10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years

  1. Be an expert at one thing. For five years we were a general design firm. Our growth came all in the last 5 years when we offered less and focused on being brand identity experts.
  2. Being attractive is way better than selling.  When your company is desired, you don't have to rely on selling tactics, you just show up and be yourself.
  3. Good work is the best marketing. Do something well and people come back and tell their friends. This is much more effective than advertising.
  4. I'd rather lose a client than lose an employee. It's easy to prioritize clients over all else, but they are easier to find than a good employee.
  5. Good luck seems to follow hard work. Hard, consistent work seems to somehow produce more good luck.  I don't understand this, but I've experienced it.
  6. Doing trumps planning. Business plans are overrated. Trying small stuff has taught me more than planning.
  7. Focus on results, not behaviors. Focus on work getting done, not on what time people show up to work or where they work. Work isn't about time and place; it's about getting work done.
  8. Hard/Easy not Easy/Hard. Have the hard conversation first, then the rest are easy.  If you have the easy conversation first and the hard conversation later, trouble ensues.
  9. Everything is your brand.  Our greatest investment in our brand was a nice office.  It wasn't a logo, but it was what our customers experienced that shaped their perception of our brand.
  10. A good reputation is the greatest asset. It takes years to build a good reputation.  It can be killed overnight. Protect it like a daughter.