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  • Writer's pictureCristián Ritalin León

My biggest learnings from 2022

The year is gone. And it is absolutely inevitable to sit at the window and think about everything that was a post (post?) pandemic year. In my case, our case, as an agency, was a year of great success and learning. Human and professional. And that I want to share today, on the last day of 2022, with you.

1. Learn how to say no.

When I started RTLN, I started, as they say, "with one hand in front and one behind." With more than 20 years of knowledge and work with tremendous brands; but also starting in a world totally unknown to me: entrepreneurship. The agency "Boutique". And a light and "fatless" design, but which for the same reason made it more difficult to sell the value proposition, in a world accustomed to fixed Fees and tenders with superficial briefs. We started by saying yes to the projects that arrived. And in the process we were lucky to start with clients who are still with us to this day; in industries that we did not know but, thanks to strategic processes -and above all to the trust of customers- we ended up mastering it well. That first impulse was the basis for being able to start calmly. But it also meant learning along the way that, after that beginning, it is essential to focus your course and understand what kind of things you do... but also what things your agency does NOT do. Having turned down an award offer from a global chain, because we just don't want to focus on Retail, she ended the call with a nervous laugh. Did we really tell him no? Oh really. And time proved us right.

2. Worth. Not price.

Someone once told me: if you start talking about price, they don't understand value. And boy is that true. In the agency structure, our focus is super clear: We don't work with SMEs, but we don't work with multinationals either. We want to help catapult brands that have been around for a while, that are enjoying success, and are ready to become a big brand. We aim for strategic differentials and media agnostic projects. And that, on the one hand, implies having only Senior people. More expensive, sure; but also more assertive. So if the conversation is not focused on the objectives and growth of your company, through Marketing, but on how much we are charging for the project... I think we are not your agency. Next.

3. Work hard. rest hard.

A gym teacher once told me: As important as the work in the gym, are the rest days. If you don't get the muscle back, it won't get better. It's the same in professional life: Just as it is essential to commit and give your all when working with your clients, the misunderstood concept of the "24/7" entrepreneur, especially in creative industries, is a bad habit that must be abolished: No You can be creative if you don't go to the movies. You can't be inspired if you don't get together with your friends. And that, in the culture of the agency, is sacred: Closing the computer at 1 pm on Fridays is sacred. As well as the hours in which we send or answer emails. Peace of mind, rest and disconnection are essential to be 100% on a daily basis.

4. Remote? Yes, but...

I've never seen my accountant in person. Neither do my clients from Argentina and Central America. But that does not mean that it is super important to meet with your team for lunch and get to know each other better. Or do a Workshop in person or have the first meeting with a new client, in person. I really value the time gained with the automatic "teleportations" that working remotely gives us. I love that my breaks in summer are not -like when I was at McCann- walking on the hot pavement for an overpriced coffee, but throwing myself a booby in my pool and answering emails on the sun lounger with my wet bathing suit. But relationships are what happens between meetings. And there are key moments that must be physical. Definitely.

5. Economics well understood.

This is perhaps a bit more personal, but I think it can also be applied to your corporate or business outlook: This year I read or saw somewhere a phrase that left a mark on me: "Instead of thinking about saving more, start thinking where you can earn more." How true. It is a complex time, of course; but saving and lowering the quality of your life, when we live in an era of abundance and unmet needs, is absurd. Instead of thinking about where you lower costs, think about where there are opportunities to earn more. Or, from the side of the company, instead of "having to" work with cheaper profiles, find a way to work with senior people with perhaps less HH; or some combination that works best. Look from abundance, not from scarcity.

6. The power of the network.

I have been learning this at a strong pace for the last 3 years; but this year we have seen this philosophy reap, with tremendous clients that come to us through other clients. And the formula is clear and simple: do a very good job, try to surprise with an "overdelivery" from time to time, no

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