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25 Things We’ve Learned in 25 Years of Business

Love to Learn

This year, One World Direct celebrates our 25th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine now, but when we launched in 1994, the internet barely existed, and very few people would have predicted that it would become such an integral part of our daily lives. 25 years felt like a good time for us to reflect on what we’ve learned as we’ve built OWD. Here are 25 principles we’ll be using to guide our next 25 years:

      1. Go with your gut.
      2. Know where you’re headed.
      3. It’s good to be at the front of the parade, but if you’re too far in front, you aren’t part of the parade anymore.
      4. Set measurable goals.
      5. Write down your goals and action steps. Assign tasks. Follow-up.
      6. Be honest with yourself about the numbers.
      7. Be clear about what your company does well and focus on that.
      8. Being the low price leader is a race to the bottom.
      9. If you’re losing money, make hard decisions quickly. Otherwise you could lose it all.
      10. Get the right people on the bus.
      11. Work with people you enjoy.
      12. Stay connected with your team with daily and weekly video or in-person meetings.
      13. Everyone is replaceable.
      14. Figure out what you love about your industry, then build a company for clients who love the same things.
      15. Clients choose partners for lots of reasons, not just price.
      16. Make sure no client is worth more than 25% of your business.
      17. Abusive clients aren’t worth it, no matter how much you’re getting paid.
      18. Be clear about your core values.
      19. Create a culture where people aren’t afraid to hold you accountable.
      20. Pay yourself a fair wage.
      21. Spend time away from the daily grind every quarter so you can create and innovate.
      22. Read as many books as you can – even one nugget of info can change how you think.
      23. Do the job in your company that brings you joy. Delegate the other stuff.
      24. Business is creative.
      25. When shit hits the fan, reach out to every friend and acquaintance you have for ideas.

What are the things you’ve learned in business? We’d love to hear.