I stopped working for clients.

And that changed everything.

I used to work at agencies – where the client could feel distant.

I then moved and was client side and worked on an underperforming account.

Now that I was ‘front line’, my perceptions changed dramatically.

I found myself in meetings with marketing, procurement, legal, and compliance, reviewing work delivered by other agencies.

What I saw was seismic:


⚫ There was a continual sense of being underwhelmed

⚫ The level of discord internally was more than anticipated

⚫ Deliverables weren’t always fit-for-purpose

⚫ Team members didn’t feel a true sense of their brand


The work wasn’t always bad. It just wasn’t empowering. And that got me thinking.

When you’re creating off-site, you get a brief, you submit the work, and it comes back with amends.

A lot of the time there are no reasons behind the amends, you just get them done.

Because sign off is king. But when you’re onsite, you see the full picture.

You understand every amend. You feel the need behind it. And this was game changing for me and the level of work I produced.

Immersed in the team, I was able to capture all of the moving parts first hand.


⚫ I knew why they needed to add 200 words.

⚫ Reduce the page count.

⚫ Disregard ‘a killer creative solution’.


I understood the needs of the different departments and the obstacles they faced.

I felt aligned. We were crafting live together, iteratively. And I could see the difference it made:


✅ Team members were equipped with brand and marketing tools
that empowered them.

✅ Different departments felt aligned, not at odds.

✅ Creative was completed and signed-off sooner.

THIS was the difference between empowering and enabling.

And THIS is why I vowed to make that the way I worked from then on.

Especially when starting my own agency, ParaStudio.

✅ Working with my team in synergy, not in silo.

✅ Creating brands with people, not for them.

✅ All to produce output that lights people up. And truly supports
business goals.


Makes me happy to say this is my job now.

Working with clients, not for them 🙂

P.s and sometimes my “on-site” team gets to look like this these days…



By Dan Cushing

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