Enthusiasm and unbridled potential soaked the room. One person gushed about his idea. Another had just launched. What trait did these entrepreneurs share? They were all in high school.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking with students studying economics at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. The talk topic was entrepreneurship, and how to create and sustain a business.
After my story of Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), the students peppered me about customer service, financing, recruitment and promotion. Then, I got hit with the whopper question: what is the one thing I have learned in 20+ years running a business that every entrepreneur should know?
I cheated and gave the students two: 1) great work; for (and with) great people.
Let’s start with the second – great people. My relationship with the senior team at Strategic runs deep. It extends more than a decade. This is no echo chamber though. We have different personalities, beliefs and experiences, which allow for the cultivation of ideas.
It is a similar vibe with clients. Not all, of course. Some stroll in and out like the passing of a season. With others you achieve a mutual respect and professional admiration that carries on. That is the foundation of great work.
Here is an example. This month Strategic launched a new online buyer community in partnership with Learning Without Tears called Today’s Modern Educator. This initiative is our third collaboration in the past 12 years with Barbara Bernard.
In fact, the concept and maturation of the online buyer community resulted from our work with marketers like Rita Walston, Keith Hodson, Lisa Sherwin Wulf and others. In essence, it is the foundational relationship with clients that guide a business.