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It seems like only yesterday I was weighing career options and decided to try my luck at starting a business. The last 25 years have flown by. In that time, TrendyMinds has made the leap from branded swag supplier to full-fledged film, marketing, and web agency. Along the way, I’ve worked with incredibly talented people, had truly life-changing experiences, and, of course, learned a thing or two about running a business.
To celebrate our 25th anniversary this December, our team decided it would be fun for me to choose 25 of the most significant lessons I’ve learned and insights I’ve gained in the last two and a half decades. While there are really countless things I’ve learned from all these years, I’ve tried to pare them down to just 25. As you read through, I hope you find them interesting, and hopefully they inspire you on your career journey.
1. Trust your instincts. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Don’t fight for the dollar and don’t make money your focus.
3. Focus on your client’s audience above all else.
4. Align your passions with business whenever possible.
5. At the end of the day, it’s work. Don’t get too caught up in it.
6. Friendships matter. Find people you can trust and confide in.
7. Reputation matters. The company is an extension of you and vice versa.
8. When you see a person's true colors, take note and don't forget them.
9. Realize not everyone will want you to succeed.
10. Take care of your partners, but make sure they take care of you, too.
11. Surround yourself with a solid team.
12. Encourage healthy debates.
13. Seek out different perspectives, and don’t hire only people who are like you.
14. Everyone should feel welcome, but remember not everyone is a fit.
15. You can’t do it alone. Focus on we, not me.
16. Laugh. And cry. Emotions are good — find your outlets.
17. Don't approach things as an expert. Always try to learn something.
18. Build from your experiences in life.
19. Your past doesn’t dictate your future.
20. Always seek out the positive and separate from the negative.
21. Success comes in many forms. Don’t worry about “competitors.”
22. Make doing good work your focus, not your next raise or promotion.
23. Don’t become complacent.
24. Never say you can’t do something. Bring solutions, not problems, and figure out how to do it.
25. You have never “arrived.” Owning a business is a constant journey.