What does it take to build an extraordinary company? While the operational and tactical specifics may vary, there are some lessons that transcend industry. Here are the top lessons the We First team has learned over the past couple of years, from both speaking with F500 leaders and as we grow ourselves:
1. It’s not about doing what others are doing even better, but doing your best at what only you can do.
2. A good idea will never be great without a clear business plan and revenue model in place.
3. Go digital and mobile rather than carry inventory.
4. Know your audience and bring them to life for everyone in your company.
5. Constantly pitch up your brand, never down.
6. Embrace partnerships based on common values.
7. Set your priorities and let your decisions and choices follow.
8. Learn to say ‘no’ because business is not a popularity contest.
9. Work on the business, not in the business.
10. Work with people who care about the same things.
11. Create a space and culture where people want to work.
12. Build a team around your weaknesses, and that allows everyone to do only what they do best.
13. Constantly monitor and support the stress levels of your team.
14. Stay physically fit and take breaks during the day to move.
15. People rise to the conversation you create around them.
16. You can’t please everyone.
17. Never compromise your integrity or purpose.
18. If it doesn’t feel right in your gut, don’t do it.
19. Never forget to appreciate those who were there for you when they had nothing to gain.
20. There are forces at work that are not meant to be understood.
21. Think with your heart.
22. The answer is always right in front of you disguised as a problem.
23. Fail faster and don’t take it to heart.
24. Stay lean and invest in values.
25. Stay humble.
Fast changing technology and social business constantly demands new and more things of business leaders and companies. Hopefully, some of these insights prove valuable to you and feel free to share any hard won learning that has come your way so that we all can succeed together.