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The Ebb and Flow of Agency Life

Jan 18, 2018

I suppose as a Pisces, I’ve always naturally been drawn to the water. And so I have often pondered and pontificated about the ebb and the flow of the tide and how it relates to my life. But most recently it occurred to me that this same ebb and flow may also be felt in my work life. I’m not talking about cash flow here. Or even projects starting and ending. But rather people - and our relationships - and how they come into our agency and how they may leave.  

Six years ago as the ebb was pulling me away from PP+K, the sun and moon eloquently aligned so that I quickly reached the shore and found myself launching a new venture with a new partner. Tracy Young and I prepared for the flow of business to come our way. In flowed new clients as well as former clients. But like the ocean will also ebb, so have some clients. In a business where budgets get cut and creative work is subjective, it becomes most challenging to anticipate the changes. Some clients stay with us, some have left, some continue to ebb from and flow back to us. And to our clients who have ebbed away, I always wish them the best (with the exception of one, who clearly violated our beloved “no assholes” policy) for one must appreciate the happiness found in the flow over the disappointment felt in the ebb. Our team of focused, fresh, and fierce professionals has also ebbed and flowed over the years. A few of our employees were fresh out of school or new to the market. Some we worked with in prior lives and others we sought out. But like the tide, change is inevitable. Some leave to pursue new opportunities or are lured by the almighty dollar. One employee left and bought a nut farm. Yes, an actual nut farm - I could not make this shit up. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have worked with so many smart and talented people.

The ebb is more often feared than the flow. We tend to resist something or someone being pulled away from us. So in 2016, when Tracy needed to take some personal time away from PY, I suppose it was natural for me to resist the idea that she needed to retreat. But with time came acceptance for me and an opportunity for her to return to media management. The ebb and the flow can be dangerous if not properly navigated, so I am eternally grateful to her for founding PY with me and maneuvering through those waters together. And I will certainly miss having her as my partner, as well as her ridiculously funny, but also a bit warped, sense of humor on a daily basis.Bruce Barton, the late politician who spent most of his career in advertising, said, “Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our overconfidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.” So we look forward to progressing into 2018. Thank you to my fabulous PY team - you make me incredibly proud, excitedly optimistic, and extremely grateful for the talent and commitment you provide to our valued clients. And to our clients, thank you for flowing our way and for your confidence and appreciation.

We are excited to introduce our new name and identity in the next few weeks, so don’t ebb away!