I’m excited to kick off this series of what I call “12 Tips To Leading Your Best Life”. It’s a talk I give each semester to Ed Baker’s GSU class, and after delivering it to the class last Friday, I decided to create a series out of it. But before I dive into tip #1, I have some exciting things to share.
William Warren’s book, The Conquering Creative
I’m proud to share that Ripples Media has published William Warren’s first book, The Conquering Creative. William is the CEO of The Sketch Effect, and his book takes the reader on the journey of how William built his company while also laying out “9 Shifts to Build an Unstoppable Creative Business”. I not only read it (and loved it!) but I also recorded a podcast with William that I’d love for you to check out!
An interview I gave where I share the origin of Purpose Group (and why I’m on a mission to build businesses that are a force for good in the world)
I was thrilled to get a chance recently to talk with Soyini Coke on her show, Capitalism Done Right. During the chat, I shared more about why I started Purpose Group and my mission to build businesses that are a force for good. I hope you’ll check it out!
Ok, and now on to the first of my tips on how to lead your best life…
Tip #1: Have a long-term focus.
It took me a while to have a long-term view of my life. Which is funny because early in my entrepreneurial journey, my partners and I had the end in mind from the start.
When Raj Choudhury, Danny Davis, and I worked out of my mom’s basement on Spunlogic (then called NBN Designs for all of you old-timers), we knew our ultimate goal was to sell the business. (If you’re interested in Spunlogic lore, you can check out the YouTube series I created called SpunMafia, in which we dive into the story of how we built Spunlogic.)
Having that goal in mind, we were able to architect the steps needed in order to get there. And while it took us a long time to actually become competent at building a business, we eventually were able to check the following boxes in order to be attractive to potential buyers:
- Size (we grew to 75 employees)
- Fast growth (we doubled in size the final four years)
- Impressive client list (Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, and HoneyBaked Ham)
- Working in an innovative part of the industry (digital)
There were many decisions along the way that we were able to make because we knew where we were headed. For instance, HoneyBaked Ham was our first “big” client (and funny enough, my next two agencies—Engauge and Dragon Army—both also worked with HoneyBaked). What most people don’t know is that we took a huge loss to get that first contract with HoneyBaked. We knew if we got one impressive client, we’d get the next, so we priced our proposal in order to ensure we would win the business. Sure enough, a year later we were able to land a small project with Coke that I am sure wouldn’t have happened without HoneyBaked on our client list.
How can you know if you’re leading your best life and headed in the right direction if you don’t even know where you want to end up? It’s so easy to go through life, knocking out tasks and dealing with what comes our way without taking the time to map out your big, long-term goals.
I use a process called PVTV to do this for my companies (and I’ve even consulted recently with a few teams at large companies to help them figure it out). You can do the same for yourself—all of my books dive into PVTV or you can dig around on my past blog posts about it.
Ultimately, whichever process you take, please take the time to understand what your long-term goals are. I like to say, “Dream big, but start small.” In fact, that is another of my tips on having a great life (so, more on that later).
And as always, I hope you’re happy.
I produce a podcast called Begin the Begin. I hope you’ll consider subscribing. Here are the latest episodes:
- William Warren’s new book, The Conquering Creative
- Introducing my next venture: Purpose Group
- Chelsea Jenkins (Director, Cultural and Inclusive Marketing at Kellogg)
- “Before the Book” – Discussing my latest book, The Culture Turnaround, with my co-author, Adam Albrecht
- The unstoppable entrepreneur, Sanjay Parekh, on his latest venture: Occasional Wraps
- Talking modern womanhood with It All Media
- Barefoot Ted on running, health, and leading a purposeful life