Experience

by Parvez Sheik Fareed

Being in charge of establishing the world’s most unknown agency, where the motto “another day, another dollar” has currently transformed into “another day, no dollar”, we are faced with the fact that we have no experience in what we do. I don’t have a typical background in the marketing business, nor does my partner in crime. At some point people ask us what qualifies us, what “experience” we have.  The majority’s common understanding of experience is pretty simple: an amount of years spent on the same subject. And if you want to do something else, common understanding suggests that you must get a degree in that specific area first prior to being entitled to enter the space. People are obsessed with getting formal qualifications. In my opinion that’s narrow-minded thinking.

A piece of paper may state that you have “learned” what you were supposed to learn. But it doesn’t actually say that you “did” what you are about to do. The real test still lies ahead of you. So you are back on square one, basically. That’s why I’m in favour of skipping degrees.  Obviously you need to read stuff about what you want to do, you need to look things up etc. but you don’t always necessarily need to get a degree first in order to embark on a journey. Rather have a chat with people who have been where you are right now, and listen to their stories, how they dealt with the obstacles. The internet offers a great range of accessible information, a lot of which is rubbish, but there is proper useful information out there (just to avoid any confusion: I’m not referring to the adult sites). Once you’ve discovered the gold nuggets, you read, you think and you do. All you need is a starting point. And the most important thing: common sense. They don’t teach you common sense at school or on the job. Common sense is something you need to develop on your own. By observing life in general, making your own conclusions and forming your own opinions. Then you try. Then you fall, then you stand up again. And at some point you will be walking. Because initially you tried.

So when people ask us what qualifies us, we say we have no experience. But we have ideas. And we bring these ideas to life. Trial and error. Just like everything else in life.