Some of the best advice I ever received was to always have a mentor throughout life. If you don’t have a mentor, then how intentional or accountable are you about seeking self-improvement and growth? I found my first business mentor at 17 working as a handyman for a successful entrepreneur, Mike. He had built his wealth over time through hard work and persistence. He had slowly worked his way up to 20 or so rental properties, and his full-time business was simply maintenance and improvement of his properties. He wasn’t content to sit on his ass and collect a check like most landlords. He believed that we can only grow if we continue to invest in ourselves. Mike taught me so much about who I wanted to be as an entrepreneur and helped me realize that I could achieve anything if I had the fortitude.
As a seasoned freelancer in the realm of advertising, I have witnessed firsthand the intricate inner workings of the industry. However, there is a secret I have been harboring, a clandestine story that has left me uneasy and questioning the very nature of my profession. Brace yourself as I peel back the layers of this conspiracy, sharing my personal experience working on a covert project that involved embedding subliminal messages within a commercial for a beverage company, “Fizzola” for release in Romania (and I presume other countries).
In this Part 2, the true antagonists of the story come to light, compounding the red flags mentioned earlier and leading to the eventual downfall of Verse Us. If you thought Bryan at Fancy was bad, brace yourself for the incompetence and corruption of Derek, the CEO, and his sidekick, the COO. Unlike Bryan, who was merely incompetent, Derek and the COO displayed a complete lack of skills and moral integrity. This chapter will delve into the tale of bribery, blackmail, whistleblowing, and how it eventually entangled both the SEC and FBI.
Prepare yourself for an extraordinary journey through the realms of celebrity and deception, where fortunes hang in the balance. This story, drawn from the depths of my agency career, is an epic tale that will leave you spellbound. Brace yourself as I peel back the layers of this astonishing startup saga.
Millions of dollars were at stake, and the gravity of the situation was palpable. I witnessed firsthand the sheer magnitude of mismanagement, as key players stumbled through their roles with alarming ineptitude. From strategic decision-making to execution, it seemed as though chaos reigned supreme. Yet, amidst this chaos, I held on to the hope that redemption was possible.
Drawing from my past experience with Annie and her company, I felt confident that I could take Four Fragrances to market with wild success, especially with some disposable time on my hands and more expertise under my belt. Partnering with one of my personal heroes and the values of their brand made a lot of sense to me. It felt like a spiritual awakening, almost as if it was meant to mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter. As I closed in on a buyer for our company, I saw an opportunity to start exploring a career change and potentially build Four Fragrances into the next great brand for my future. Little did I know how wrong I was.