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Award-Winning Business Owner Gives Up, Earns More as an Employee Amid Global Economic Downturn


Liam “Akiba” Wright, who started his career writing and directing the feature film Ex Cathedra which is currently available on Amazon Video, led creative marketing agency Banter Media for over ten years before making the pivot this year.

“I realized that scaling a marketing agency isn’t efficient. For every new client, you need to hire more staff, and if you want to look after them, the growth isn’t reflected in the bottom line. I worked harder and harder each year, and I personally didn’t see the rewards. Since I pivoted into journalism and consultancy, I’ve increased my monthly income while also reducing my stress levels no end.”

Wright, also known as “Akiba,” has written hundreds of articles for the web3 publication CryptoSlate and several pieces for the well-known financial outfit Benzinga. Wright’s experience in technology, design, business, finance, and content creation through leading Banter Media has positioned him to create detailed articles which have received millions of views this year. For example, Akiba, created a breakdown of why business owners may wish to consider moving back into employment in today’s economy.

– Wage inflation is finally coming through, so any business with high staff costs and low margins will struggle in the coming months.

– Running a business is not suitable for everyone. You do not have to be a founder to be an entrepreneur.

– Understand your worth; experience in running a company is hard to come by, especially a successful one

– Accept that some businesses will view you as overqualified for the position and may pass even though you are a perfect fit

– Practice creating a pitch that helps explain why you want to go from founder to employee – this will be the biggest hurdle

– If you do not have ties to VC funds, it is likely that you can earn more working for a funded tech company than slowly and organically running your own business

“At 36, I felt like I was getting too old to reinvent myself. However, when I finally stopped listening to the outside noise and asked myself what I truly wanted to do, the answer was simple; write. So I started writing, then I reached out to people in the industry, and now I can work from my laptop anywhere in the world.”

The journey from film to agency
Akiba had his first film, Ex Cathedra, accepted to Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2008. After that, he worked with several well-known brands on music videos and commercials before officially starting Banter Media, a full-service creative marketing agency based in Manchester, UK. Banter Media won agency of the year awards several times, working with brands such as Nike, Converse, Umbro, Vimto, Colgate, and Manchester United. Akiba was also a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015.

Pivoting at 36 to content creation
In 2016 Akiba began downscaling Banter Media to focus more on digital consultancy, stating that “running an agency without taking advantage of your customers by overcharging them for work they should be learning to do themselves simply isn’t sustainable.” After several years of respite from the cutthroat world of agency life, Akiba began writing again. Today, he writes for CryptoSlate daily and commented, “It’s amazing working as a crucial cog in a much bigger team. I’m not in charge, and I can finally accept that is something I am ok with. We spend too much of our lives obsessed with work. It is ok to admit that you don’t need to be a business owner to be successful. I actually make better money now than I did when I ran the agency because I always wanted to pay my staff the most I could afford, which affected my salary as a result.”

Akiba has a growing following on both Instagram and Twitter, where he shares news, updates and advice on the web3 industry and macro-economic issues. Akiba is also the co-founder of Hop Pole Studio, one of the top YouTube channels for music production news and education.

Akiba went from a multi-award winning marketing agency owner to a journalist working for a web3 scale-up and states, “I’ve never been happier. My work and life balance are finally settled, and I can enjoy life without worrying where the next client will come from.” Akiba is available for speaking engagements, panel moderation, interviews and article commentary. He specializes in web3, blockchain, digital media, video production, writing, journalism, gaming, metaverse, NFTS, and most aspects of creative media.



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