When you turn 16, and you get that driver’s license, it’s a memory you never forget. It wasn’t just a license to drive, it was a license to be free, a license to see the world, and most importantly a license to find your own roads. And I did just that.

This week that sweet 16 takes on a new meaning for me. June 3rd, 2019, marked the 16th birthday of my agency, Bates Creative. All of a sudden the same feelings of freedom, enthusiasm, anticipation come rushing through. The things that got me excited to be a part of the creative industry so many years ago. How can we change the world? How do we make our mark? How do we keep driving forward and keeping it fresh?

Back then, the license meant freedom. Today it means success. As a business owner and a leader, we need to keep reminding ourselves how to drive forward. I have been driving forward for my entire life. Learning how to adapt and grow. And over the past 16 years this has served me well. Like growing to surround myself with people who know more than I do and have had completely different experiences. These people have made the last 16 years not only a success, but a pleasure. They have taught me how to be a better colleague, a better leader, and a better friend. And for that I’m eternally grateful.

Today we learn how to drive, together, so we can thrive in new areas of expertise. Driving change (instead of my old beat up first car) is always top of mind now. We change lanes to accommodate the changing needs of our clients, we drive faster to keep up with the ever-changing needs of technology, and we build bridges to offer more niche, unique expertise.

This sweet 16 brings new, exciting things for us. Like, a redefined purpose, a bigger story, and a new name. We are going beyond what I ever thought possible for ourselves and our clients. And just like a teenager behind the wheel for the first time, always wanting to go farther. But what will that mean for us (and you)? We will go farther through research and strategy, delivered with smart creative and design. We will take our customers on a journey beyond the expectations of what they think is possible. We will go, and our clients will have the opportunity to go, Beyond Definition.

I raise my glass to toast those who have been a part of this ride and to those who will jump into my red sports car at the next stop. Our sweet 16 is just the beginning of this new road – there’s an empty seat in the back – buckle up!

If you want to hear more about how we are going beyond, email me at debbie@batescreative.com.