We had the good fortune of connecting with Rudy Manning and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rudy, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There are numerous factors I attribute to my success and the sustainability of Pastilla. However, I believe that for those looking to achieve success in this field, the most important factors boil down to three key pillars: faith, vision, and stamina.
As a creative, I always understood the need for faith in the process, but I found that in business this translates as a foundation pillar for success. You have to have faith. You have to truly believe in what you’re doing and have a mission for why you do it. If you believe that what you do is good, you can have faith that it will pay off in the end.
Next, you need vision. There is no one talented enough, or savvy enough to achieve success without having a clear path of what they want to do. Your vision gives you hope. It is the fuel for your faith. It is the outcome, or outcomes, that you and your team are inspired to achieve every day you go to work.
Lastly, you need stamina. I know from years of experience that you can believe in your work, you can have a vision for where you want to go, but the road to progress is never a straight shot. In short, stamina is simple: you have to work really hard. You have to remain steadfast through the inevitable ups and downs of a growing business. Stamina keeps your vision clear and your faith fresh. Without it, you will eventually lose both. In the digital age, we are conditioned to expect ease and immediacy, but it’s important to remember that your hard work may not pay off next week, or next month, or even next quarter. However, when you take the good and the bad in stride, you can strike a balance over the course of decades and bend the curve of your work towards progress, towards achieving your vision and fulfilling your faith in what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. And that is success.
Tell us more about your Art/Creative. What do you want the world to know about you? What sets you apart?
First and foremost, I am a creative. Everything that I do at Pastilla stems from my love for art and the power it has to impact people and society in a positive way.
Though I’m a founder and Creative Director today, I never left behind my identity as an artist and designer. I don’t put up barriers around “what a designer is”, or what a “business person looks like”, but instead I try to be as empathetic as possible when it comes to understanding the various aspects of running a creative agency.
By living into my natural empathy and artistic mindset, I find myself able to move freely in discussion between business, the arts, design, and technology, especially in how they relate to each other for our client’s marketing needs.
I think oftentimes leaders try to divide themselves into mutually exclusive mindsets: the business person, the creative, and the marketer. But I don’t believe that the various aspects of running Pastilla are mutually exclusive, or that I ought to transform into a business person in the morning, a creative at lunch, and a marketer in the afternoon. Rather, I believe that to be a creative director at a high level, you need to approach each aspect with empathy, and draw from your mindset and experience and to create meaningful connections between each aspect of the business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love going on road trips, and driving up the California coast is always a beautiful way to spend your time. That would be my top choice. Santa Barbara is a beautiful place as well, and is a great spot to hit while you’re driving up the coast. There is amazing food and the weather is fantastic.
As far as restaurants go, the offerings in Los Angeles are amazing. I personally love to go a little bit outside of the city to Arcadia, where you can find some of the best Chinese and Taiwanese food in the United States. It’s that good. But the diversity of this city is truly amazing. Every time I go out to a restaurant, I’m amazed at the variety of cultures you can find in such a relatively small corner of the world.
Downtown LA is also a lot of fun, and there are a lot of great bars and restaurants, the Staples center, and so on. The LA area is also home to incredible hiking trails and places to get active outside. Placerita Canyons is probably my favorite one out of them. It’s quiet, remote, with limited people coming and going, and it is just simply beautiful.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I first started building the business, my kids were the motivation behind my desire to build a successful legacy. For the first decade or so, that was my mission: to create something that would bless their lives, and hopefully inspire them to create their own legacy someday, utilizing their own unique interests and ideas.
I would also credit my wonderful wife, Felicia Manning. Over the past five years, she has become an integral partner both creatively and in business, helping me hone in on the vision for the company as it evolves. In this way, Felicia has not only been a supportive spouse but an active force in helping shape the decisions and direction of Pastilla and my professional work.