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Issue #2: Creating Momentum

We're creatures of habit. Perhaps you've heard this before. If anything has taught me this, it's been

James Costa

March 7 · Issue #2 · View online
A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

We’re creatures of habit. Perhaps you’ve heard this before. If anything has taught me this, it’s been through raising my son. Every night before bed, he has a routine he goes through that is necessary for him to sleep. From having cookies and milk to being tucked in “burrito” style, he’s at his best when his routines and habits are regular.
Similarly, I started pushing myself to wake up at 6am every morning a few months ago, and I have a list of things I try and get done before my son wakes up an hour and a half later. The list started with simple things like stretching and eating breakfast, but has grown to reading, doing yoga three days a week, and doing my daily Elevate session. By 9am when my son is on the bus headed to school, I’ve already built momentum for my day with an amazing feeling of accomplishment. When I don’t follow this routine, I have a noticeably different day have a constant feeling of being “behind”.
Over time, we’ve built habits (often unknowingly). Often we think about the big ones: healthy diets, working out, and sleep. But habits are everywhere in our lives from which way we cross our legs to how often we brush our teeth. They might seem inconsequential, but starting small habits and routines can build momentum for the larger ones (and further help with momentum for whatever lies ahead). Similarly, reflecting on what habits you presently have to start weeding out the bad ones is equally as important as building new ones.
This momentum doesn’t have to made with 6am mornings or yoga. Start small and keep adding. These things don’t need to be work-related either, and I’ve personally found that the more I organize my mind in other aspects of my life the easier it is to focus on getting things done at work. What one habit can you start this week to start building your momentum?
Pro tip: if you’re a huge data geek like me, you should try out RescueTime and Gyroscope to visualize your day. It’s pretty unreal how we use our time.

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: What was the best decision you made in running your business?
Josh Borts (Functional Imperative) said: “The biggest change we made was moving some clients to multiyear retainers in exchange for lower hourly rates. It really allowed us to focus on growth instead of monthly cash flow.”
Kundan Joshi (The App Labb) said: “For me, it was pivoting to become a mobile only agency. Earlier we were a digital agency that did everything digital, and as a result spread ourselves too thin, trying to be good at too many things instead of being the best at 1 thing.”
Stephen Megitt (Filament Lab) said: “Honestly, the best decision that I’ve made in the past year has been to move our payment milestones to be time triggered rather than acceptance triggered. That, coupled with equalizing payments on a monthly basis over the course of an engagement. I haven’t had this much peace of mind, predictability and balance in cashflow and pipeline in, well, ever.”
F*ck You, Pay Me
The dark side to unlimited vacation policies at agencies
You Don't Know as Much as You Think: False Expertise
Getting Lost in Just Doing
Make Every Meeting a Workshop
How Google Ventures Uses Design Sprints to Ship Great Products
The right way to end an email to a client
Giving less advice
The Right Way to Hold People Accountable
Inspiration for the Week
“I make a conscious effort to keep things in perspective when I get burned out. It is easy to get stuck in the daily grind, but if you think about all the distance you have covered, and what lies ahead, it is much easier to feel motivated and optimistic.” — Alex Litoff
GIF for the Week
In Closing
Today is “Be Heard Day,” so hit the ground running this week to set the pace for your momentum throughout the week. (It’s also “Crown Roast of Pork” day, so let’s take this all with a grain of salt (or a bowl of cereal, since it’s also “Cereal Day”)).
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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