist? I love it. Why? Number two?
Ryan Kutscher 24:13
And by the way, why is not to make money. Why is not to achieve 35% profit margins, why is not to reduce my op X. Those are business objectives. But that’s not a brand objective. The brand objective is some sort of human purpose, right? Where it’s like, I want to give every pet owner the tools they need to be the person that their dog thinks they are. Right, whatever, whatever that that y is, and it can be it should be specific. The question number two is what makes your product or service uniquely interesting. It’s probably the hardest question because people want to answer Oh, it does this and this and this and this and this. But it has to be succinct and has to be differentiating. Otherwise, you might be in trouble. There’s a good book called traction, you can have three things, right? Because when you’re thinking about what makes you unique, it’s very unlikely that one, one element of your brand is going to make you unique to elements, your brand is going to make you more unique. We’re fast, and we’re good, okay. But three elements to your brand is probably going to be differentiating enough that you’re going to have your, your position in the world. And that’s what this question is really about. It’s about positioning. We’re fast, we’re good, and we’re friendly. Okay. Number three, who is your brand for? And not? Like we this, this is one two, that it’s, it takes some work? It’s a simple question. But you gotta like, within our world, people would say, you’ve got to niche down, you’ve got to be specific. So it’s like, our brand is for, for women. It’s like, that’s half the planet, man, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to capture that person’s attention. You know, so what if it’s women aged 35 to 45? And then you add another layer? What if it’s career oriented women aged 35 to 45? What if it’s career oriented women aged 35 to 45, who have a hard time going to sleep at night, have a hard time going to sleep at night, but like organic supplements, and you start to see that you’re building the pathway to a very specific audience, that you are brand new step number four is why does the world need this? Love it? Tough one, but like, yeah, does does the community and doesn’t have to be the entire world. It might just be a community of people, you know, there’s got to you could call it a consumer insight or a brand positioning or value prop. But but you’ve got to kind of, it’s got to be true. Because if there’s not really a reason, I don’t know that you’ve got an opportunity there. And then the last one is really about like the guiding principles for a brand. And that’s like, your truths, or your values. And I stole this idea from a guy named Cameron Harold, who was the Chief Operating Officer at one 800 got junk.
Kara Goldin 27:22
I know Cameron. Yep.
Ryan Kutscher 27:23
Was he a guest on the show? He has not
Kara Goldin 27:26
actually been a guest on the show. I know. I know his sister, actually. So Christie. Yeah. So I I’ve met Cameron. Actually, he had my husband as a guest on his show. Because He’s chief operating officers. So yeah, but he has not? Well,
Ryan Kutscher 27:45
and there’s a great example, right? Like, no one’s talking about that. He would call it the number two guy, the operations guy. I don’t know if that’s the number two or not. But that’s his market is the CFO. And his other principle, though, that I thought was really good. And I’ve used and probably maybe you have used in your businesses, but it’s the four truths, that that are unbreakable. He would call them your your four values. And he would argue that not observing or living up to these values is a fireable offense, they’re, they’re non negotiable. And I think that that helps guide your hiring practices, I think it helps guide the tone that you set, I think it helps guide the decisions that you make. You know, we, we talked a little bit earlier about, you know, when a company gets bought, for example, say you’re a beverage maker, and you get bought by a multi national conglomerate, but you make your product a very certain way. And they want to operationalize it to fit into their, their system. Maybe they start compromising some of those ingredients, maybe they changed the bottle from glass to plastic, maybe they’re reformulating it so that they can make more of it. That’s, that’s a challenge, right? Because your values might be all about sourcing the, the most premium ingredients you can so and four of them, and it’s not long winded. It’s it’s, you know, always source the best ingredients valuable. Something you just can’t compromise. So that’s it. Those are really the best of the five questions.
Kara Goldin 29:30
So interesting. So when you talked a little bit about how you didn’t really come from the advertising industry, you came from the business side of things. I’m a huge believer that the best ideas the frankly, you know, the the I don’t know if you call them the best founders or some of the most successful founders didn’t come from this industry, right? They didn’t grow up in their industry. They came from a totally different industry, and they had sort of a different land. into what should happen, when you hear from clients that in a, somebody in their category is doing this amazing job and, you know, they want to be better than them. Do you think that brands should look at other brands in their category? Or should they look further at other categories? You know, to get to ideate? And kind of get more ideas?
Ryan Kutscher 30:24
Yeah, I think, absolutely look in the category. And one of the things that we’ll do, if we run an audit for a brand is, is, we’ll look within the category, who do we like, who’s doing what we think is good is doing what we think is bad, but we’ll also look outside of the category. And that’s where a lot of the really interesting ideas come from. Because they’re, you know, almost everyone within a category has kind of got the category mindset to do things the way that this category dictates. But when you start behaving like someone outside of the category, you might steal an idea that you’ve just cross pollinated. And that’s what most of creativity is, it’s just sort of going like, taking little fish out of water kind of idea, you know, for like in the DTC world. You know, first comes Uber, and then came like Uber for everything, you know, celebrities. And so it’s definitely worth looking outside of the category to find some clues as to like, what are some adjacent ideas that are working really well that we could steal the r&d department the rip off and duplicate department? Yeah.
Kara Goldin 31:34
Very interesting. So what campaign was out there, whether it was one that you did or outside that you really think was kind of a sleeper hit? I mean, I always think back on, I have multiple ones that I think about I think of the apple 119 84. And you know, where you just didn’t expect that to be that way, or Calgon is like one from the 70s that I think is just in my mind really evoked this, what you would actually do with a product and and how you would want to feel or I’m so curious, if you think about campaigns that were just nailed it that were so surprising, were not what you thought was going to be happening.
Ryan Kutscher 32:15
I’m literally like, looking up because I write these ideas down. Yeah, because I can’t remember anything anymore. You see if I can find just one that I was just thinking of the other day. Well, so what’s interesting, too, and this is a little bit of a cop out answer. But I think what’s fun about campaigns now is that if it’s not for me, I might never see it. But it might be the best campaign in the world. And that’s exactly how it should be. And I just had written one down, I’m blown. That’s answer for you right now. So no, no, you’re
Kara Goldin 32:51
good. It What’s the thing? When you look at your company, obviously, you, you’re a founder, and you’re building it out? You You want a ton of great creative people around so that you can make better creative. But have you learned that there’s a formula to that, that you have to have in an agency in order to be successful?
Ryan Kutscher 33:14
There is a formula please someone give it to him have not what the what I guess I learned is like so I started this business without really knowing how to do it. Right. I mentioned that. The Business School, I mentioned that I felt how to do spreadsheets, those things are actually really important. And I it probably you know, we’ve been around nine years, it’ll be 10 years almost. And it really wasn’t probably until two years ago that I got. I was like, I’m running a business here like this, this operates kind of a certain way. So maybe it’s it’s not a formula. But there is a p&l, there are operational costs. There are like, there’s a, there’s a spreadsheet out there that looks an awful lot like how you should be thinking about running this business, like sales is sales and marketing is important, you know, measuring everything, you know, being analytical about what is the size of our current funnel of new business clients, what is the yield of that funnel look like? And so you start to kind of think about, if not a formula, at least a business model, you know, and as a creative person, I think that that was the biggest jump that I took going from kind of Chief Creative Officer more into like CEO, and then I guess as a corollary of that, which is like you hear a lot a lot of people say something to the effect of hire really good people that are good at what you are not good at.
Kara Goldin 34:54
Yeah, no, I think that’s that’s super, super important. Is it tough to find great people right now I feel Like, that’s sort of the a lot of people are freelancing. Maybe that’s like, sort of normal for your, for your industry overall. But I feel like there’s so many people that have just decided that they want to work from wherever and they want to do great work. Is that better for you? Or? Or? Is it still tough?
Ryan Kutscher 35:24
I think it’s good, I think. You know, I guess what, it’s really about finding the right people. You know, I mentioned earlier about the values thing, and we, we I did the vivid vision exercise. Thank you, Cameron, Harold, and I kind of crafted the values of the agency. And I think I’ve shared that vivid vision with potential candidates and with recruiters. And I think that’s, that’s been helpful in finding the right people that have the right kind of mindset or attitude. I think, great people, there’s a lot of people that are great at things, are they going to be the right fit for you? Is the other question, and it’s a hard one to answer. The values definitely helps. We’ve observed Cameron’s rule that there are kind of there, they’re non negotiable. Yeah. So you know, I think the availability of people living wherever they want, I’m all into that. Yeah, the insight behind kind of our distributed model. And we are fully distributed, was I was sitting on my couch freelancing in 2010, working in Asia, in Europe and United States. And I wasn’t going I mean, I wasn’t even leaving my apartment. So I thought, wow, this is fantastic. This is great. This is how it should work. It didn’t really take hold until the pandemic kind of proved the model for everybody, or for a lot of people. So we’re totally embracing that. And I do think that it opens up our ability to hire people because we’re, you know, whatever. We are 2025 people in as many cities we no longer we’re not based anywhere. We’ve got people from Florida to Virginia to New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas, Utah. So there’s that, right, like we definitely the sort of the world is our hiring grounds.
Kara Goldin 37:28
That’s, that’s awesome. So last question, What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received?
Ryan Kutscher 37:35
There’s two that come to mind. I love it. One is if you can’t measure it, you can improve it. And as a creative person, that’s probably makes a lot a lot of people wonder. And the other is pick people that fit your future, not your past.
Kara Goldin 37:51
I love that. That’s great. Well, thank you so much, and appreciate you sharing all of your wisdom with us today, Ryan. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review. And feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen. Or pick up a copy of my book on daunted which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week, and 2023 and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening
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