A couple of days ago as we were commemorating our two year anniversary by downing a celebratory Gin and Tonic, Ben and I started feeling an impudent mixture of nostalgia and confidence. We decided to write up a quick list of things that we have learned over the past couple of years in hopes that it will help others in trying their own thing as well.
1. Surround yourself with talented people that you actually like. The people you work with every day become like a second family. Get used to it. They will represent you and you will need to trust them. If you wouldn’t grab drinks with someone more than once, why would you want to work with them every day? If you really like someone, but they can’t do what you need, don’t hire them. There are over 300 million people in America; don’t sell yourself short.
2. Surround yourself with good customers. After about six months of doing work for businesses, individuals, churches, and organizations, we began to realize that not all customers are created equal. There were many who were ecstatic with the work that we did for them. They brought us cookies and beer. You should ALWAYS put extra effort into these relationships.
Then there were the OTHER ones. As soon as the number on the caller ID was recognized, our shop became a giant game of hot potato played with the ringing phone. These customers sucked up time and energy and then complained about our pricing. We try to end these relationships as quickly as possible.
3. Maintain yourself. I have been learning a lot lately about how to take a step back from the business. There will be good days and there will be bad days. I am learning not to stress out when things go wrong and accept the fact that shit’s about to hit the fan when things are going well. Life goes on, so embrace the day for what it is. Maintaining this balance is crucial to success.
Now go make your community better.