Apparently 11 years is a milestone for a small business, or so I’ve been told. This week we are throwing a party to celebrate 8THIRTYFOUR’s eleventh anniversary, while also highlighting all things small business.

As a business owner, you tend to be pretty pessimistic, you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop; for the next big surprise. Money, employees, bills, invoices, contracts, taxes, culture, clients, failure, mistakes – if you could see my brain as a word cloud…all of those items would be in it (along with dogs, dogs, dogs and more dogs).

It is hard for me to accept a congrats or way to go when I can’t see past the mistakes and hurdles. How do you feel successful when there are so many things you have messed up? So many things you could have done better?

The lesson in all of this, is that it isn’t about me. It is about those that have supported, worked for and embraced us in the community. This anniversary is about you, just like everything we do. I don’t think any business owner is ever truly satisfied where their company is and maybe that is what makes us keep striving to better ourselves, our company and those we serve.

If I were asked to list the lessons I’ve learned in the past decade, it would include the below.

  1. Failure is part of running a business, so you better get used to it and you better figure out how to learn from it and move on.
  2. There is no professional and personal work life balance.
  3. Spoil the ones you love, always be overly generous. Send thank you notes, celebrate milestones with them, let those you care about know you are thinking of them.
  4. Surround yourself with lots of dogs, in fact six seems like a great number.
  5. Go on adventures with your life partner, whether that is an eighteen hour car ride with six dogs or a trip to Spain with your best friends.
  6. Spend time in the woods, nothing puts things in perspective like trees, water, bugs and your furkids.
  7. You are going to piss someone off. You can’t keep everyone happy and at the end of the day you have to do what is best for the business.
  8. Hire people that possess skills you do not and will take the company where it needs to be.
  9. Never stop reading and learning.
  10. Take the time to think big picture and don’t be afraid of change.

Thanks for supporting 8THIRTYFOUR on this journey and thanks for always being there for me. It does not go unnoticed.

 

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