14 Lessons I’ve Learned in 14 Years of Business

Today is a special day. Exactly fourteen years ago, Fingerprint Marketing was launched! That means we are 83 dog years old today! 14 years ago, the number-one hit song in the U.S. was Irreplaceable by Beyoncé, which I feel is perfect as our clients are irreplaceable.

Did you know: The estimated number of babies born on 14th February 2007 is 374,195. That’s equivalent to 260 babies every minute, try to imagine if all of them are crying at the same time! We may have been a baby on this day but at least there was no crying! (Well not that anyone else heard!)

Fingerprint Marketing was not always smooth sailing, however, we learned lots of lessons along the journey in these past 14 years… here are just a few.

  1. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.

    The biggest reason I left Corporate to start my own business was that I was always asked to stay in my lane, follow the lead, follow protocol. Nothing brilliant came out of following the rules.

  2. You do NOT have to pay your dues.

    Only you determine how fast you get to your goals. Another reason I wanted to go out on my own 14 years ago is that I’m impatient. I wasn’t going to wait years to “climb the ladder” or “put in my time”. I saw the goal and worked hard to attain it quickly. You are the only one holding yourself back.

  3. Relationships are EVERYTHING.

    In good times and bad, it is the people that will keep you going. Employees, clients, vendors, partners, and cheerleaders. It is your biggest asset so be grateful, show your gratitude, and reward often.

  4. Know your numbers…even if you’re not a numbers person.

    Even if you hire someone to do this for you as we do, it is important to know them at all times so you know where you are and where you are headed.

  5. Good and done is better than perfect and still working on it.

    I’ve been wanting to launch our Podcast for over 1.5 years and I finally committed to just starting so I booked three interviews for next month and weeeeeeee…here we go. Come hell or high water, I’m pushing this out to the public.

  6. Not everyone needs to be your client.

    Decide early on who you want to work with so your life is joyous and easy rather than trying to fit prospects into your process.

  7. Have a process!

    You are the guide to your clients. If they don’t want to follow the process, they aren’t a good fit. Having a process will save you time, money, and headaches. Be clear on how your company does everything.

  8. Know your position in the market.

    This requires some hard work and reflection as competition is fierce. Naturally, YOU make a unique piece of your business but you need to expand on that to gain trust.

  9. Trust is the currency, not time or money.

    If you can establish trust with your prospects, clients, and vendors early and often, your life will be so much easier.

  10. Stop doing stuff you suck at and outsource or delegate.

    Something we tell our clients all the time but easy to forget yourself as a business owner. Yes, business owners are superhuman and can most likely do it all. Yes, you may not have the budget to outsource but what is the cost of doing something you hate or are bad at to your business?

  11. Conquer your calendar.

    Block times on your calendar for meetings, sales, working on the business, and planning. If you don’t schedule everything, you will end up spending all your days putting out fires and reacting to everyone’s emergency.

  12. Pick a marketing tactic for lead generation and be consistent.

    Trying a million new tactics at the same time is crazy-making. Pick something you enjoy so you will keep it up.

  13. Reconnect with your why often so you don’t burn out.

    I do this when I travel and step away from the business. It rejuvenates me and gets me back to what I love about my business.

  14. Have an attitude of service and the money will follow.

    How can I help is the first question I ask every client, every prospect. I am here to use my skills and offer my services to make your life better and if I focus on that, everything falls into place.

On this day in History:

  • 1753- Valentine’s Day
  • 1859- Oregon admitted as 33rd State
  • 1876- Alexander Graham Bell files an application for a patent on the telephone
  • 1912- Arizona becomes 48th state
  • 1918- USSR adopts New Style (Gregorian) calendar
  • 1921- Skeezix of “Gasoline Alley” discovered on Wallet’s doorstep
  • 1929- St Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago – 7 gangsters killed
  • 1950- Karl Jansky – the discoverer of cosmic radio sources – dies
  • 1954- Sen John Kennedy appears on Meet the Press
  • 1961- Element 103 – lawrencium – 1st produced in Berkeley California
  • 1962- Mrs. Kennedy gives TV audience a tour of the White House
  • 1972- John & Yoko guest host Mike Douglas Show for the entire week
  • 1972- USSR launches Luna 20; unmanned probe soft-lands on the moon – returns
  • 1980- US launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares

Here is to another WONDERFUL 14 years. Imagine what our post will say then!

Pia Larson

Chief Imagination Officer

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