I always thought just because you can cook, doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant.”Michael Mance
Traveling up and down Career Success Road is rarely a straight shot, nor is it often a smooth ride. Sometimes we discover side roads we didn’t know existed or never explored because we didn’t want to go where they led. Michael Mance, July’s Person to Watch, straddled the side roads until they became his passion and his path to help himself and others, eventuate success.
At 8 years old Mance began working for his father in his landscaping business. Watching his father own and operate his business engrained all the hallmarks of being a bootstrapping entrepreneur in Mance. He learned to be technically productive, an efficient manager, and how to work hard. Considering his entrepreneurial roots, it seems Mance himself would join the family business, or start his own, as soon as possible. But that wasn’t the road Mance was ready to take.
After graduating from Tri-County Technical College with a degree in Media Arts Production, and obtaining a Multimedia degree from ITT, Mance’s skills landed him a Director of Marketing position with the Anderson Chamber of Commerce.
“I fell in love with the chamber industry and the business of growing business and the economy. I loved how different people and skills worked together in orchestra to achieve a result. I felt like my role played an important part in helping businesses succeed. That’s probably why my mantra now is Eventuate Success. Corporate administration is the heart of business, and my role in marketing touched all facets of that. That’s why I fell in love with it,” says Mance.
While fully committed to corporate America, Mance couldn’t ignore his creative talents and interests, so after graduating and landing a corporate job, he continued to learn and grow in his creative and marketing skills.
“I received my Institute for Organizational Management from the US Chamber, and I was part of the first class of the unofficial YouTube University. I’d stay up until 3am watching videos and learning how to do things better,” notes Mance.
Slowly, Mance began using his multimedia skills to do small projects for free, still considering his creative interests merely a hobby.
“It started with a request for photography here, a logo design there, and I often wouldn’t charge because I loved doing it. If our publication needed a headshot for a board member, I’d take my personal photography equipment and capture it. In hindsight, I likely left a lot of revenue on the table, but gained so much experience,” Mance states.
Without him noticing, Mance’s free services were gaining credibility and recognition. When a company notified Mance’s boss of concerns that Mance may begin referring business to himself instead of to them, he became aware of it. While slightly taken aback, Mance remained committed to his love for the Chamber industry.
“I pursued promotions, gained certifications, and increased the company’s gross annual revenue. Regardless of this, I couldn’t shake the fact that something was off. I was reluctant to admit this because I was one of those people who had 12 years of perfect attendance, carried multiple weeks of paid time off over every year, and took pride in doing the job,” says Mance.
Then a bit of foreshadowing occurred. After repeatedly saying, “I’m never quitting, they’re going to have to fire me,” that is exactly what happened. Mance went on to work a series of other jobs, some creative, some not as much, until finally through encouragement and opportunity disguised as disappointment via the loss of another job, he finally embraced full time entrepreneurship.
Mance began to shore up his business processes, while pricing and seeking continued education opportunities.
“The first year was rough, and I truly felt like a start-up. However, the phone kept ringing. I had apparently done something right all of those previous years,” Mance recalls.
Today, Mance Multimedia is a full-service marketing and creative agency that helps small businesses grow their brands so they can be successful. All their services are based on a 5-point framework of 5 key areas that brands must invest in to grow their sense of “like, know, and trust,” and motivated by 1 question: If you were fired today, can your business support you and your family full time?
“We believe that if you brand well, you build visibility and credibility and eventuate your own success. We’ve applied this mantra to our own business and are growing year over year,” Mance says of his business philosophy.
After nearly 5 years of running Mance Multimedia full time, Mance has not missed a beat. In March 2023, the business was recognized as the Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business of the Year, a full circle moment for Mance. While he is proud of this honor, Mance’s proudest business projects are a tossup between effectively marketing Anderson County Councilman Glenn Davis’ campaign the last 2 years and helping a Texas based client launch a product into over 1200 Lowe’s stores.
Mance Multimedia’s next project is the launch of a creative subscription service in which clients can pay a fee per month and request any service with a short turnaround.
“It’s like having a dedicated marketing and design staff member without the additional employment costs,” says Mance. “Need a flyer? A quick video for social media? It’s going to be included in the subscription.”
Learn more about Mance Multimedia at https://www.facebook.com/ManceMultimedia and on Instagram at mancemultimedia.