Marketers must make time for their own long-term plans - and dream big
A view from Seb Weller

Marketers must make time for their own long-term plans - and dream big

WMA's chief executive shares his lessons from the career ladder.

In some ways, it feels like the time has passed so quickly since I appeared in the Power 100 Next Generation list back in 2009 as head of digital for RCA Records. But, on the other hand, so much has happened over the past eight years.

Following an incredible 12 years at Sony Music, I left my role as digital strategy and marketing director to fulfil a lifelong dream of setting up my own agency, WMA, a digital creative shop specialising in music and entertainment.

My vision was to create a place that I wanted to come to every day, work with people who I enjoyed spending time with, and do work that we would be collectively proud of. The following lessons have had the biggest impact on my journey to date.

Passion is without doubt one of the most important factors for long-term success

Doing something that you love, or at least something that will put you on the path to doing what you love, is essential. Life is too short to not follow your passion.

Surround yourself with the very best talent

I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many brilliant people to date, whether that’s direct reports, colleagues, peers, advisors, mentors or artists. WMA has given me the chance to build the very best possible team.

Starting with a blank canvas, I’ve assembled my dream team and now I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who I believe are best in class across their respective fields. Always surround yourself with positive and talented people.

Be nice

I had the pleasure of spending some time recently with Peter Mead, one of the founders of Abbott Mead Vickers. I’d highly recommend his book When in Doubt be Nice, which outlines many great business tips. It’s incredibly important to always try to look out for those around you and treat everyone with respect.

I’ve seen many interns and colleagues grow into senior and successful roles within the industry. People’s memories tend to be longer than you think. Spend time investing in both personal and business relationships.

Write it down

On founding WMA in 2013, I was encouraged by my accountant and closest advisor to get all my thoughts and plans written down on paper. It’s been incredible to see my plan come to life and just how close it’s been to the original objectives, which at the time felt very ambitious.

We spend so much time in marketing working on plans for others that you’ve got to make sure you make time for your own longer-term plan.

Dream big

In danger of sounding very cheesy, I’m a strong believer in thinking big. Taking into account all of the above, anything you can think of is possible.

Set aside time to visualise your dreams and then with determination, belief, focus and passion you can bring them to life.

Work hard

It’s not rocket science. Dedication, persistence and hard work mean it’s only a matter of time until it all falls into place. It’s then not a matter of if but when. Patience and getting up early can help too.

Seb Weller is the founder and chief executive at WMA. Weller was featured in Marketing's Power 100 Next Generation in 2009.