BL&T No. 104: A Productive Summer


This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Borrowed, Learned, & Thought. BL&T is sent weekly on Mondays. In every edition, I share lessons learned in agency leadership, life, and e-commerce. This post does not include all the details shared in the newsletter sent via email. Subscribe here.


"The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality."

From "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values" by Robert M. Pirsig [Book]


I spent the long weekend at the Delaware beaches with family. On Sunday, we threw my Mom-Mom an early surprise 94th birthday party. We all dressed in 20s-themed outfits to honor the year she was born: 1928. It was a fun night.

During my time in Delaware, I learned about a New Orleans-style jazz funeral in Bethany Beach that takes place every year on Labor Day weekend. The funeral is not for a person, though. The funeral is for Summer, a way to say goodbye with a smile. I initially found the ritual odd, but the more I think about it, the more I appreciate the sentiment.

While I did not attend the festival, the idea of it left me reflecting on how fast Summer has passed and how soon the end of the year will feel within reach. It is natural to feel sad to see Summer pass by, but it feels good to feel at peace with its passing, both in my personal life and at Barrel.

That peace comes from gratitude for many new memories, a sense of accomplishment from continued progress and learning, and a hopeful outlook toward the future. On the Barrel front, there is a lot about how we operate today that is unrecognizable to the agency we were back in January — from how we collaborate with our clients to the makeup and structure of our team.

In many ways, the challenges we faced earlier this year forced us to ask ourselves tough questions and uncover gaps. We have plenty of work ahead of us, but I am proud of how the team came together and rallied around new ways of thinking and approaching how we work. Looking back, I see Summer as the time when our team got in a groove and began firing on all cylinders, giving us the momentum to close the year on a high.

We are hosting our first full-team offsite in October in New York City. I am super excited to see everyone and celebrate our journey together thus far, especially many of the folks who joined us since we went remote (whom I haven't met yet).

In keeping with the progress theme, here are some updates on our Website Audit initiatives that I was excited to see in action last week.

Thought Starter

What memory am I most grateful for from this past Summer? What am I hopeful to accomplish this Fall?

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