Pop Quiz, Monday with Rafael Rizuto, Founder & Chief Creative Officer at TBD

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Rafael Rizuto

Rafael_Rizuto copy 4
Photo credit: Rafael Rizuto

What is your job role?
Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Tell us about your company?
TBD is a diverse group of creative problem solvers who believe in the power of creative ideas to bring about positive change. TBD was built to serve brave, mission-driven brands that want to disrupt markets or themselves to create this change.

What do you love most about your job?
Using my creativity not just to sell products or services, but to improve society somehow.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I think we are blessed to use our creativity to make a living. To put a little from ourselves into everything we do. We should never take that for granted. We are paid to day dream.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I love positivity and proactivity. My team at TBD have that in abundance.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
It may sound like a cliche, but I have the most fun when we are all working together. Creative reviews, pitching new business, or even putting a deck together. My background is Art Direction, and I still love to design things myself.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Recently I heard something that’s so true in our business: “We are an industry that constantly writes its obituary.” I’m tired of hearing “prophets” predicting how doomed we are all the time based on a guessing game of where our industry is supposed to be headed. We are in a creative business, and it’s natural and healthy to be changing all the time. I’ll be worried the day that we become stagnate. Then, we’ll be dead.

I believe we are living in the most exciting moment to be working in this industry. There are so many ways we can express our creativity and reach people.

We are assembling an incredible and diverse team here at TBD, and this is what makes us different. I also believe that instead of talking about it, we should let the work define the agency.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I do believe that clients buy people. Regardless of your process. We can come up with a bunch of processes and gimmicks, but at the end of the day, it’s all about people – strong partnerships and the passion you bring to the table — no bait and switch. You genuinely have to have the clients interests at the core of what you do. They can smell it if you don’t.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Look for good mentorship, don’t follow the money. Learn from the best to improve your craft. The money will follow. Also, never lose that spark in the eye. A lot of people become cynical in this business. Stay positive.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Twitter: @rizuto
Instagram: @rizuto

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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