What I Learned This Year 2012 #2: Nathan Sprehe of Almanac

By Egotist / /

This has been an interesting year for Almanac.

We began the year working out of different houses, holding conference calls in cars, meeting at dining room tables and coffee shops, and spending a fortune at Kinko’s. We’ll end the year working out of a suitable office space with our long-time collaborator and friend, photographer Jay Fram, and our first intern / subsequent designer. We’ll still spend a fortune on printing but at least not at Kinko’s. And things keep going strong. We’re busier than we’ve ever been. We’re working closely with our clients to solve deeper, more meaningful problems. And best of all, it’s working! I used to wake up every day filled with surprise that we’re still doing this. I don’t really do that anymore.

Good ideas are everywhere. Ideas are cheap…and easy. Making those ideas come to life however, is hard. After all, the cards are stacked against good work and there are so many variables to navigate that it can be exhausting. The budget can make it seemingly impossible to afford original music for your video; the client’s printer is working overtime to talk you into their “house silk” sheet; the IT department can deny the simple access you need to set up a website database; even the client’s boss’ obsession with tradition and formality can keep a great idea from seeing the light of day.

The basic dynamic here often suggests “the work” is like water–it seeks the path of least resistance. And so it takes everything we’ve got to forge a new path, to stick to what we know is right, to push ourselves and our clients to take risks and consider new, often unexpected solutions to problems.

Over the course of the last year I’ve learned to have confidence in our ideas and our team’s ability to lead our clients every step of the way. And along with each successful collaboration comes a deeper sense of trust between everyone involved. And “the work” gets better. It’s been very rewarding.

My take away from 2012: work hard and take more risks. Almost nothing worthwhile is easy.

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To read the entire 2012 “What I Learned This Year” series, click here.

  1. Lynda McClure December 17, 2012

    So very true Mr. Sprehe. Nicely said sir.

  2. Anonymous December 18, 2012

    Who's your new worker? They must be pretty talented to work for you. And this is definitely not Becky.