“Paul Santa-Donato has been in the business too long. From the ‘Big Hair’ days of the (70’s) to the less hair days of right now (actually he still has plenty of hair)…”
Mark Bloom, the designer of this site, my friend and collaborator for over 30 years, originally wrote that line as a tongue in cheek place holder. It made me laugh. It also made me think that the math on my career is, indeed, mounting. In March of 2017, I celebrated 40 years in Advertising. On July 25th, 2018, Santa Donato Studios will be 35 years old.
Is that “too long” to be in the business?
When I first started interacting with clients, I was very much taken by the breadth and depth of the experience of all the OLDER people I was meeting. Now, I am one of them. The longer I do this, the more grateful I am for all the terrific people I have had the privilege to do business with and learn from over all these years. The longer I do this, the more I understand that sports cliche about how “the game slows down,” as athletes gain experience. I am less frenetic than I once was, and am now better able to slow the pace at which I evaluate each business challenge in order to facilitate more productive decision making. The longer I do this, the more importance I place on the listening component of personal interactions with both clients and artists.
Now, of course, most of the interaction is remote. I terribly miss “being in the room where it happens,” yet this physical separation has not squelched my passion for empathically engaging with the people with whom I do business. It has, instead, inspired me to cultivate new skills for better communicating in an evolving business environment.
I haven’t been in the business too long. I might just be getting good at this.