BL&T No. 136: Barrel Holdings Q1 Session Recap

Agency Leadership

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.

Borrowed & Learned

I drove into NYC last week for our quarterly Barrel Holdings session. I always enjoy driving in to spend the day with the Barrel partners, Peter, Sei-Wook, and Wes, and leadership from our sibling agencies, Vaulted Oak and BX Studio.

For the first half of our session, we focused on Barrel, debriefing on the quarter and discussing our quarterly reads, and sharing what insights we can apply at Barrel. In Q1, we read "Getting Naked" by Patrick Lencioni and "Work Less, Earn More" by Karl Sakas.

Later in the day, Jacob from BX Studio joined us in person, while Jason from Vaulted Oak attended via Zoom. We discussed Q1 business performance for Barrel and our sibling agencies, then talked through challenges and opportunities for Q2. While we're all at different stages, it's nice to hear what's top of mind for everyone. Some themes that emerged were building team camaraderie as a distributed team, leveraging AI in our work, and finding the right team structure.

This quarter, joining the Barrel Holdings family is Bolster, a studio focused on high-quality, quick-turnaround logos and brand systems. We were happy to have Henry join our session to preview Bolster's process, recent projects, and future vision. As a side note, Bolster is looking for their next pilot project, targeting professional service businesses, B2B tech startups, and small nonprofits. Let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested.

Before heading home, we enjoyed dinner at l’abeille in Tribeca, celebrating our shared progress and momentum so far this year.

It feels like yesterday that we were talking about launching Barrel Holdings, and now it's a thriving ecosystem of agencies, with each collaborating and uniquely supporting the other. It's fun to take this time together to slow down, debrief, and share ideas.

Read on for my takeaways from "Getting Naked" by Patrick M. Lencioni: Takeaways & Themes

Thought Starter

How are the three fears keeping me from building trust with my clients?


The E-Commerce Corner

In the furniture industry, an interesting tactic for converting customers is offering free fabric swatches or sample materials to customers who have abandoned their carts. While it may not be possible to try out the furniture, experiencing the materials might be the next best thing before committing to a purchase.

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