I started 4th Park Studios in January of 2011 with a mission to “partner with next-generation leaders, assisting them in developing their big ideas.” I wanted to start a company that was all about next-generation leaders and making ideas happen. I made it my goal to start on day one with a “WHY”. I didn’t want to be the type of entrepreneur that started businesses for no other reason than to make money. It has always been my personal desire to assign meaning and purpose to everything I do. So my very first company would definitely be smothered in a vision that was compelling. But the more I talked about it and tried to inject it into our business culture and team, the more it felt like that weird taste you get in your mouth after taking medicine. lol. It just didn’t taste right. It didn’t feel compelling. It didn’t feel organic or natural. It felt forced. I tried to make it fit. For two years, I tried to convince my team and my clients that this was WHY my company existed. Some bought into it, but others were just concerned about WHAT we did and HOW we did it. Even at my best efforts, I couldn’t seem to communicate a strong enough WHY.
You see, I knew at the beginning that in order to have longevity in business today, I would have to be intentional about building a company that had a purpose, a mission, a story. It couldn’t just be about making websites and designing logos. Everybody does that. It had to be something that grabbed people’s hearts. It’s these types of stories that spark movements, inspire change, and impact the world. I didn’t want to be another entrepreneur with another company that makes a profit and gets a bunch of design awards. I wanted something different. I wanted to create something remarkable; something memorable. And I knew it started with our story.
My heart has always been to work with next-generation leaders and to build the type of agency that focuses on making ideas happen, not just creating them. Our first story was great at first. People would ask me what I do and I would say… “I’m the founder and brand architect at 4th Park Studios. We’re a brand agency that focuses on partnering with next-generation leaders, assisting them in developing their big ideas.” Every time I said it, I felt like I was speaking a different language. Some people thought it was cool, but most simply nodded their head. I mean, we were able to close many deals and start several projects with that story, but I still felt like it wasn’t compelling enough. It just didn’t stick. But being stubborn, I worked to make it fit. Now we’re two years in and the company is starting to expand, and it still feels forced.
So a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the story. I spent several days brainstorming; thinking about the possibility of what our brand messaging and story could be. I knew that in order to communicate your brand effectively, you have to have a story – and a good one at that. Some of the most powerful storytellers in business are remembered because of the stories they told. Stories like “Think Differently” from Apple or “Just Do It” from Nike or “One For One” from TOMS. These were stories that the world could identify with. These were more than just stories; they were mantras, a declaration, a movement. And we loved those companies for it.
At 4th Park Studios, I believe we can do the same. I believe we can make a sound; spark a movement; inspire a generation. I believe we can be the change we wish to see. Little ol’ us with our big ol’ ambitious ideas. We can do this! We will do this!! We are doing this!!! It’s not an obligation, it’s an opportunity. I believe that we get to play a part in history… His Story. A story of revolution. A story of love. A store of restoration. A story of hope. A store of possibility. We get to be a part of making our world better because we’re here. We get to be pioneers and leaders in our generation.
It wasn’t long until I saw our story looking me square in the eye. I had been avoiding it all along. It was actually a story I had already been telling. It was MY story.
Here it is…
Awakening. Possibility. Here are two words that I believe sums up our WHY. My WHY. Inside of these two words lie the very heartbeat of our company and our team. We want to be known for the ideas we awaken. When people interact with our team and culture, we want them to leave awakened. We want to be a company that does more than make websites and logos. So I asked myself and my team… What if we could be known for the ideas we awaken? What if we could awaken possibility in every client we meet? What if we could awaken their big ideas? What if we could awaken their brand? What if we could awaken their minds? What if we could awaken them as leaders? What if we BECAME awakeners? Of Possibility? What if we led with a mantra that anything is possible? That you are possible? That your ideas are possible? That you can actually change the world? How cool is that!?
This story definitely fueled me and my team way more than our original story. Though our first story is still relevant as to what we actually do, I think we can do a better job of telling a better story. A story that the world could believe in. A story the world wants to hear. What if we could be a new kind of company? Not just another agency. What if we didn’t try to copy anyone else? What if we set our own path? Launched our own ideas? Created our own culture? Implemented our own projects? What if we could be known for awakening possibility? How cool would that be?
I can’t wait to tell the world. I can’t wait to see their reaction. I hope they can identify with this new story. I hope this story will become their story. How awesome would that be? To have a team that gets to work together on not only awakening possibility in themselves, but in the world. It’s breath-taking. It’s remarkable. It’s phenomenal. It’s great. It’s epic. And we get to do it. We get to be it. And we don’t have to wait. We can do it and be it now. We’ve already started telling this new story on our website. This is just the beginning.