As I celebrate my 5th anniversary here at Found, I thought I would share 5 lessons I’ve learned along the way:
1. People are the heartbeat of a successful business. Let them be brilliant.
If there’s one thing I can look back on over the past 5 years, it is the brilliant people I’ve worked with. I’m utterly inspired – and couldn’t be happier – when I see my team develop and truly flourish. From new starters in their first jobs, to those with experience galore – both are able to bring ideas, insights and delivery to the team. If you give people the right role, the right support, fill them with confidence – and then truly nurture the talent – then something very brilliant will most certainly happen.
2. Don’t just follow the rules of expectancy. Praise & promote when it feels right to do so.
Empowerment can be a great thing. Age and experience shouldn’t take precedent over ability, passion and drive if it feels right. Some of the best people in my team at Found are young, hugely talented and have a real fire in their belly – they are in senior roles and performing brilliantly. In other businesses, they may not have had this chance to take ownership or responsibility so quickly but I firmly believe that promotion should never be solely linked to age and experience, but in response to drive, determination and sheer ability to deliver great things.
3. We live in a digital bubble. Give a little and you’ll get a lot back.
Despite the vast growth of digital media, we still very much operate in our own digital hub where contacts play a fundamental part in business success; from colleague and client to associate and community recommendations. Over the years we’ve been fortunate that much of our new business has come on the back of recommendations and, as big community players, through the launch of a variety of tools housed in our Foundry sharing centre, we have offered many new technology developments to the broader community for free. It’s been amazing to see how much you can get back from simply being willing to share.
4. Define your business goals. And stick to them.
In digital, it is so easy to want to jump on the back of each and every opportunity that presents itself and, in some circumstances, part of your business plan may be to ensure flexibility and agility to adapt to new opportunities. And this is not a bad business plan, as long as you’re not shooting for a multitude of new stars each and every month. It’s highly likely that your time is best spent on your core offering, so make sure you get the balance right between building on your existing product or service offering and focusing on non-core innovation.
5. Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a way of life.
I have a picture on my wall at home with these words on it and I couldn’t agree more. Business is a journey, one that has its ups and downs and can truly tear at the heartstrings. No matter what may have happened the day before, tomorrow is a new day and if you can approach that day with a positive outlook, it will resonate with the team and, together, with hard work and focus, success can be achieved with a smile on everyone’s faces.
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