Mindset Matters.

June 14, 2024

In the future of agencies, and the world, mindset matters most

I’m thinking this month about positivity and mindset – how it can build a business and also change the world. But also just how fragile an optimistic outlook can be, and why it takes real work to hold on to the ideas and beliefs that made us who we are…

Starting an agency or any business is a real act of optimism and openness. So when Latitude launched in 2009, I fully embraced a mindset of abundance. We decided there and then that we would not just be in business for ourselves, and our clients, but we would give back right from the start and begin making a difference for people and places that needed help. The next 11 years proved that model out. Yes, we did jaw-dropping work for brands who were crushing it. But just as importantly, we celebrated each of those projects by engaging with our nonprofit partners to make a positive impact out in the world. That meant building schools, clinics, and children’s homes, funding rescue missions and providing critical capital for entrepreneurs in the developing world so they could use their gifts to serve their families. It was exhilarating, and the hard work hardly felt like work at all. We were riding a wave of incredible positivity and reward – and then 2020 came along.

Like it did for many, Covid gutted our business. Our agency lost 90% of revenue in one week and we were forced to lay off many of our teammates – the same team that had helped build Latitude. It was soul-crushing for all of us. I felt like a liability and a total failure, and I was tempted to throw in the towel. Worse still, we couldn’t continue our work with so many important causes. My mindset shifted immediately to scarcity, fear and even ugly self-preservation. Days were filled with despair and lacked any laughter, and I doubted my ability to ever lead again going forward. 

Then one day, months later, I was at the table with my leadership team and I looked around and realized something. Despite everything we had an incredible set of resources and we had built real relationships with all of our wonderful clients. That alone was something I could never have dreamed of, starting out in 2009. The moment was a wake-up call to say no to that scarcity mindset and yes to the courage of the people who had inspired the creation of Latitude – the people we had met all over the world who needed the world to help them fight for better futures. I pictured the girls I had met who were rescued from situations I couldn’t even imagine and who were brave enough to champion others needing freedom. The human spirit is capable of indescribable greatness, however, channeling that greatness is a choice. It was time to make that choice, remember what was really at stake and rewrite our future.

I decided there and then to shake off the scarcity mindset that had crept in. The same scarcity that whispered to protect, preserve, be small and scared. The scarcity that stole my joy, potential, and vision for the greatness. I needed to turn up the volume of abundance again and let that way of thinking drive everything in our business and our work with communities. Every day I reminded myself we had done it once before and could do it again, despite the challenges. And slowly we had belief again that is possible to do business and change the world. Generosity isn’t a liability. It is a privilege. 

This shift wasn’t a light switch moment for me. Optimism didn’t rush back and greatness didn’t parade in like a marching band. It shifted slowly, one deliberate day at a time. Each of those was a choice of how to show up and what voices to listen to. Every day I chose a mindset of abundance, deciding to experience hope rather than fear, joy rather than despair, and eventually success rather than defeat. 

As we all build our businesses day by day, work with clients and make change where we can in the world, it’s more often than not the difficult times that help us recalibrate how we think about who we are and the path we are on.  

Mindset matters more than ever.

 Krista Carroll - Founder, CEO