So we've been in operation for about 150 days, and there have been a few lessons, many in fact - I don't think 150 days have ever sped by so quickly!
Looking back, a few things have surprised me and stand out. Nothing I say will ever be used in a business book on business ownership, these are mere observations, but I guess these observations help shape my daily routine:
- Relationships – sometimes the best ones aren’t where you thought they would be, so don’t only look in the obvious places. Nurture every relationship, give it time and it will bear fruit. To use a farming analogy, before anything bears fruit, you need to water it – you need to give, so give everything and you will get something back.
- Reputation – I realise ByDesign Communications is in the business of reputation management but I’m truly amazed at how important your personal and your business reputation is... the promises kept years ago, the relationships formed, how we treated people years ago, come back to ‘bear fruit’.
- Respect – every interaction, every person, in every circumstance. And you get what you give, right? Right!
- Run the race – but be gracious in victory and in defeat. This is a hard lesson to learn because, believe me, there are more losses than wins in the first 150 days. But in the instances where we’ve won... we actually haven’t won yet, a door has just been opened, it’s how we walk through that matters.
- Cash flow, cash flow, cash flow – it’s about closing the financial discussion quickly, honestly, showing value, billing early, getting your revenue in on time and paying suppliers’ invoices before you pay yourself. I’m amazed at how much ‘head space’ cash flow occupies.
- Be real – I’ve learned to stop saying ‘I’m busy’. Everyone is busy. Thinking you’re too busy inhibits your ability to take on new challenges. My reality is that I chose this path because I love what I do. It’s all about attitude.
Bearing these points in mind has helped us grow ByDesign Communications beyond my expectations, in just 150 days. So bring on a 1000 days, we’re ready.