Just about a year ago, Andrea and I decided to take the plunge, resign from our respective part time jobs and devote ourselves to launching our business, becoming full time Terriers. It's fair to say it has been one heck of a ride. With one year under our belt, what have we learned?
1. Celebrate your wins
We have literally jumped for joy/clicked our heels in the air/cracked open the champagne every single time we have won a job, big or small. It's such an amazing feeling when you've worked your a*** off and then hear you have won a contract. However you choose to celebrate, every win should be marked accordingly!
2. Don't be too hard on yourself when you lose
Not that I followed my own advice at the time, but with hindsight I can see that for every mistake we made, we learned. Which taught us some very valuable lessons that we're working hard not to repeat...
3. Don't give all your ideas away in your initial proposal
Oh dear. We did this, more than once, and wondered why we weren't hired for the job. Perhaps because we'd already done it, for free! Seriously though, this is really difficult and something we are still trying to master. If anyone has advice on this, we would love to hear it!
4. Embrace networking
Although it can be excruciating, I have learned to love a bit of networking. It makes a difference when you genuinely care about what you're talking about and you quickly realise that most people feel exactly the same as you do - a bit awkward, but keen to chat anyway. And if you're shy, there's nothing wrong with having a little nip of something strong to help you get going...(speaking from experience)...the ripple effect of networking is fantastic, and we are definitely reaping such a lovely wide range of benefits from it.
5. Listen to clever and successful people when they give you advice
We learned so much from meeting friends, former colleagues and local business people when we first launched Terrier Marketing. We had bags of enthusiasm and plenty of marketing experience from the client side, but there was a lot to learn about owning and running an agency. We really owe a lot to all those people we met at the beginning who helped us - Bill, Jas, Gary, Flo, Caroline, Sue, Amy, Anit, Murray, Sophie (to name a few!) - thank you so much for your advice and support.
6. Remember to enjoy it!
We laugh. A lot. Hopefully not in an annoying way. But we genuinely love what we're doing and are an excellent team, picking each other up when we feel we've messed up and celebrating the heck out of each other's amazing wins. That said, the gloves are off when we go to spin class together - with both of us being just a little bit competitive, things can turn feisty!
7. Keep learning
Despite the last year of our working life being one steep and giant learning curve, we feel like we have barely scratched the surface. And we're really looking forward to seeing what happens in year 2.
They say the first year is the hardest, and we are immensely proud to have navigated our way through. Bring it year 2, let's see what you've got!