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Issue #4: Juggling

For the majority of my life I've been a juggler. Whether it was being a part of a competing wind ense

James Costa

March 21 · Issue #4 · View online
A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

For the majority of my life I’ve been a juggler. Whether it was being a part of a competing wind ensemble while playing soccer, hockey, and having a newspaper route in elementary school, to dividing my time between running an agency, getting married, buying a house, being a father, and running multiple communities and events as I am at present; life has always been exciting. That’s why I think it made sense falling into starting a business.
In a given day of work as business owners, we move from sales, to operations, to HR, to projects, to legal, to strategy… it’s tiring! Then somehow, at the end of the day, we feel like we didn’t accomplish anything. The constant switching between tasks is mentally draining, and the constant risk and pressure can make that exponentially worse. Early on, this was exciting. I loved moving between all of these things and being able to have control over everything. But then, as the team started to grow, decisions started to multiply in each area and it made it impossible to be everywhere at once.
I love the thought of “working on the business instead of in the business”. I’m not at all perfect in this respect, but it’s something I’m constantly striving for. My first step towards this was analyzing where I was spending my time in the business, and trying to determine where I needed to. By understanding the specific things that were taking time and what I enjoyed versus what I thought someone could do better, it allowed me to strategically place people on my team to make decisions so I didn’t need to.
At first this was the worst feeling in the world. Letting go of that control on your business is awful, and you feel like you’re just being lazy. Once you get through that and realize how much more time you have to dedicate to things, though, you realize the power of delegation. Then you realize things are being done without you and it feels amazing. Then, when you delegate properly and empower people to make decisions, you realize others can do things better than you. Growing a business is a truly humbling thing.
So, while the circus hasn’t called me yet to join their travelling troupe, I always think about the constant state of juggling we do as agency owners and how much of that we really need to do. Maybe instead of trying to be superhuman, we can admit we’re not perfect and ask for help.
P.S.: If you have a moment and enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing this newsletter. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or calling your mother to tell her, it would mean the world to me.

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: Do you have a goal for what you’d like your role within your agency to be in 5 years?
Josh Borts (Functional Imperative): “My 3 year goal is to no longer be involved in the day to day. I want to take a one year trip without needing to shut down the business.”
Stephen Megitt (Filament Lab): “I have a 2 year goal of removing myself completely from project management and operations, focusing solely on setting strategy (internal and external), going after and working (strategically) on projects that I have a strong desire to contribute to and getting really really intentional on building and fostering strong cultural supports within the company and community.”
Monthly Call: International Sales and Operations
Good Reads
I Am Not an Entrepreneur
On Being a Pregnant CEO: Congratulations, I Guess
7 Ways to Engage Far-Flung Team Members
Writings by Alumni of BureauOwner Camp
Inspiration for the Week
“You read a book from beginning to end. You run a business the opposite way. You start with the end, and then you do everything you must to reach it.” — Harold S. Geneen
In Closing
Since St. Patrick’s Day was last week (and some of you might still be feeling it), I thought I’d share a joke I heard from a dear friend yesterday: Where can you find an Irish lawyer? At the bar!
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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