November 18, 2013

13 things I’ve learned in my 13 years of business

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 1:25 pm

13 things I’ve learned in my 13 years of business

13 years ago today, I started my graphic design business.

I still recall starting out and telling myself: “I’ll give it a few months and see how it goes. I can always get another job.” And now here I am, 13 years later.

Over these past 13 years, Ive learned a lot. Of course, Ive honed my skills in things like billing and marketing. But Ive also gained many insights that transcend the day-to-day.

  1. Be nice.
  2. But…don’t let people take advantage of you.
  3. Stay in touch.
  4. Reinvent yourself.
  5. Try something new.
  6. Be there when people need you most.
  7. But…don’t be afraid to take a day off.
  8. Stay up-to-date.
  9. Take a risk.
  10. Learn from your mistakes.
  11. Don’t pursue every opportunity.
  12. Never stop learning.
  13. Be grateful.

I couldn’t have made it this far without my family, friends, clients, vendors and other supporters and mentors who I have been inspired by, learned from, and collaborated with. You know who you are, so thank you!

November 18, 2012

12 years. 12 insights: celebrating my business anniversary.

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Today is my 12th business anniversary. So much has happened in 12 years. I’ve changed offices several times. Worked on a variety of projects. Met new clients and worked with long-term clients.

What have I learned in 12 years?

  1. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s hard to grow your business if you try to do it all.
  2. Keep challenging yourself. I feel lucky that whenever I get comfortable with my workload, something new comes my way that either challenges my way of thinking or encourages me to learn a new skill.
  3. Pay yourself first. Whether it’s for taxes or a vacation, it’s wise to set aside part of your earnings.
  4. Have patience. Some opportunities needs more time to develop.
  5. Find a creative outlet. I’m always creating side projects (or businesses) to challenge myself creatively. In the process, I inevitably learn something new I can apply to my client work. (my latest project: typebaby, a line of typographic baby goods)
  6. Learn how to manage the ebb and flow. Not receiving a weekly paycheck means you have to learn to ride the wave. In my case, it means socking away money and keeping a budget.
  7. Backup your files. Having survived several hard drive crashes, I swear by keeping a regular backup system (or several).
  8. Say thank you. I send thank you cards to my clients and vendors on a regular basis. I genuinely appreciate them and want them to know.
  9. Reach out to someone you don’t know. It may be a speaker at a conference, an author or someone you met networking. Reaching out and making new connections has helped me grow my business in amazing ways.
  10. Admit mistakes. It’s better to fess up than look for an excuse.
  11. Take a break. Less overtime hours mean less burnout and more creativity.
  12. Congratulate yourself. Every year on my business anniversary, I reflect on the past year and celebrate my achievements. With a glass of wine, of course!

August 18, 2010

10 years…already?

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , — lidia @ 1:56 pm

This November we will celebrate our 10th year in business. I feel fortunate and grateful to be reaching this business milestone—not to mention somewhat astonished that ten years managed to go by so fast.

To commemorate this special event, I will be featuring special blog posts and other anniversary goodies over the next few months—hey, maybe I’ll even throw a party. Stay tuned to the blog, website and twitter. We look forward to celebrating with you!