We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Farkas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I went into college as a freshman, I anticipated wanting to continue the advertising work I had involved myself in during the years prior. While in high school, I had an internship at an advertising agency, and that’s what led me to pursue a media/communications based major. But by the time I made it through my sophomore year at UC Berkeley, I had opportunities to work as an independent contractor with a variety of small start-ups doing various digital marketing and branding projects. Through that case-by-case involvement, I was able to see the potential of how easily theses processes could be completed from just my just my laptop. At the time of this epiphany I had three clients, and at first it was the appeal of tax benefits that led me to establish an LLC, but that moment almost 4 years ago marked the day I unintentionally began my own boutique agency.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business, FM Creative, hasn’t changed too much in the last four years since I founded it. Many have asked why, and select others have associated negative connotations to the fact, but I stand firm in my assurance that this is exactly how I want it. By negating the general expectation to scale, I’ve instead allowed myself to focus on the smaller collection of clients I work with through any given period. On average, I represent 2-3 small companies and start-ups at a time, primarily dedicating focus to their digital marketing, online branding, and social media presence. These terms usually last between 3-6 months before I’m able to transition them to either in-house marketing, or to a larger agency with greater resources. While this framework may seem limiting, I’ve developed a system for myself that yields something I would consider to be the most desirable result – freedom. A large-scale agency requires care and consideration around the clock to ensure the satisfaction of their large-scale clients. But by working with emerging companies, my priorities aren’t necessarily about breaking ground, but rather laying foundations within the unique scope I bring as a reputable creator. Additionally, given the short duration of work-agreements, I’m able to keep myself focused, committed, and interested as I switch between upwards of 10 entirely separate projects per year. Beyond that, though, my involvement with small, early-stage companies has led to something far more lucrative – equity. I’ve identified a handful of promising ventures that lacked initial capital and offered founding services to them in exchange for lasting stake in the companies, something uniquely possible given my early involvement.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This question may be a hypothetical, but in my case, I’ve been the go-to tour guide for just about everyone coming to LA. I was born and raised here, and while I’ve lived in different cities, states, and even countries throughout my life, I’ll always consider this place home. Without sharing too many of my well kept, local secrets, the itinerary would look as follows: -Early morning surf in Malibu before coming back to my neighborhood for a Spanish Latte at Menottis Cafe in Venice.
-Lunch at Flake on Rose (also in venice), followed by a walk up Abbot Kinney to digest the fat Neptune Melt we just ate.
-A sunset drive down PCH to catch some final rays from the bluffs at Pt. Dume.
-Finish the day off with a heft meal at THE BEST Thai restaurant in all of LA, Cholada, right near the bottom of Topanga Canyon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Allocation of mention for those responsible for where I am today can be dispersed across a long list of people. At the foundation stands my parents; one immigrant and one entrepreneur, both of whom empowered me with the boundless love and support necessary to become a first-generation college graduate and start my own business at the age of 19. Beyond them, I have to acknowledge founder and CEO of ONA Creative, Sanja Komljenovic. She hired me at a young age, personally educated me on how to navigate the industry, and even employed me remotely and part-time through college which allowed me to make enough money to survive as a student. Beyond that, though, I’m proud to say that I feel almost entirely responsible for my success. Hard work, dedication, and blind trust for the process has all led me to where I am today, and I bet on myself every morning when I wake up knowing that no one else is responsible for accomplishing my goals except for me.