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Issue #1: Beginnings

Sometimes in the craziness of the day-to-day, we tend to forget completely about why we're doing what

James Costa

February 29 · Issue #1 · View online
A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Sometimes in the craziness of the day-to-day, we tend to forget completely about why we’re doing what we are. What was once hobbies for many of us end up turning into things that suck the passion out of us every day. We stay up at night worrying about how we’re going to make the next paycheque or pay rent, or we constantly wait for the weekend.
It didn’t use to be like this. At some point we were excited when faced with a challenge. Hell, any time we got to use our passions we’d jump at the opportunity. So… what happened?
Our businesses grew, and while it may have helped alleviate some problems, it may have brought about others. All of a sudden we lost the joy in our work because we have to juggle it with a dozen other tasks in any given hour.
When this happens, I find the quickest solution for me is to remember where I came from. Our story quickly becomes forgotten because we live in it every day and don’t see it, but we need to take a moment from time to time to look back at it and realize how far we’ve come.
For me, it goes back to getting a domain name from my uncle on Christmas when I was 10. It was the joy of building things up (at that time it was usually Dragon Ball Z fan sites), breaking them down, and building them back up again. It was being able to help others with my skill through building simple sites, helping to fix Javascript games, or building Neopets Guilds. It never occurred to me that my hobby could become a career, and it was only when I was faced with feeling lost that I was able to realize what I wanted to do.
Friends, our jobs aren’t easy. What’s more, we rarely get credit for all of the work we do since 90% of it is invisible to the world. This week, let’s make sure we take some time to remember where we’ve come from, give ourselves the pat on the back that we deserve, and let that passion drive us to new heights.

Process is not sexy
When I have no idea what I’m doing, I do these 3 things
The Secret Is The Beginning
How We’ve Optimized Remote Team Meetings For Ultimate Efficiency
Be the Butcher not the Supermarket
What To Do When A Key Employee Quits
Could a 'blind recruitment' policy make Canada less racist?
‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups
Thoughts from Slack
The Toronto Agency Owner community has a Slack channel where we share thoughts, accomplishments, upcoming events, and ultimately support one another. If you’d like in, just reply to this email and ask (nicely)!
This week, we asked the community: Why did you start an agency / partner in an agency?
Kundan Joshi (The App Labb) said: “To make people’s lives easier and better, one app at a time”
Marcello Gortana (Also Collective) said: “I was poached by a company in Telecom to help lead a new business division they had there but none of it was fulfilling really and I never really felt the same level of creativity or motivation that I’ve felt working on something that I would call my own.”
Paul Dowman (OK Grow!) said: “Because I didn’t know better. (I wanted to do bigger and better projects than I could as a freelancer.)”
Inspiration for the Week
“Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” —Jeffrey Zeldman
GIF for the Week
In Closing
Friends, thank you for going along with this experiment. This is a completely new medium for me, and I’m excited to see where this goes.
If you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email.
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