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Happy 10th Birthday to The Forge Web Creations!

Actually, I’ve been a free agent for a bit longer than that but my CC was officially registered a decade ago.

So, who woulda thunk, eh? A chickie with no formal training, no qualifications, no mentor and no investors decided to start her own web agency and actually made it work w00t!

I guess I’ve come rather a long way, although I very rarely stop to look back at that progression, I tend to focus on what’s happening right now and how I can improve going forward. But I know that I have certainly learnt a lot over the last 10 years …

In no particular order:

  1. Get everything in writing. Always.
  2. Very little goes according to plan – be prepared to adapt, especially in this fast-paced industry.
  3. Play to your strengths – focusing on your weaknesses is soul-sapping and counter-productive.
  4. Hire experts to fill any gaps in your knowledge base and/or skill set.
  5. Surround yourself with talented, motivated people and treat them like gold.
  6. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket – diversify at the earliest opportunity.
  7. Undertake to work with clients on your own terms.
  8. Managing client expectations correctly, from the beginning, will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and trauma later on.
  9. Saying “no” is completely liberating.
  10. Don’t work for or with people that you clash with – the relationship will not survive.
  11. Look after your existing clients – it’s easier to up sell than cold sell.
  12. Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing tool in your artillery.
  13. Admit when you’ve made a booboo and then fix it. It can lead to unexpected doors opening.
  14. Making tough decisions is part of the package. Deal with it.
  15. Never undertake spec work – you’ll set a dangerous precedent that will come back to haunt you.
  16. Most meetings are a total waste of time.
  17. Backup your data regularly.
  18. There will always be someone else cheaper, faster and better than you so position yourself to add unexpected value.
  19. Under promise and over deliver – exceed all expectations.
  20. Honesty and integrity will serve you well.

And guess what? The learning process never ends! In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. That’s incredibly humbling!

So … 10 years! That’s quite a milestone. Here’s to another 10 and many, many more 😀