20 years and 20 lessons learned

In January 1990, mid way through my final year of art school, I started a business. I was 20 at the time, had zero qualifications to be a businessman and had only had one real job (if you don't count paperboy at 12 and the fry guy at McDonald's at 14). That one real job was a part-time sign painter in high school and college. I am really dating myself, but my time at art school didn't even include computers (yikes).

20 years later and half my life invested in this business, I've learned a few things.

  1. Do what you love
  2. Work with people and companies you respect
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Get really good at something
  5. Never stop learning
  6. Abandon what's not working
  7. Learn to say no
  8. Don't take it too personal
  9. Strive to achieve a work-life balance
  10. Give your people freedom to excel and to fail
  11. Have a vision and stand for something
  12. Differentiate your offering
  13. Don't underestimate the power of luck
  14. Learn from your mistakes
  15. Don't be afraid to ask for help
  16. Treat people well
  17. Not everyone will believe in what you are trying to do
  18. Don't steal ideas
  19. Never screen back red, it just turns pink
  20. Laugh often

Thanks to everyone who has enabled me to do what I love and here's hoping for another fun 20 years.

Tim