This week on young+creatives we sat down and discussed overcoming our fears with our Founder of Revision Marketing Group, Sidney Jackson, MBA.
In this episode of young+creatives we cover several key topics including:
- Planning for the Unpredictable
- Showing Morale during Difficult Situations
- Approaching Deadlines and Unfilled Deadlines
- You don’t need to know Everything
Connect with Sidney!
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Team RMG 00:00
Welcome to the young creatives podcast brought to you by our vision marketing group. Young creative will serve as a platform to promote, discuss and give advice on Millennial creatives coexisting in traditional jobs.
Mikayla Anderson 00:15
Welcome back to the young creators podcast. You have Michaela in Sydney here today. So Sydney actually has his own podcast on tour network, so feel free to check that out. But sometimes He likes to hop on young creatives. Indeed,
Sidney Jackson 00:30
some still young and creative somewhat
Mikayla Anderson 00:34
anyway, somewhat Yeah, someone definitely somewhat
Sidney Jackson 00:39
creative with system, some in business and stuff like that. But when you think of creativity, I always think about website design and graphic design. So yeah, already a production.
Mikayla Anderson 00:51
Absolutely. Okay. So today, on young creatives, we’re going to be taking a little bit of a turn, instead of talking about something very up hearted, light hearted, we’re going to kind of dive a little bit deeper into something I feel like a lot of not only young people talk about, but needs to be talked about in when getting into your career field. And I specifically I’m super happy that Sydney’s here today because he was, is and was still one of the biggest mentors I’ve had in this career field. And so being able to talk about this is really good. So, um, what we’re going to talk about today is basically just facing your fears head on, and what are they and how we overcome them as young people, or old people. So this really does apply to everybody. But I think specifically, within being young, you’re even more fearful because you’ve never felt these feelings before. So Sydney, I just wanted to get your input on this. So as far as like, when you first started revision, or got into this career field, when was there a time that you really felt like, this is scary? I don’t know what’s gonna happen or, like, this is like, really uncomfortable? Like, how and when did that happen? And how did you get through that?
Sidney Jackson 02:35
How and when did it happen? It’s always happening. So just been in business overall, is super uncomfortable. It’s always a lot of uncertainty. For the future. Even with contracts, even with long term clients. It’s always uncertainty within the air, just because you’re dealing with people, and you’re dealing with government entities and stuff like that. So I mean, it’s always uncertain, I think, I, I don’t know, I just kind of deal with it as it comes. Because nothing is truly serious. And my biggest fear, or one of my biggest fears is not being able to provide. So I have a grind family. And the fear of not being able to provide for them is one of the biggest ones. Right? So yeah, as far as like overcoming that it’s, I don’t know, nothing. Nothing truly matters. More than, you know, family, and I’m been happy. So it’s like, I can discord, a lot of the BS and everything else that comes with it, such as the stress and stuff like that. But yeah, right.
Mikayla Anderson 03:51
And I think the biggest thing I wanted to kind of touch on what when you said that business is very people orientated. And people are very unpredictable. And so with that, like with myself, I noticed that my biggest fear is with uncertainty and unpredictability. And so I myself am a military wife. It’s really hard just because a lot of it I notice is, you never know what’s going to happen, like ever. So the it can be anything from small things like Trevor could get really upset after work, or it could just be like, Oh, they forgot to cut us a check for something and now how are we going to cover rent, and that’s a small thing for us, mind you, but the bigger things is like he could get called to Japan tomorrow. And that’s really scary. And that’s because I love and care for him, obviously. But it’s so uncertain. And I think the biggest thing is, I acknowledge that, and I know that that’s a possibility. And knowing that I acknowledge that helps me get through that fear. Like being like, okay, yeah, this might happen and mentally preparing myself if it does, has helped me immensely. So with that, how has like planning for, quote, unquote, the worst helped for you? And have you been like, well, I’m happy, I plan for that, or I’m happy that I know that this could happen, or this was a fear of mine, it happened, and I’m okay with that.
Sidney Jackson 05:53
So with me, it is different, because as far as like planning, from a business standpoint, absolutely have to plan. And I think, some months ago, I was in a place where it was just no kind of planning, right. And that was extremely stressful time. But as I allow myself to not work so much, and then just reallocate that time into planning, it has gotten a lot better. But just planning overall it helps. But a person personality type just kind of fills up the the present in a sense. So when stuff happens, I do a lot of things like super late minute, but it doesn’t stress me out, I can really perform a lot better when it’s spur of the moment, I’m able to act quickly without thinking about it too much. Of course, what does bigger things. As far as like, the business and personal stuff, you have to plan ahead, but for the most, for the most part, it’s always get it as it comes in a sense.
Mikayla Anderson 07:09
I think that’s good, though, because it? Well, yeah, but with that, I think being able to know that it’s flexible. Like for me if I have a very strategic plan, because I’m very much of a planner, if I have a very like, Okay, this is how we’re going to do it. And it doesn’t and it kind of falls off the rails, I know that I can at least look for you for guidance, because I’m like, Okay, this didn’t work. What do I
Sidney Jackson 07:39
don’t like, Don’t Travis.
Mikayla Anderson 07:42
And I also want to touch on so I read I was reading this article last week, I found it super interesting, because the biggest thing that they touched on was actually childhood trauma, and how that associates with your fears. So like with myself getting a little bit deeper here. I lost my grandparents at a very, very young age. And I think that unpredictability, like, spikes my anxiety in a way where I’m like, okay, you never know when you’re gonna lose somebody, or you never know when you’re going to have that moment that someone’s going to walk out the door, even if it’s by choice, or if it’s by not. And so with that, I just wanted to ask you, as far as your fears, and then taking a toll on you. How have you been able to take a step back, take a breather, and be like, Okay, I need to accept that this happen, or this is very overwhelming right now. How have you been able to do that in a sentence without feeling like guilty? You know what I’m saying? I do.
Sidney Jackson 09:01
Yeah, so childhood traumas and facing your fears. I think the fear of not been able to provide stems from not grown up on well off. So we are from New Orleans, and we moved to Monroe, and I didn’t realize how not bad we had it. Because it sounds like it’s terrible, right. But we had the necessities we had a roof over our head and a mother that provided in the stepdad that was just incredible, right, and sisters and all of this fun stuff and friends and stuff. But after getting out of Monroe, and been introduced into a different culture in college, as like, Oh, this wasn’t, this wasn’t the best, right? Um, so I think the fear of not providing kind of stems from that and as far as like just working and building the business As soon learn as much as possible and failing quickly, just so we can constantly improve. It’s all kind of come in from that place. But yeah, as far as like feeling guilty for, into watching Game of Thrones and this new show that I’m on, I think it’s a lot better now. Because at first it was like, Hey, you always have something to do as a entrepreneur, or you always have a client to attend to or systems to implement. And a lot to just overall do right, you have a lot of hats to wear. But for the most part, now, it’s more So hey, you have to enjoy yourself as well. Yeah, so feeling guilty now? Not so much. give myself a lot more grace, because I know that time is short, extremely short, I speak to a lot of older people, and it’s like, hey, it went by quickly. Yeah, I have to just make sure that I’m spending time in the present with family, and doing stuff that I really like to do besides building a business because I really love it.
Mikayla Anderson 11:15
No, I, I totally agree. Because I know a lot of people that I’ve grown up with that have been workaholics, they, their passion and their hobby is living and breathing what they’re building. And you totally remind me of those people. But with that, being able to be like, okay, it’s gonna be fine as to be, I have no shame and knowing that I’m gonna watch two hours of Game of Thrones tonight, because this happened. And I can celebrate the little things that got me to where I am today. That added up, obviously. So like, even with college, like I constantly am on myself as a website and graphic designer. I’m like, Oh, this isn’t all good. Like, this isn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. But I’m 22. Like, I need to keep reminding myself of that. And I’m like, I’m 22 years old. I’m constantly learning, like, I’m willing to learn. It’s not like I’m just being like, okay, whatever. But like, being able to set a high expectation for myself, without feeling like it’s overwhelming me in a way. And I think surrounding yourself with team like anybody on your team, that really is like you did a really great job on this, or let me help you with this is like, super key. So like, as far as your intake on it? How would you describe like how important it is to be able to show like moral support. And just like overall, like constructive criticism to people on your team without it being like, you suck. Yeah, how would you do that?
Sidney Jackson 13:24
So how have I been doing it? So I’m still super new to this, right? Super new to leading a team and entrepreneurship. So it’s, it’s all constant improvement. So at first, it was just kind of like, I don’t know how to actually approach the conversation. But now, I know that we have a team full of people who are constantly improving, so constructive criticism is becoming a lot easier. And we kind of look for it in a sense, because it’s like, Hey, I don’t want to put out something that’s crappy, or something that doesn’t push me right. Um, because Nick, our late videographer, I say, late, like, recently talked to him yesterday, actually. But he was saying, Hey, we have to work our muscles, we have to be putting in time as far as like the muscles in our brain, in terms of creativity, and doing better incrementally, is kind of summarizing what he said. But that holds true, because it’s important to really be constructive and criticism. I think my approach now is more like you kind of know, in a sense, but yeah, and I’ll still look for that as well always ask the team Hey, what do you think about this? And I’m looking for honest feedback. Not something that like Yes, yes, that’s great because I’m the boss in a sense, but I need I still need to learn and I still need to be challenged in a sense. So I always look for that constructive feedback,
Mikayla Anderson 15:09
right? Exactly. And I think the biggest thing that I’ve noticed, specifically revision versus being in school, right, is, I’m able to do work because I love it and not because I have to, because I know that I was willingly going to do my bachelor’s, but you don’t, I’m saying, like, I like there was like this, like, Okay, I’m paying X amount of dollars to do this. If I fail, this sucks kind of thing, like, I’m gonna have to redo it. And so with revision, it’s totally different, because you’re surrounded by people that want to see your creative flow and not need to see it and really are encouraging that they’re not like, okay, these are our strict, like, this is how you have to do it. And this is how you have to get an A on the assignment, basically, like, this is how you knock it out of the park. With revision, they give you Okay, this, it has to include this and this, but your creative freedom is just freaking everywhere, man.
Sidney Jackson 16:21
Yeah, I mean, it’s a lot opportunity for growth. And it’s not any defined framework, because we’re a small business, and we’re a new business. So we don’t have these things that corporate businesses have, nor do we want it right. Of course, we want some kind of structure. So we have predictability. But we still want that creative freedom. And for the most part, everything changes. So the way that we market today, it’s going to be completely different, not completely, but it’s going to be different from the way that we market next year. So having that flexibility, and not having those strict guidelines, is super critical to provide value to one ourselves, but also provide value to the people that are our clients. And we have a responsibility to be able to act quickly what marketing and different campaigns to increase return on investment. So yeah, but for the most part, it’s constant improvement as long as you want to improve the place. So
Mikayla Anderson 17:26
right. And so you also touched on like corporate stuff, and you’re like, some of this stuff. We need it, but we don’t necessarily want it. And so with the strict guidelines, that corporate quote, unquote, gives you, um, how do you take those corporate goals that they have of like, doing these big things, and big projects, and all those stuff that we need? And being able to set not only short term goals, but long term goals towards that? And how do you not obsess over those little things? You’re saying? Yes.
Sidney Jackson 18:08
So big picture, it’s a lot of ways to get from point A to point B. So if we have the vision, if we have to go saying, hey, within two years, we want this as a company, or we want to be able to help this many people consistently have retainer clients for this many people or stuff like that you have that goal, which is within two years. So that’s high level, that’s the overall goal. So what can we do to strategically get there, um, of course, it’s all within the day to day. Um, so we do a lot of sprint planning, which allows us to put these things into backlog and then incrementally achieved the goal. Because two years from now if we say, Hey, this is the goal, or if we say this is the goal, and we don’t have a way to get there from the day to day, it’s just not gonna work. So as far as like corporate, I think that’s a really good foundation. And I’m not sure if that’s strictly geared to corporate right. But yeah, that’s that’s kind of like the way that we’re approaching it. Because I can focus high level and say, Hey, within two years, but for the most part is going to be within a day to day which is extremely short term, but you still have to take yourself out of it, and see if you’re actually on track to get there. So I think some months ago, it was more so like, Hey, I’m in this day to day I have a lot of work to do. We all have a lot of work to do, but you have to stand back and take a look at how everything is planned out for the future. So once I was able to do that, just kind of incorporated that into Bi weekly, right, and then quarterly and then the year. And that’s just kind of how I set the goals.
Mikayla Anderson 20:09
So anybody who’s unfamiliar with Zoho sprints, it’s actually a CRM program that connects with Zoho. But it’s also a weekly, monthly, quarterly annually program that can essentially plan and see what tasks that your co workers your teams are working on. And so it’s an amazing program. From the start, when I was here, at revision, we just ended up using the CRM and then the basic sticky note to do lists, which it got the work done, but being able to switch over to this program and see exactly Okay, this is the in progress. This is what’s done. And this is what still needs to get done. has helped me so much.
Sidney Jackson 20:59
Yeah, definitely. Because if we look at a project, right, even like a website design project, you have the stage gates in a sense. And I learned this word stage gates, from engineering, right, and the program that we’re working on. But with that, all projects have this overall Stage Gate, which is like a framework. So with the podcast, we have pre interview where we just kind of collected information from the interviewee. And then we schedule the actual podcast, and then we have shoot day, which is us actually shooting the podcast, and dumping all of the footage, and then it goes to the editing process, which is us editing the photos, editing, the video content, and then scheduling everything on social media, right? or promotion, which is scheduling stuff on social media. So everything has these overall stage gates. So high level, you know what those gates are. And I think sprint allows us to set strict durations for those, right? So if we say, we want to achieve this project within 12 months, and we break that down by sprint, on a two week basis, we can chop away at different tasks, items within different stage gates. And yeah, so that is in the end has helped a lot. Because it’s focused on a day to day constant improvement, adding stuff to the backlog as you get it. And then just kind of chopping away at these tasks, items that align with the overall goal, which is project completion for different things,
Mikayla Anderson 22:52
right. And even touching on that too, like, I might have two out of the 10 tasks that we need to get this project done. Michael might have five, Cindy will have the rest. And so with that, you’re able to see how your contribution goes towards the overall growth of the project. Because that was something super hard for me to see. I’d be like, okay, I can set up these two things. But I never really was able to see the outcome until it was like, done done. And so being able to see the progress bar initially, just go up in a sense, helped me know, okay, I was like, okay, it’s not failing. It’s not like we’re still growing. Like, even though we’re not necessarily potentially not getting done on quote, unquote, time. We’re still growing.
Sidney Jackson 23:51
Yeah, with that. So what strict timelines you want to have that overall, but for the most part, you can’t know everything that’s going to get done within project before a project starts, right. So for website design, we can be strategic, and we can have creative sessions to really map out everything that the client wants by getting into the design, and then the copywriting and then photos and stuff like that, the client always comes back and says, Hey, I want this or I think this would be good, or we see the opportunity. And we present that right, which pushes the overall deadline, which is completely fine, because it’s adding more value. So our overall process allows for us to not only fail, but also interject client needs and value add that we can add to the project. And it’s kind of like a cycle in a sense, where you have these hard deliverables, but you add more value, what client feedback strategically
Mikayla Anderson 25:00
Right. And I know right now, so the biggest thing I was worried about right now we at revision, we have a specific contract. And we have to fulfill so many hours within the contract. And I think the hardest thing is that I saw myself falling short of that contract. And that was super hard for me, because I’m constantly working on this contract. It’s probably like a 30 hour week thing for me. And then the rest is revision and other projects that we have going on. But it was hard, because I saw myself working and working and working and working, and not seeing the contract completely fulfilled, made me feel like I was failing. And so with, with that, I want you I want your input on trying to figure out how that doesn’t define your success as a person, or it doesn’t define you as like, you’re not working hard enough, or define your overall work stigma.
Sidney Jackson 26:15
Yeah. So with that, I struggle with it as well. And it goes back to setting those goals. So being able to take yourself out of the day to day and see, okay, a month out, are we fulfilling the contract? Or three months out? Are we on track to kind of fulfill the overall contract, because if you’re working day to day, like we are, like we were, it’s super easy to kind of get lost in it. But you have to take those strategic moments of really step back and say, Hey, we’re on track to get this complete. But for the most part, it does not define success, because it’s a learning experience, right? So you know, hey, I need to be more strategic and take a step back saying, hey, a month out, are we on track to actually fulfill a contract? So with that, you can look at it as failure, you can look at it as just an opportunity for growth in a sense, because you know, how you felt when it didn’t seem like he was going to be able to do it, right. And all of the hard work that you put in? Yeah, so he’s always constantly learning. Yeah, and we, that’s all we can do.
Mikayla Anderson 27:35
Right. And that also jumps into what I actually want to talk about next. And the biggest thing is, you’re going to have two different types, I believe two different types of bosses. One that’s going to essentially just be like, okay, you didn’t get this done. That is not okay. I’m bla bla, bla, bla, bla, you might, like things might happen in that way that are negative towards your work ethic. Other, the other boss would just be like, okay, that’s fine, I understand you, you see your failure, know that you’re failing, or you know that what you did wasn’t right. But next time, let’s try this, or let’s try doing this to improve or prevent that from happening. And so I actually want to tell the story. So one of the first clients that we have, I was in charge of purchasing a domain name for them. And he had a very complicated, not even complicated company name. But I actually saw a domain name for anybody that knows or doesn’t know, is essentially just the name of the website. So it would be like amazon.com. And so I was purchasing this domain name, and I misspelled it. And it’s not like something you can like, go back and fix. Because if you buy that domain name, you can’t change the typing. Like it’s very, yeah. And so I bought it with a typo on it. That was super embarrassing. I was a three year, three year and so he spent like $150 on this domain name. And I felt so bad. I started freaking out. I was like, Oh my gosh, and he’s gonna kill me. Like XYZ like this clients gonna be so mad. I am freaking out kind of thing. And I didn’t even notice until the client pointed out to me he was like, this is actually spelt wrong and I was like, Oh, my goodness. And so when I told Sidney what happened,
Sidney Jackson 30:05
I think I laughed.
Mikayla Anderson 30:08
And that’s crazy to me, because I was building up my own fear of like, Oh my gosh, she’s gonna get so pissed, he’s gonna be so upset, like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he literally just came in the room and he just started laughing. And I was just like, this is either really good or, and I was so just embarrassed. But the thing is, is he took it and he was like, that’s okay. And I’ve never like, I was so weird for me, because I’ve never, like felt like that amount of like, that’s okay, kind of thing. Like I was like, Okay.
Sidney Jackson 30:52
No, it because it is okay, I think we all have these super big fears. And for us, we are constantly improving. And you early on, I think that when I was super early in your tenure with revision marketing group, and you guys just kind of like scared and I was like, yeah, who is good? It happened. Not that specifically. But um, we all make mistakes in a sense. And I think having that grace, really make a mistake and see that she made it and then improve upon it or put processes are in place to double check these things, is all we can do, right? Yeah, so it’s nothing as big as it seems. Right?
Mikayla Anderson 31:40
And it was just a very unique situation, because typically, we don’t do that for clients. But he just needed that done. And he didn’t know exactly how to do it. And so I was like, Oh, I can do it for you. And of course, the one time I did it, I, I failed. But it’s okay, like it happens like otherwise, if it would have happened any other way. I think I don’t know where I would be at today. That was a very, like, as little as it was, it was very scary moment for me. Because I barely knew Sydney, I barely knew Nick our videographer at the time. And I was like, Oh my gosh, you’re gonna think I’m so stupid. Like, my mind was just running. And it like just turned out to be fine. And I was like, Okay.
Sidney Jackson 32:32
No, I think we all have have a lot to do. So, with that, you have had a lot of success. And it’s been times where I am okay. But those times have allowed you to grow as an individual in a work, um, kind of shows that. So it’s important to have a balance of that and not as a leader, not. Yeah, not really make it a big deal, because it’s not, I think we all make mistakes, myself included a lot of mistakes. Um, so yeah, I have to give that back to the team and allow us to fail and constantly improve. Because it’s always a cycle. And it’s most times it’s funny, some of the failures that we have. And it’s hard for me not to laugh. Because, yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is just adding value to our customers. And we’re doing that and they love it. So
Mikayla Anderson 33:36
yeah, we do that. It’s a good day.
Sidney Jackson 33:38
Mikayla Anderson 33:40
So, note for any bosses, employers, leaders, any supervisors out there, I think, Sydney is honestly the picture of being able to be show gratitude towards his team and be able to honestly, like, just give them like, it’s okay, kind of thing. Like be able to, what’s the word I’m looking for? Just tell them that it’s okay to mess up. And be honest about him messing up, because I think that’s a lot of fears that a lot of higher up people do. Like they don’t want to admit like, Hey, I’m human, too. And so I want to ask you, like, how did you get to that point where you felt like you can. You weren’t scared to show that Yeah, I’m human. I make mistakes, too, when you did take on a team and all that stuff.
Sidney Jackson 34:46
Well, I want to grow. Yeah, I think for me, I don’t know a lot. I know some stuff about some things right? So marketing and technology. All of this stuff. Um, but for the most part, it’s still a lot to learn. And I think if I would have put on a facade as, hey, this is how you do it. And this is how it’s done in the sense, it just would have not worked out. Because I don’t know how, how it’s done, right. And I’m still learning. So I’m alongside you guys and overall learning. And watching you guys learn how to do things, and just constantly improve upon the process. Because I can’t be the one that’s doing all the work and improving upon the process, and then saying, Hey, this is how it’s done, this is how we need to do it. Because as a team, we’re just not going to grow. So I give a lot of flexibility room for failure, because I give myself a lot of room for failure. And what within those failures, you learn a lot. And you learn quickly, and Take, for instance, our video production workflow. It’s like, hey, do we have this folder here? And then do we do on Premiere Pro? Do we import the videos before or after we work on the audio? So just kind of gone through that overall process and learn how learning how to do that, and it’s taken four or five hours is fine. And not really anything to show for it right? But knowledge up top, then hey, that’s definitely not the way to do it. It’s easier, and it’s better. And I think we all have those periods where it’s like, it’s us learning how to do something new. And then it’s like, oh, dah, dah, you can do it like that. And it’s a lot more efficient. I think you had that moment downstairs sometime with custom post types. Yeah. WordPress sounds crazy. But crazy. But yeah. So just allowing everyone to learn and improve is the biggest thing. The biggest thing. This episode is sponsored by project brand reconstruction of your business owner looking to grow your business in 2022. But you’re not truly satisfied with your website and social media content to do a big push and help your business generate leads. Well, you’re in luck, revisit marketing group, as creative project brand reconstruction to help you redesign your website, and social media to be more consistent, and on brand, which will allow you to generate more revenue. To learn more about project brand reconstruction and join our waiting list. Visit our website at www dot revision mg.com backslash brand reconstruction.
Mikayla Anderson 37:48
Absolutely. And I think knowing, knowing that I know not the best way to do it. And that’s okay. Like, this is how I do it. But I’m open to hearing how you do it. So we can kind of mash them together. Take one or the other.
Sidney Jackson 38:06
Yeah, definitely, definitely. So I always actually I’ll a lot of questions as far as like the overall process and how you would do it. Even if I think my way is kind of like the best way or better, I have to be open. Because you don’t know what you don’t know. And if it’s not better, you can test it out, or you can not test it out. And yeah, but still have that ability to say, hey, present ideas, think of better ways to do this or get it done in a sense, and still be extremely open. That’s how you are. That’s how we are growing a business. And I don’t really think we could have grown as much as we did without that. Because if you’re relying on just one person to really know it all, and the team is afraid to present new ideas at the fear of town and dumb or the fear of stepping on toes and stuff like that, it’s just going to stunt your growth. So you have to be open ended conversations and allow for people to interject themselves in their overall processes. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Right? It’s just constant improvement. But it develops of a culture of openness and just constant improvement, failure, getting it reuleaux redundant and then just constantly redoing it.
Mikayla Anderson 39:38
I think the biggest thing is we were going through a website workflow, because cinese actually preparing for another little one at the beginning of November. And so he’s doing all these workflows. He’s getting them down, like 24 seven, like I’ll be like, what are you working on? workflows? I’m like, okay, And so we were working on a website workflow. And he presented a specific idea to me, and I felt comfortable with being able to say, No, I think this would be better because of this situation where they need to see it visually before I asked for the content, and being able to do that, not like, if I didn’t know you at all, Sydney. And I felt like I needed to say that to my boss, I would literally walk out of the room, I would be like, I can’t do that. I can’t say that to my boss, like my boss would. He’d be like, okay, like, I’m in charge. So this is how we’re gonna do it. And so as, as far as like, being able to be open about your fears, like knowing like, Hey