Look Back: Lessons Learned In 2017

Can you believe it’s already 2018? January is always a very reflective and exciting month for us. Not just because of the usual New Year’s celebrations, but because we celebrate our business anniversary on January 3rd. Back in 2013, I lost my retail management job on those weird days between Christmas and New Year’s. Shortly after, Dean and I stayed up until the wee hours one night creating our business plan and marketing materials. Now, we are celebrating 5 years in business! Last year was by far one of the most challenging years, read on as we share four important lessons that we believe will help any budding entrepreneur.

#1 – Realize that you won’t always get chosen for the job and that it won’t always be for a fair reason. It’s sad but true that there are always acts of favoritism, nepotism, and political games a foot. My feelings towards this can best be summed up in words of “Good Ol Boys Club” by Kacey Musgraves:

“Favors for friends will get you in and get you far
Shouldn’t be about who it is you know
But about how good you are
Don’t wanna be a part of the good ol’ boys club
Cigars and handshakes, appreciate you but no thanks
Another gear in a big machine don’t sound like fun to me
Don’t wanna be a part of the good ol’ boys club”

#2 – Let’s discuss cost and clientele. In the beginning, we priced ourselves lower than the next closest competitor we could find and took on every client who would give us a chance. This was in fact a mistake. We have no more interest in working with clients who simply want the cheapest marketing contract they can find. Those clients are almost always the most work and usually still shopping around for next gimmick. Read: no loyalty. Response: no thanks.

#3 – Next, I’d like to address the copycats. It seems every one with an iPhone is starting a social media and/or digital marketing firm these days. That is all fine and dandy but I must ask, where have you been the past 5 years? If you’re just now jumping on the content marketing train and have to fuel your journey by poaching clients from those of us who have been here since the track was laid, I wish you all the luck (and karma) in the world.

#4 –  Last, I’d like to address the cliche notion of work-life balance. I’ve not done a great job at this in the past and it caused our biggest shift in businesses to date last quarter. While we are still very much in business and a fantastic team, you won’t find us in an office but rather working remotely. This allows us to return to our original goal of keeping our overhead low. You also won’t find us taking on every project that is sent to us. This allows the quality of our work and of our lives to both remain high. To other digital entrepreneurs, remember to “work to live” and not the other way around in 2018!

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