For this, my very last column, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to leave you with. I really wanted my final words to you to be as useful and practical as possible.
I asked myself, "What’s the single most important thing I can say to readers?"
So here it is: It doesn’t have to be like this.
Exhausted after working nights, weekends, missing family time, missing time just to recharge and be you, because of too many pitches, too many up-to-the-wire deadlines, too many client whims?
Say to yourself, "It doesn’t have to be like this." Think how you would like your agency to work instead. Redesign the process that delivers that, propose it, and make it be implemented. If it’s time, energy and cost efficient, trust me, it will be.
Fed up with fraught client compensation negotiations, too little recurring income, budget cuts, feeling sick every time you look at the numbers?
Say, "It doesn’t have to be like this." Redesign your business model. Ask yourself how you’d like to make money, and design a model around that.
Unhappy because the work you’re producing is not work you feel proud to have your name on? "It doesn’t have to be like this."
What keeps turning great ideas into mediocre work? Redesign the way you operate to stop that happening.
Take the creativity you deploy for clients and focus it on yourselves.
The future is each one of us saying, "It doesn’t have to be like this." And then making it not like this.
Please do that, and we’ll all be happier.