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Issue #8: Perspective

We don't take enough time to reflect in the day-to-day. This especially doesn't happen when things ar

James Costa

April 18 · Issue #8 · View online
A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

We don’t take enough time to reflect in the day-to-day. This especially doesn’t happen when things are going wrong. We get stuck in this spiral that’s hard to get out of, and we keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper into frustration. While we should always want more and better from ourselves, this weight of the world we place can be damaging when it impacts our ability to make a good decision to get us out of that spiral. We end up feeling like everything is our fault, but don’t take the moment to realize how far we’ve come. Somewhere along the line we forget that we’re in a constant state of “growing up”. We’re constantly learning about ourselves and the world around us. We should push ourselves and others to a higher standard, but balance our sanity in the tough times to make sure that push isn’t harmful.
When things aren’t going my way and I’m feeling frustrated about an issue (or series of issues), I like taking the time to get perspective. Perspective doesn’t solve the issue at hand or make life easier, but I find it helps with getting a renewed sense of enthusiasm about what I’m doing. It reminds me to feel grateful and forces me to see the good I’ve done either in my life or in my business.
This past week I had a few great discussions about how to improve sales in a consultancy, and what hiring someone to help sales would look like. In one discussion with my friend Charles, I talked about how I was getting frustrated with feeling like sales has plateaued, how I was feeling antsy about a lack of growth, and how I felt that hiring someone to do sales was the solution. Charles remarked that for 7 years sales has improved without a sales team. I knew this (hell, I even said it to him), but his putting it into words was a great “a-ha!” moment for me. It didn’t nearly solve the problem or define a solution, but the moment’s pause in reflection was comforting and has helped me to form better thoughts on the solution.
It’s not always easy to gain perspective ourselves, and sometimes we need others to help us. That’s why I started the agency owner meetups in Toronto, and try and discuss big problems with others both in and out of tech. I’m learning constantly from those around me, and often they can challenge me to think differently about the problem at hand, or make me realize that the solutions are right in front of me.
I encourage everyone to have mentors, colleagues, and friends to lean on for thoughts when things are getting tough. They may not always have the solution, but their ability to see things from a different perspective when it’s hard for you to is crucially important. But even if you don’t have the time, the willingness, or the courage to talk others through the problems you’re facing, take the time for yourself. Look at things beyond the now and take it easy on yourself for a second. Be proud of where you are, how you’ve become the person you have, and use that drive to constantly want better to help you get out of whatever “hole” you feel like you might be in.
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 writing a strongly-worded letter, it would mean the world to me.

Good Reads
A magazine about the people behind bits and pixels
How to spot a bad client BEFORE you start working with them
What Every Startup Needs To Know About The Psychology Of Choice
Good Bosses Create More Wellness than Wellness Plans Do
Is Value-Based Pricing the Silver Bullet of Profitability in Professional Services?
Inspiration for the Week
“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” - George Horace Lorimer
In Closing
Next weekend I’ll be organizing NASA’s Space Apps Toronto for the fourth year. Every year I run it, I think about why - organizing events doesn’t come easy to me, especially large ones, but I keep thinking about the community and the incredible things they do over the weekend. Certainly community work isn’t easy, and can even seem distracting to the work we do, but the motivation it yields is invaluable. You should give it a shot.
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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