I am student, and an Agency owner.
Hold on, let me give you some context.
I founded Rockadove Video Production back in 2010, now in our 13th year of business. We produce Film, Animation and CGI for clients globally, including the likes of Tesla and the NHS, working direct with clients and through a select few strong agency relationships. According to the latest BenchPress report, we are a pretty successful agency, under a £1million turnover, launching during the credit crunch and more recently successfully growing during the challenges of the Global Pandemic.
However, the challenges I faced as a sole owner/Director of an agency during the past 2 years encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and go back to University. I signed up to the part-time 20Twenty Leadership and Business Growth course at Cardiff Metropolitan University, a level-7 course the equivalent of a 1/3 of an MBA. The course is focused on developing a business growth plan over 12 months of studying that I hope I can action to give us the growth spurt we need for the next phase of the business.
Agency and Director growth
From launching a business I have always wanted to continue to learn, attending events, reading books and listening to those who have been there and done it! It was always one of the most valuable elements of being a member of the Agency Collective, I remember fondly having great open conversations at the in-person events in London and Bristol, often lasting late into the night afterwards.
I have grown an agency through trial and error and made a lot of mistakes along the way. So throwing myself back into an academic environment to learn “business” was both exciting and daunting, but there is nothing better than a shake up to make you change and challenge how you have always done things.
Reflecting a few months in
I am now a few months into the course, and I am still really enjoying it. The lectures and dedicated learning days are fantastic. It is amazing hearing academic business theory and realising that you have been doing somethings right over the years! New theories and approaches have also been interesting, and I have been able to implement some key changes in the business as a result.
The essays and assignments however have been challenging. I spent 15 years teaching myself not to write academically, as it doesn’t apply to proposals and creative pitches! So writing unbiased with Harvard referencing has been the biggest challenge for me so far.
I have always been a sponge for information especially when it comes to subjects such as Business, Marketing, Agency Strategy, and personal growth. Funnily enough I actually miss the commute to work, as for me this was the only time I would have to listen to my audiobooks and podcasts! A time of day to get focused and motivated, but also to decompress at the end of the day before being chucked into family life (I had a 2 year old, there is no rest of the wicked!).
For me audiobooks are easier to listen to and digest, plus you often get a different insight as often the author will be narrating:
- “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie
A classic book, but the condensed audiobook can be whizzed through in about 60mins, ideal to get you focused on route to a meeting.
- “Can’t Hurt Me” – David Goggins
Great example of additional extras you get from an audiobook, with additional wider conversations between David and the narrator after each chapter.
- “That Will Never Work” – Marc Randolph
Loved this insight into how Netflix started.
- “The Hard Things About The Hard Things” – Ben Horowitz
Really engaging story and insight into a tech start up, narrated by the man himself with lots of rap quotes.
- “The One Thing” – Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
Long audiobook, but great at getting you focused on “One Thing” a day to progress your agency.
Do you need to shake things up a bit?
Continuing to learn and develop is critical to growing your agency. Far too often we get so busy in the business that we don’t take time to focus on the business. For me, after 12 years of running an agency doing something really different was exactly what I needed to shake things up, force me to look at things differently, and having 2 dedicated days a month to focus on learning has been incredible. Even after the course finishes, I plan to keep 2 days in the my diary each month for focused learning and planning. Will I manage that, only time will tell!
For me, stepping out of my comfort zone and going back to university as a mature student has been really valuable. I have no doubt it will massively help me with growing my agency in the next 18 months and it was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my passion and enthusiasm for what I do.
This week, we are delighted to have Lloyd Morgan, Founder & MD of Rockadove Video Production, to guest blog for us!
Lloyd talks about what it’s like to go back to university as a mature student whilst juggling a growing agency, what this experience has done to help him in his role as MD, and why it’s important to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Lloyd Morgan, Founder & MD of Rockadove Video Production
Lloyd is the Founder & MD of Rockadove Video Production, a video production agency offering full creative production in-house, from filming and editing to
motion graphics and animation. Lloyd currently has a fantastic team behind him, allowing him to focus on the creative direction and strategy of the business.