Every agency leader I've heard from in the last few weeks is frazzled.

Running an agency can be intense at the best of times, but 2021 has probably been the most intense year we've all experienced. Whether business has been booming or tough, it's been hard hard work.

But, as I've set out before, I think we're entering a golden age for agencies.

That makes it even more important to rest over this holiday period. Hopefully you can also take some time to reflect and re-energise.

To help with that reflection and re-energising, I'm wrapping up the year with a series of blog posts, based on research with agency owners, about what makes leading an agency hard — so we can solve some of those problems. The themes that came out are:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Learning the hard way
  • Being stuck in reactive mode
  • The rollercoaster ride
  • The weight of responsibility

If any of these ring true for you, do read the series to unpack these problems and explore solutions to put into action in 2022 to be ready for the golden age. Start reading the introduction here.

This week's newsletter — my last of the year — is a special one, with lots of suggestions of articles, books and podcasts to help you get fired up again for 2022. You'll find the list down below.

P.S. This is my last newsletter of 2021. I'll write again on 10th January. See you then!

P.P.S. Know another agency leader who'd benefit from this? Do forward them this email, I'm really keen to spread these ideas and inspiration as widely as possible.

P.P.S. If you want to chat about anything in my blog posts, these newsletters, or about Convivio's work with agencies, I'm available for a Zoom coffee. You can book in directly on my Calendly for January: https://calendly.com/steveparks. Chat, share your thoughts on what I've written, pick my brains, just shoot the breeze about being an agency owner. It's all fine, honestly.

Agency owner inspiration for 2022

I asked agency leaders for recommendations of books, blogs podcasts and other sources of inspiration for 2022.

Thanks to the wonderful communities of Agency Hackers, Agency Collective, The Bureau of Digital and various agency leader slack groups for helping me spread the word and gather recommendations (the name in brackets is the leader who recommended it)




  • Seth Godin describes the differences between professionals and amateurs in this video. There's a lot to take from this for agency leaders, as many of us have turned our talents and passions into work. How can we improve our work, and reduce stresses on ourselves, by stepping into more professional shoes?

Blog posts


Finally, if you're a Convivio member, here are some highlights of the special briefings and reports you have access to which are worth a review at the end of the year:

If you're not a member yet, you can sign up from just £225 to get instant access to these and many more briefings, plus the agency leaders playbook.

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