Minding your business with Alex Morrissey
Being an entrepreneur involves much more than taking on financial risks in hopes of making a profit. It means that you are a fountain of new ideas, an innovator, and an inspiration to others, especially if you are young. That’s what Esirom boss Alex Morrissey has grown to realise. As the founder and director of an award-winning digital-marketing and content agency that operates in Jamaica, Singapore, and Indonesia, one can’t help but wonder how the 31-year-old ‘minds his business’. Flair went to find out just that.
No two days are the same for Morrissey. Today, he may be working in Kingston, and tomorrow, he could be as far as France. Flexibility is one of the highest points of his job and is something he gladly welcomes. And, given the nature of the industry, attending conferences across the globe is the norm for Morrissey, who is frequently invited by international companies to create partnerships.
Starting a company without any formal training, degree, or guidance in the enterprising arena proved to be his greatest challenge. Coming out of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in industrial/product design, he wanted to be a cellphone designer, but that all changed when he denied his dream job opportunity in Singapore because he could not speak Chinese. After developing apps and working for other agencies, he finally committed himself to the business realm. This meant that Morrissey had to learn how to effectively manage a business along the way. In fact, he confessed that he is still learning. As such, the businessman is committed to ensuring that his employees are comfortable in the workspace.
“My leadership techniques change as I learn more. So, I do a lot of reading and I see what works for other organisations in Asia and United States and just try to pull different things from them. I’ve changed the flow in the office several times just to see what works best for the different personalities,” the passionate, yet soft-spoken director said.
Like a true leader, he’s made sacrifices that show his staff that Esirom is place for nurturing and developing skills and promoting growth. The most profound he asserts is changing the entity’s operating hours to facilitate the emotional well-being of his crew. After realising the toll that the early-morning traffic was taking on his crew, work now starts mid.
“When we used to open earlier, I noticed that for the first half of the day, everybody was miserable because the journey to get to work was overbearing. That has been reduced now. It’s a laid-back environment here, but at the same time it’s always busy because there’s never a moment when anybody should be free, doing nothing. There’s always a task at hand,” he told Flair.
He has divided the work area into three divisions, digital media, multimedia, and original-content series OCS, a recently launched category that has similar services as Netflix. However, he allows his human resources team to explore all three in spite of their duties.
STAYING ON TOP
Staying competitive is always a priority for Morrissey. So he’s always aiming to improve himself. Currently, he’s amassing greater knowledge about developing Internet protocol. His vision is to expand his services and get ahead of the pack when this becomes more popular in Jamaica.
Although he has his hands full at Esiron, Morrissey also tries his hands at other things, like teaching. The young entrepreneur is a marketing teacher at the Excelsior Community College. Balancing the two hats is not easy and when it gets too overwhelming, a trip overseas usually soothes his stress.
Morrissey is encouraging others to become their own boss, even if they feel that they are not prepared.
“I tell my students as it is. You have to remember that they will not teach you everything at school. Most things you’ll have to learn for yourself. And the Internet is your ultimate source of learning right now,” he said.