Practice makes perfect

The following blog is made up of the best bits of editorial, articles and blogs that I’ve come across in my 38 years of working life, 30 of which I spent as my own boss at a very successful Creative Agency.

I thank all those that have inspired me to make (and write!) my own observations on these subjects. I now want to switch my focus to helping the next generation find the success that I did, and hopefully avoid a few of the pitfalls I didn’t!

I stumbled upon a very interesting blog by Sam Owens recently. In simple terms, he explains that in order to reach your business goals, you should not be heading directly towards them.

It’s a sentiment with which I would strongly agree - and one which really struck a chord with how I feel I have sought to run my business over the last 28 years.

When it comes to reputation, you should always remember that people do not spend money, they buy value.

This can be opened up into the following 11 key ‘take-away’ points:

1. Targets:

Money itself is not a good one. Whilst I always had a detailed business plan, my overriding plan was ‘do a great job’, knowing that if we achieved this, the money would follow.

2. Mindset:

Be inquisitive, curious and open minded. Ask more questions.

3. Research:

Read everything. Expert opinions will help inform yours.

4. People:

Treat everyone you encounter with respect, both staff and clients, and how you’d wish to be treated. They’ll return the favour. Everyone has their own individual and unique worldview. Make sure you listen to them, it’ll open your mind.

5. Reliability:

Always be on time, and always do what you say you will too - people like that you’re reliable.

6. Integrity:

A handshake is as good as a contract. Always proceed with integrity.

7. Perspective:

You’ll never get it right all of the time. Always remember to be content with trying your very best.

8. Endings:

Most business relationships will come to an end. Treat the exit graciously and as well as you did the start. You never know what the future holds, or who you might meet again.

9. The right thing:

Do something because it feels right - not because it’ll make or save you money.

10. Value:

Learn to know the value of things, not the cost of them.

11. Looking ahead:

The future is determined by you and you alone.

Do the above and your reputation will be secure. BUT - always remember, it takes years to build your reputation and minutes to destroy it!


28 years on from starting my first business, I’ve moved on to a lesser role. I’ve passed the reins on to two guys who have shared the journey with me for some time. It’s their time to shine. 
And if they adopt the above principles, which I know they already have and will continue to, then they won’t go far wrong.