If you’re like I was when I had my agency (I cashed out at 50) you know there were times when you’re just ‘dragging.’ The brain was exhausted and there were days when I just couldn’t put out the fires anymore. At times, I felt I lonely … as lonely as meandering on a blistering baked West Texas highway on a hot August afternoon.

I had just given a presentation to a regional restaurant chain. My previous experience in the category told me I was spot on with my strategy to increase their sales. The client wanted to blow their load on TV in a major market and I refused to give them what they wanted. I knew it wouldn’t move the needle to justify the expense. I took a different approach: local trading area restaurant marketing. I just had to stand up for what I believed in.

It’s times like this when one feels alone. Did I make the right decision? Should I have sacrificed my beliefs? I know you’ve been there before. We all have.

In a recent CEO Stars closed door session with agency leaders, I told the story. One agency owner admitted he had been through a similar scenario. And then another chimed in, “Me too!” There was comfort in learning that other ad agency leaders were going through the same feelings.

And then one agency from the Northeast said, I’m truly glad we’ve got each other to lean into for support. It’s finally great to be an agency CEO again.”

And now, that baked and blistering hot West Texas highway just doesn’t seem so hot and lonely anymore.