Week Three: My Legs Are Sore

Starting an Agency Sure Keeps a Guy Busy

By Published on .

I didn't expect THIS much legwork. OK, maybe I did.

Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
This is a partial list of what I have done so far: gone to New York to lay some groundwork for another visit in two weeks; called or e-mailed part of my most immediate network; (finally) set up my office and audio/video production; slept; had more coffee meetings in one week than in five years; played soccer at lunch; sent invoices; auditioned for a bunch of voiceover jobs; updated my website; started a companion site; taught my advertising class; done a little yard work; and started work for a handful of clients.

That's a partial list. The full "to-do" list is about five times as long and it involves doing even more yard work and an emceeing gig for a corporate party this Friday and on-field emceeing for the NLL All-Star Game in Portland on Saturday. (Everyone thought I should have been a game show host anyway, so these little asides keep that dream alive. Watch your back, Bob Barker!)

It's exhausting -- and exhilarating. It's daunting -- and easier in some respects. There are no guarantees other than the fact that every win, mistake and tragedy is mine from here on out. The idea of possibility is what keeps me energized and enthusiastic. I'm only three weeks into all of this and it's as though I'm staring at a 5,000-piece puzzle of the Declaration of Independence -- in Dutch.

What's most exciting is that there is now a level of flexibility that I have never had before. It's akin to standing at a huge creative buffet with a very small plate. I'd like to sample all of it, but I only have so much room to work with. Do I go back on the air again? Do I try to teach another class? Do I go on the road for two weeks to prospect? Do I call Alex Bogusky and babble, "Hi, I'm that goofball radio dork from Portland you met at the London International Advertising Awards with Bob Garfield in 2004. . . uhhh . . . what's going on, man?" (please note the gratuitous name-dropping.) As that planet spins, I have a degree of grounding. I was able to get some immediate work -- and interesting work at that. This keeps me from venturing too far off into the abyss that I am naturally drawn to, that chasm where I try to do WAY too much, WAY too fast. But I refuse to let all of the reality temper my enthusiasm (especially if I end up in the running to host the new "Match Game").

It's a new world now . . . and so far, so good.

Note: A HUGE thank you to those of you who contributed to my last post about this subject. Your encouragement and insight was very valuable. I was blown away by everyone's kindness and candor, and I am grateful that you all took the time out of your busy lives to post. I tried to reach out to as many of you as I could, If I missed you, my apologies. I can always be reached at [email protected]. Or you can go to www.xhangcreative.com and get hold of me there.

Quick Hit
What was the first month like for your small agency?

Is enthusiasm overrated?

Get to Know
Portland Lumberjax

Declaration of Independence Puzzle
Most Popular
In this article: