Innovation

3 Years Old and 50 Lessons Learned

This week my company turned 3 years old.

A good friend asked me, “what are the most important lessons you learned?”

Good question.

In reflecting back and forward I have gained some valuable insight into business performance, leadership, culture, work, relationships, money, fear, happiness, love, life and legacy.

Here are 50 top of mind lessons learned:

1. Doing work that you believe matters is more fulfilling than working solely for money.

2.  Money still matters.

3. Good ideas are everywhere.

4. Executing on a good idea is incredibly hard work.

5. Be patient.  {I simply cannot get this one down}

6. What I do isn’t all that special.

7. How I do it is my best opportunity to differentiate, compete and win.

8. Keep going. Keep learning. You get better.

9. Focus.

10. Convincing someone else to give you $ for a good idea takes extraordinary skill.  Sales make business happen.

11. You better be good.  A little luck helps.

12. One page is enough for a business plan.

13. Everyone needs a plan.  Plans change.

14. Think different.

15. People Strategy is the driver of business performance in the People Economy.

16. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people will make you miserable.

17. Surrounding yourself with the right people is the catalyst for growth, joy and success.

18. You learn more from failure than success.

19. The key is failing small so you learn but it doesn’t put you out of the game.  Small failures are recoverable.

20. Big business needs to be less risk averse and more failure tolerant to innovate.  So do you. So do I.

21. Prepare like an artist.

22. Action mitigates fear.

23. Listening is more important than talking.

24. Care.

25. Start small.  Dream BIG.

26. Reading and Writing are success accelerators.  Watching television is not.

27. The way we connect, communicate and collaborate to accomplish meaningful work is being completely transformed.

28. Regulate the amount of time spent on social media.

29. You compete globally or you don’t compete.

30. Work your ass off is great advice.

31. Help other people is even better advice.

32. Define your values.  Share them with people you want to work with.  Work with people who share those values.

33. Eat right. Exercise. Get enough sleep.  Everyday.

34. Hold people accountable.  Start with yourself.

35. Stop complaining.  Stop criticizing.

36. Learn how and when to say no.

37. Invest in you.  You don’t need office space.  You need paying customers.

38. You aren’t that good.  You aren’t that bad.

39. Give ideas away.  Share.

40. Be humble.  Stay hungry.  Always hustle.

41. Success isn’t fulfilling if you can’t share it with people you love.

42. Rest. Recover. Rejuvenate.

43. Ask customers why they buy?

44. Set performance targets.  Measure.  Adjust activity.  Repeat.

45. If customers don’t buy again and recommend you, you don’t have a business.

46. Have a client advisory board.  Have a work/life advisory board.

47. Work is an emotional experience.

48. You can change the world.  At least your world.

49. We are here for a short time.  Do something that matters.

50. Thank you.

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