Why going from creating to selling was the most rewarding decision I have ever made.
I hope you don’t mind but I would like to start this by completely contradicting myself … Bare with me. I have been in this role for around two years now and I don’t believe I have ever sold anything to anyone. I work in sales, and I don’t sell … seriously bare with me.
Giving you an idea of what I do might help this along a bit, I work for an international Paper Company called G . F Smith, we supply high end paper and board to the luxury market. We collaborate with luxury mega-brands, Graphic Designers and Printers to add consistency and quality to physical marketing collateral, a notable customer is Mulberry. There is a link below in case you was interested.
So to come back to it, I don’t sell, I inspire. Not that I am some muse that floats from agency to agency delivering ideas but we have curated an incredible collection of materials that have inspired the creative community for over 100 years which is where it begins for me.
I spent years obsessed with the idea that I would create work that would wow and amaze, I used to hold design names such as Stefan Sagmeister and David carson up like gods. This evolved into an obsession with art and film which eventually exploded into a creative addiction. I decided the only way I could feed this monster was to create myself, how could I love this world so much and not want to work in it? Right?
Wrong! I spent years working for myself, creating a small design studio like all the greats did … but it turns out a design studio in the heart of Yorkshire doesn’t inspire the kind of clients that are conducive to “mold breaking creativity”.
Throughout this process my aforementioned addiction had only worsened, I was buzzing for Francis Bacon and craving David Lynch, “how could I not be a creative genius, right?” …
After settling at a small advertising agency for a couple years I finally had my creative Intervention. I literally hated everything I was creating and I felt wasted. Now I know that seems a bit egotistical but understanding my value is one of the major reasons I had the courage to make a change.
After gathering my thoughts and re-evaluating I decided the only thing I could do really well is talk to people about the things that inspire me. Turns out there was a job for that and ‘spoiler alert’ it goes under the name of sales. Now here is where the magic happened I already stalked G . F Smith, especially since they were based in my home town and on a whim I applied for a sales role and I got it … In hindsight I just blabbed about how much I loved the company throughout the interview but they saw potential and I think more importantly passion.
Now I am not saying that you can’t be happy working as a designer or creator but you have to really love the process and the work has to be inspiring, mine was not. But now I get to speak some of the most amazing designers in the world creating at the cutting edge and I get to do this everyday! I am constantly inspired by the materials I sell and the masterpieces they creating using them.
All that time I was mistaking loving creativity with loving creating, now my job is to inspire and amaze demonstrating the most luxurious and innovative papers in the world.
Moral of the story, if you ever feel in a rut with a career take a second to truly evaluate what you love about it and maybe it’s time to re-focus.