Stephen and Josh are arguably the most well-known faces at Anchour, but something they’re really, really good at is working behind the scenes. With this in mind, we strategically blocked off time on their calendars so we could ask them a few questions and maybe shed a little light on what makes them such a great team.
Using the fewest words possible…can you describe what you do at Anchour?
JOSH: New business, business development, internal leadership.
STEPHEN: I don’t really know what I do [laughing]. My role is constantly changing — right now I’m running the business, improving our process, doing whatever needs to get done.
JOSH: Stephen has his hand in everything, just because of where we are as a company and the fact that one of his many gifts is building processes.
Why do you guys think you work so well together?
STEPHEN: We’re total opposites.
JOSH: My greatest weaknesses are Stephen’s strengths. We’ve really learned how to trust each other to do what the other can’t. We’ve had a lot of fun learning when to lead and when to follow each other. And we haven’t gotten sick of each other, which is weird.
STEPHEN: Speak for yourself [laughing].
What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?
JOSH: Danny Silk’s Keep Your Love On. It talks about the power of communication — I’ve learned how much more of an assertive communicator I want to be, not only in business, but also in my marriage and with my kids.
STEPHEN: I read Quora for 15 minutes every morning and 15 minutes every night, and that’s always good. I also recently re-read The One Thing by Gary Keller, that's a pretty motivational book.
Many of the men at Anchour a) drive the same car brand, b) wear the same pants, c) carry the same style leather crossbody briefcase, d) have the same Starbucks order…what’s the deal with that?
STEPHEN: We spend too much time together.
JOSH: I have to admit Stephen is the trendsetter around here. He just makes super solid purchases that are fashionable and affordable — I’ll see him making a purchase that I love and I’ll buy it too. I have no shame. I highly recommend the super-skinny chinos from Asos.
What are some commonly held misconceptions about you? How about Anchour?
STEPHEN: I don’t think paying attention to that would do us any good. We all really love our jobs so maybe it can seem like we’re not working, but we work super hard, and it’s just fun.
JOSH: That we’re potheads. I think people think that in the creative industry…
STEPHEN: [Laughing] Yeah, that could be one.
JOSH: No, but we’re really big on the fact that if you love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work. Like, it’s okay to smile when you’re working. That’s practically a foreign concept in our culture.
What would you say is the most time-consuming part about running Anchour?
JOSH: Meetings, and for me it’s not with clients — we’re putting so much focus on collaboration that we have a lot of team meetings internally.
STEPHEN: Meetings for me as well. I’m the primary contact for the majority of our clients at this stage in the game, so it’s pretty common for me to have 25-30 hours of meetings scheduled on any given week.
What about the easiest?
STEPHEN: Selling, just because we don’t sell. We’re building relationships. It’s super fun to meet new people, discuss the problem they’re having, and then whether we’ll be a good fit to help them fix it.
Can you describe your most embarrassing/hilarious moment on the job?
JOSH: [Laughing] Okay, so we were presenting a proposal to a prominent business leader whose name happened to be Howard. When we got there, he kind of came out of nowhere and surprised me — I somehow said “Hey Coward, how are you?” really loudly. Stephen and I had to try not to laugh throughout the entire meeting —
STEPHEN: It was convenient because right after the introduction he had to go grab a bunch of paperwork, so I just remember losing it in his office.
JOSH: I don't know how I slipped the letter C in before his name.
STEPHEN: This may or may not be relevant, but we didn’t end up working with him. [Laughing]
Can you describe a moment when you felt extremely proud of our work?
STEPHEN: I don’t doubt that whenever we need to, we can execute things at a really high level. That makes me proud every day. Just that — just knowing that we put out great work is exciting.
JOSH: We’re gathering people with a bunch of different opinions, and seeing everyone work together, seeing everyone grow, learn, and mature professionally — I have such high hopes for our future, both as individuals and as a team.
Best office addition?
JOSH: Ashley Parker.
STEPHEN: New people. We somehow keep hiring great people.
Worst office addition?
STEPHEN: Man, so many things to pick from.
JOSH: Seriously, though, we’re pretty minimal. We’re very lean. The stuff we do have in here is handpicked.
STEPHEN: My new Macbook Pro is pretty bad. I've gone through 5 computers in the last 6 months. [Note: he just got his last computer replaced because it was making rattling noises, and this new one is now also making rattling noises].
What are some habits of our favorite clients?
STEPHEN: I love working with clients that hustle the way we do — clients who’re emailing on the weekends or within 5 minutes of me sending them something. There are a few clients who can do that and it’s kind of cool.
JOSH: Love when we can have fun banter.
STEPHEN: Yeah, we love when they have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.
If all goes according to plan, where will Anchour be in 5 years?
STEPHEN: Still in Maine. Doing a lot of the same stuff we’re doing now, just at a higher level. Working with some of the most influential brands in the world. In order to do that, we need to continue producing work at an insanely high level and make that our ultimate focus.
JOSH: Continuing to gather people that want to be the best at their role within their respective field. People with differing opinions. We want to gather a very eclectic arsenal of human beings that want to change the world and help the most impactful businesses.
Finally, what has been the most rewarding experience/project for you so far at Anchour?
JOSH: My most rewarding experiences come from watching the client as the process unfolds. They start out with such a high level of trust initially and it’s such a pleasure to see their trust in us validated as their brand takes shape. Honestly, it’s relieving to know that everything we promise from day one comes to fruition over the life cycle of a branding project.
STEPHEN: I think it’s hiring people and seeing our team grow. It's fulfilling to hire somebody and see them truly blossom as a human being when they're doing something they absolutely love. That's happened a number of times since we started this business and I don't take it for granted.
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