Truth Collective has never been about “headcount” as a measure of success, and we’re not about to start now. We have not set out to build the biggest marketing agency in our area but we are dead set on building the best one. As such, our staffing choices are different from most. So is our approach. In three and a half years, we’ve built a senior level team of marketing strategists, leaders and creatives that do not rely on headcount to feel successful. They do, however, rely on “headspace” to be extraordinary.
That is precisely why we’ll be opening doors to Truth’s new home in just about a month.
In the summer of 2013, our space found us. In every way, it was a gift from the business world, rewarding our leap of faith. It was a phone call from a business owner who was ready to invest in marketing again, and also had some space that he was renting. A cool space that came with a client—a gem of an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Yes, 2,500 square feet of renovated loft space was far more than just three of us (with 3 small clients) needed at the time. But it was never about what the three of us needed in the moment. Not investing in the right space, the big space, would’ve minimized financial risk. Sure. But it also would have minimized our potential to get to where we are right now. Somehow, we knew that. So we jumped in, rehabbed an old space to make it open, rustic and edgy. Then Truth started to flourish. 12 Aqueduct Street is an off-the-beaten-path spot in the center of downtown—in the middle of everything yet under the radar—just like us in those very early days.
We had everything we needed, nothing that we didn’t. It was enough to feel different when people walked in. No cubes. No private offices for execs. No curved reception desk. Just us—exposed in our natural habitat. This approach helped us attract great talent that is like-minded and all about the work. Soon we needed to order more tables. Two by two, new sets of tables came in. Always mismatched from the previous sets, as consumer dining tables turn over stock at the same pace as our growth. Like a family in their first home, we hummed along, growing as a unit and starting to bump into one another in the kitchen. Signs of growth were right before our eyes.
How many talented people can you seat at a dining table and still expect them to have the headspace they need to flourish? Time to consider a new space.
Left braining the move. As the agency’s business leader, I ran through all the rational progressions; understanding the overhead percentages of our budget, the best practice “square feet per employee,” then plotted expected employees against our historical and projected growth rates. Ultimately, I determined that we would outgrow our current space somewhere in the second half of 2016. And you know what, physically, this is precisely when we did outgrow it. But despite having these projections and believing in them when they were just projections, we actually started, but then paused our search for a new home. A case of growth jitters I suspect.
Right braining the move. There’s another side of the decision making process that had nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with the vision of the company and the feeling our brand needs to deliver when experienced first-hand.
The emotional side of the space was gnawing at us. Our “headspace” once again needed space. As humans, we take cues for our thoughts and actions directly from our surroundings. The amount of natural light. The feeling of having your own personal room while directly engaged with others. The quality cues you can see and feel. Thoughtful design that is beautiful and functional and fresh. All these things should have a gestalt effect on all who enter. And when it does, the results speak for themselves. People are more inviting. They walk a little taller, with more purpose and pride. And, yes, their expectations rise too—of themselves and of others. Now you’re building something extraordinary.
The decision to move needed to happen. Two by two-ing tables wouldn’t cut it anymore. And the hard numbers justified what we knew and still know to be true. This is a momentum that is not about to stop. So, we found the perfect location to take Truth into our future.
Space worthy of the team it will house and the work we will do.
Our new space at the Factory is more than an office building. It’s an environment deserving of the team that will thrive in it. It’s precisely how we’ve envisioned Truth Collective since our start. We never thought of ourselves as 3 or 6 or 10 people. We always think of ourselves in our future thriving state. We invest in things that serve us well today and will grow with us into the future.
This move is not about square footage. It is about belief. Belief in our most extraordinary team of generous, truthful and driven human beings and our belief that we are just getting started.