A wise mentor told me a few years ago ‘As long as you are being fearless and not reckless in business, you will be a smart business person.’

This business advice will never leave me. 

How do you know you are being fearless and not reckless? I decided to sit down and write a list of the top five things I do to remind myself I am being a thoughtful strategic leader and not a reckless one.

  1. Invest in your team.

    Your team is there to help your clients, but also you. Because of this, you should invest time in mentoring your team in various areas of your business and life. Find opportunities to involve them in the community and offer professional development dollars so they can grow in their career. Remember there is no I in team and thank them for their contributions on a regular basis because without them you would not be able to do what you do.

  2. Invest in yourself.

    Spend time reading books that help you learn new approaches. Find courses online that help you learn about areas of your business you may not feel confident in. Listen to podcasts on business, leadership, current events, family and life! Attend conferences that will add value to your business and your client’s business. Invest in yourself and reap the benefits!

  3. Find a mentor.

    Find someone that has a lot to teach you. Over the last five years of owning tag, I am extremely grateful to all who have helped mentor me. Some I knew prior to owning tag and some were met during this entrepreneurial journey. All of them are people who understand my journey, provide sound advice and hold me accountable. They don’t let me wallow for long in self-doubt or regrets. They inspire me to grow personally and professionally because they see the best in me and help me see it when necessary.  

  4. Have good business partners.

    I don’t mean a business partner that is actually legally a partner or shareholder in your company (in fact, I suggest avoiding that path completely if you can). Have a great Accountant and thoughtful Lawyer who become partners in your success and help you understand aspects of your business that are crucial to your growth/survival. My Accountant, bless his heart, has seen me cry in his office more times than I’d like to admit. However, he also holds me accountable to ensure my plans for growth are thoughtful and that I won’t be wasting valuable dollars and/or time doing something that is not in tag’s best interests. He has never let me leave his office without feeling confident in where I am going (thanks Ryan). I never want to see these partners leave my business.

  5. Learn from the past.

    I think we have so much to learn from the past. Our experiences, although sometimes difficult to reflect on, help teach us how to respond to situations in the future. This also helps us from making quick decisions that can cause more harm than good. Our past should remind us to reflect and process what we’ve been taught from previous experiences prior to making decisions on what to do in the future. Our past helps guide us towards our future.

This list I created is not exclusive to business owners. It is for managers, for employees, for freelancers, etc. Anyone interested in growing could learn from this list. My hope for any of you reading this is that you nodded your head with all five items because you are doing them already. However, if you think you could improve in some areas, I hope one day you can share with me how the list added value to your own personal or professional growth.

This blog post was submitted by Deanna Haysom, Owner and Creative Director of tag.