Freedom Business Cafe


From Teaching to Ad Agencies

I started off as an adjunct lecturer in English at Queens College in New York City and supervisor of the college’s Writing Workshop. It was basically a remedial writing program, teaching students to write with clarity.
I loved the teaching and the positive changes it brought in student’s’ lives.

But I was young and restless, and the lure of Bright Lights, Big City in Manhattan became irresistible. I put together an advertising portfolio at night and before I knew it I was in the heart of it all – a copywriter in the best, and possibly the biggest, ad agency in the world at the time – Young & Rubicam. We worked in teams of copywriter and art director, and I was lucky enough that my partner was one of the most revered creative people in the agency, Tony C.

Our work sessions to come up with new campaigns taught me a lot. Tony always had two main questions for every potential campaign:
1) What’s the big idea?
2) Does it have legs? (meaning: is there enough here for an ongoing campaign).

Well, answering those 2 questions enabled me to earn multiple Clio Awards, the Oscars of advertising, and got me jobs as copywriter and then creative director at other top ad agencies such as BBDO, DDB/Needham, and Wunderman.
I’m probably one of the few who have been a creative executive at top brand ad agencies, direct marketing agencies, and an internet company (the one founded by CNBC TV personality, Jim Cramer).

Leon Altman
Leon Altman

The Biggest Lure of All: Freedom

After a number of years, bright lights, big city was no longer as interesting to me. I was after the biggest prize of all (to me): Freedom. Financial and lifestyle freedom.
So I left the agency world and became a freelancer. At first there wasn’t much freedom. It was a struggle to get freelancing clients. I was flabbergasted. Shouldn’t they be lining up to work with a big deal like myself? Apparently not.

But after a while I had a Eureka moment. Which led to a client acquisition strategy that worked like gangbusters.
It enabled me to get client after client in subniche after subniche and led to a multi-six figure income year after year for over 25 years. And freelancing evolved into other “Freedom Businesses.” including consulting, coaching and a virtual agency.

For me, being able to live the freedom lifestyle is the best thing of all, and I love teaching and coaching people who want this for themselves.

Here’s to Your Freedom,
Leon Altman