LinkedIn kindly reminded me with an influx of “Congrats on your work anniversary!” messages that it’s been 10 years since I fell backasswards into a video production company business. And, in light of that, I thought I’d share 10 insights from an accidental, sometimes reluctant, entrepreneur (in no particular order).
This goes for most things in life, but if you can harness relentless optimism you
r life will benefit. What is exciting about your day? What do you love about the new project? What’s awesome about the new person you met? Fall in love with your days & remember what sets your heart on fire.
TAKE BREAKS BEFORE YOU BREAK
Work hard. Under promise & over deliver. Give your best. Give a damn. BUT do not kill yourself for an extended period of time. Burnout is real and it’s the equivalent to a serious injury that requires rehab & attention to recover. Vacation memo’s are a sign of a healthy person.
GO FOR WALKS
Things are nonstop. Emails, texts, calls, deadlines… Moving your body & breaking from the screen will always improve your work ahead. Plus there’s a lot of joy in connecting with coworkers & connecting with yourself while on a stroll.
IMPACT FIRST, INCOME SECOND
Sure, money is what keeps us fed & dry, but over time if all you are doing is working for money you will feel empty. Focus on the impact your efforts are making – how are you benefitting your community? Are you producing meaningful work? Every week, you should be spending time in your sweet spot.
WORK IS A CHILD
If permitted it will dictate every moment of your life based on their immediate needs. It also needs to be kept alive. It’s your job to think ahead – know when it needs to be fed, what routines need to be in place for sustainability & balance. Plan accordingly so you don’t lose your mind & don’t let other people’s poor planning mess up your agenda.
PEOPLE DON’T READ (ESPECIALLY EMAILS)
It’s shocking how many details are missed despite being written down, bolded, numbered & colour coded. Nothing beats a phone call or in person meeting when discussing anything that extends beyond a paragraph. This especially applies to conflict resolution. BUT always have deadlines & details written; people also forget what is discussed (yourself included).
BELIEVE THE BEST
Everyone is dealing with something in their lives. Whether it’s coworkers or clients – please empathize that life can be messy. Try to not take missed emails or unrealistic requests personally. For the most part, I believe most people are inherently good. Be patient & do the best job possible with what you control over. SIDEBAR – This doesn’t mean you let toxic people or environments run wild either. Kindly step away from that whenever possible.
KNOW YOUR VALUE
If people don’t pay for something, they don’t truly invest in what they’re getting. At the beginning it’s okay to discount your services, but after a while you have to know the value of your time, expertise & cost of creating a product. Your client’s will never fully understand the scope of your work and it’s your job to educate them so they get it. Know your worth & kindly educate those who don’t.
LEAD WITH POSITIVITY
If someone doesn’t feel something isn’t working, that’s fine, but offer up a creative solution to build forward momentum. Too many times people naysay ideas or spotlight problems without contributing to the solution. Don’t be that person. Conflict & chaos will arise, so work collectively to create positive solutions.
YOU ARE NOT MORE IMPORTANT
People are incredible. The best leaders are those who care to get to know everyone. The best people are those who are kind to everyone. I love asking people, “What are you passionate about?” I’ve seen introverts come alive when they get to share what’s on their heart & soul. Take the time to connect and it’ll make for a lovely environment.