Gonna do it anyway

We're gonna do it anyway

Even if it doesn't pay.

— Gillian Welch, "Everything is free now"

In every big project there's a chance (and an inevitability) of figuring out how to make the system better. You see what holds and what breaks under pressure, what flexes when it should and what sticks when it shouldn't.

During a really good big project, you also get a chance to understand decisions you've been making based on instinct. Principles start to evolve. Then you make better decisions next time around.

One of the instincts I've been trying to nudge closer to a principle is what Mightier really is. It started as an implausibility, then became a functioning reality through the grace of several other women who decided to make it so. I list "founder" after my name, but that's a specific kind of professional smokescreen. I am the owner and founder of Mightier, LLC — "Mightier" the business. But I'm an equal member, nothing more, of "Mightier" the network.

The Mightier network is not about building an empire. It's about building trust and respect by working side by side.

The Mightier network is made up of people who have worked together and know they can do it well. They respect each other's talent and, for lack of a better word, professional values: what you value about the craft, what you value about yourself in the craft.

Mightier members are thoughtful about their sphere of responsibility. They own 100% of the work that's in their sphere. They also watch the work that's 10% outside it. They watch to see if they can catch a ball that's dropping, pitch in for a colleague who's getting slammed, or just send some warm words across the transom.

When we open a debrief with our standard starter question — "what could I have done to make my colleagues more successful" — people in the Mightier network have an answer.

The other thing Mightier is about is building something that supports independence.

The network is meant to take a bit of the fear and isolation out of being a small business owner or a freelancer — especially if you're a woman, or a member of any other group not welcomed by traditional power with open arms.

The advantages of being part of an agency or a firm are scale and security. You can take on big, juicy projects, and you have a lot of people hunting for the team, all the time. But you also get hierarchy. You get power structures. You put boundaries around what's possible and what's not.

Mightier is the anti-agency.

We are no utopia, but we work the way we want to. We care about our craft, each other, and our clients. That care is what holds us together, not hierarchy or health insurance. We take on big, bold projects together, with exactly the right team. And we have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

Everyone who is part of the Mightier network has a brand to build and protect, and Mightier, LLC should never replace that. Sometimes we pitch as Mightier, LLC. But we also sign up for projects led by Red Tomato, Boost Collective, Atomic Fox Design, Tandem Editing. We deliver for each other's brands just as hard as we do for our own.

In a perfect world, members of the Mightier network will work together on projects that don't involve Mightier, LLC at all. When that happens, I'm taking myself out for a beer, and toasting the women who launched this thing with me. Cheers, my friends.

We are Mightier.

Dawn McCarra Bass