Today’s Notable Young Professional is Yann Guay, whose work at Montreal-based agency M&H is at the forefront of creative digital marketing. We caught up with him to find out what inspires his career and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I relieve stress from ad agencies and marketing professionals and bring back happiness in their execution of large marketing campaigns by introducing them to my team of digital artists.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I consider myself lucky because many amazing people have inspired me at different stages of my life. First, my parents, who are entrepreneurs, taught me the value of hard work and inspired me to start my own business. Once I started working, I met great business people, associates and mentors who inspired me to build knowledge and expertise that would help me better myself in the workplace.
Currently, I’m working at M&H. When I first learned about M&H, I was amazed by their service offering and was jealous at the time that my company couldn’t benefit from an efficient partner like that. It’s so helpful to be able to focus on your main strength and core business while having an awesome partner that deals with the challenge and all the volatility of production and execution. So I decided to sell my business and join the force, and now I’m constantly surrounded by creative minds that continue to inspire me everyday.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Most of my work is regulated under NDA with my clients so I can’t give too much detail. But I’m really proud to have met a lot of friends, interesting and passionate professionals, who are future stars, leaders, or extremely talented people from the marketing world. I’m even more proud that these people trusted my team and I to help them with their business and recognize the amazing value that M&H can provide them. So far, we are having quite a nice adventure.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I can see myself being part of M&H for a very long time. I find excitement and passion in expanding my team and helping my clients grow and to be better at what they do. I’m lucky to work with a really nice bunch of creative people that are successful in their job. Each day and each week are very different and always bring a new challenge.
So in five years, I see myself working with those awesome clients but with a much larger team that we will have collectively built on our success together.
In 10 years, the business will have grown even more and I see myself working with more international clients. If I can do that and make sure my team excels at managing our partners’ marketing production and making their life easier, I would love to be part of the next generation that will lead M&H to the next step and manage new technologies, new types of marketing, and adapt to what creative talents will come up with.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be creative in your business solution, surround yourself with great people and a good network, and treat them well. Try to find a good mentor and, most importantly, GOYA (Get Off Your ASS)!
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Last fall, my team and I took part in the “48-HOUR RIDE,” a bike challenge in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Starting a working team with a new client that did major changes in their operation and staff when a lot of coworkers had to leave.
The team and I had to make sure we gained their confidence by delivering what we’ve promised. We had to prioritize and be really empathic of the client’s situation and emotions. We had to truly understand their way of doing things and why they were doing it like that. Only when this was achieved could we start discussing some ways of supporting them in their production process and then implement small changes that had incredible benefits on their staff and operation.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Someone or something that inspires you to become a better human, professional, lover and friend.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I like a place called Le Comptoir Charcuterie et Vins in Montreal. It’s five-minute walk from home with amazing food, knowledgeable and passionate staff, and small plates so you don’t have to limit yourself to one meal for dinner.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
La Presse’s website and all the 8-track playlists that are House + Saxophone + Jazz. If you have any new ones to suggest, go ahead – my girlfriend is going crazy because I always listen to the same songs.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I must admit I’m not a heavy user of social media. I’m more of a face-to-face interaction kind of guy.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I love visiting my best friend who lives in Indonesia. It’s also an amazing place for surfing, the weather is incredible, and the people are extremely nice.
I would love to go to a small village in Tahiti to relax and meet with the local people.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Not having nine lives to master; learning all the things that interest me and not being able to spend enough time with my family and friends.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
ICE CREAM! If I’m tired, if I have a bad day, if I hear good news, if I sign a new client… anything is a good reason to have ice cream. But I can control myself.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I bought a car wash franchise when I was 19 and lost $21,000. I learned a lot from this, but I would have preferred to learn from a $2,000 mistake.
I wish I spent more money on travelling when I was younger. I did travel quite a bit, but now that I have less time, I feel like it wasn’t enough.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Someone who overachieves and becomes a leader or an expert in a specific domain but is still extremely balanced or good in all the other aspects of his life. I think you truly achieve success when you are happy with your life and you have found the right balance between family, friends, career, personal goals/projects and helping people around you.