This is the fifth of six summer specials of the agency leaders newsletter. In each edition, I'll suggest some prompts to think about when you get some time to yourself to think and dream about your agency. Make sure to rest lots first, but add in a day or two away from work here and there over the summer to just read and think. Creative businesses need their leaders to take this space for thinking or they stagnate.

Reflections on self

What do you really want your life to be like?

Take some time this week to dream a little. Get past the shallow stuff like fancy houses, yachts, cars, holidays, gadgets and 'things'.

Go a little deeper and think about how your ideal life feels. How you spend your time in this life. Where your focus is. Who is around you. What you are known for.

What does your agency need to become to take you towards this life?

If an agency is to be more than just creating a job for yourself (there are far easier ways of just getting a job), then it needs to contribute towards your dreams and ambitions.

What are the first next steps to your agency becoming like that?

PLUS: If you're on our Virtual Advisory Board programme, have you had your owners retreat yet this year? That's the next step after this sort of reflection, and before beginning your business planning for next year.

You can also book me to facilitate an owners retreat for your agency, even if you're not on one of our programmes.

Summer reading recommendation

Happy by Derren Brown.

A look at what actually makes us happy in life, and why it's not always the obvious things.

From the blog

Some highlights from our posts for agency leaders in the last year to catch up on or revisit:

  • A lot of founders believe, by default, that the goal should be to sell their agency to make their dream happen. But that ain't necessarily so. I wrote about geese and golden eggs.
  • It may seem odd to be dreaming of the perfect life as the developed nations are heading towards recession, but amidst crisis are brilliant opportunities for great agencies. We've seen this with crisis after crisis in the past. That's why I believe we're heading towards a golden age for agencies.
  • And pursuing your dreams while intelligently recognising the challenges ahead requires that most entrepreneurial of traits: the true hope of optimistic pessimism.

Quotes of the week

“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”
— Caterina Fake, Flickr co-founder
"To imagine is really the first step in creating anything. Therefore an essential chore for making a future we want to live in, is to imagine what it is like and how we get there." — Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Learn vital skills for agency owners on one of our workshops, or online courses.
  2. Have your own Agency Advisory Board, to suit your agency's lifecycle stage, from only £225/mo.
  3. Give you an external expert perspective to help clarify and conquer what's rattling around your head right now. For an hour/a day of quick-fire help, or a bespoke engagement for longer term support.

A newsletter to improve your agency's health

Research, expertise and insights so your leadership time has the maximum impact

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