According to certain legal documents I have filed somewhere, Turnkey Promotions was officially “born” in 1989; on October 1 to be exact. That makes this year, 2014, the 25th year I’ve been in business for myself. That’s a lot of years of sweat, sleepless nights, and just plain stress. But, it’s also been a lot of joy, new discoveries, and success.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned over the last quarter century, and I’ve decided to make a list. Here are 25 pretty cool things I’ve learned about business. I’ve sprinkled a few life lessons in here too. Enjoy!
25 Cool Things I’ve Learned in the Last 25 Years of Business:
- You figure out what you are working so hard to buy, but find you typically already own it.
- You care less than you use to about stupid things, like your brand manual.
- You care more about things that matter, like keeping your promises.
- Most of the jerks move on and never call you again.
- The nice people also move on, but they do call you again.
- You’ve been wrong enough times to be used to it.
- You’ve been right enough times to continue the pursuit of it.
- Sometimes the best product or service will not win the day, no matter what.
- You figure out it really is about the relationship.
- Office supplies are still intriguing.
- You can’t change others.
- You can change yourself.
- Being childish is ok, even necessary sometimes.
- Laughter fixes most stuff.
- Some people are mean. They are to be avoided and pitied.
- If you can’t avoid the mean people, acknowledge their handicap in your mind.
- There are a lot of business rules. Most of them are broken regularly by really smart people.
- A few of the business rules really matter. Don’t break these.
- If you are in a cool business (like promotional products), inbound mail is fun.
- People who know nothing often “get it” much more quickly than those with mental baggage they call education.
- You will probably see people in big roles who you knew when they were just starting out.
- Environment is important, especially lighting.
- When you are sick, your business doesn’t care. The people who work there do.
- Friends happen everywhere, in all contexts.
- You should, in fact, lock the doors at night.