Posted March 3rd, 2010 by justBcoz in Work []
Tags: , , ,

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 :D

  1. Rob says:

    Congrats on this milestone Sue.
    Quirk is a similar age so I for one apprecate what you’ve had to go through to get to where you are today. it’s a real achievement and you should feel immensely proud.

  2. justBcoz says:

    Rob, thank you :-)

    Yes, it’s been a long road but every hour and every ounce of energy invested has been 100% worth it!

  3. This is very good advice!

  4. cath says:

    Amazing. amazing. ten years.


    excellent advice, too. especially the whole ‘meetings are a waste of time’ part. Could we somehow make that a universal law of business?



  5. Dad says:

    Soooo much wisdom in the list above!! I truly admire what you have achieved in the past 10 years under some,at times, really difficult circumstances. With you 100% of the way.

  6. Angel says:

    Fan-TAS-tic list!
    Huge congratulations!

  7. You’re an inspiration for me to strive as hard as I can to become my own free agent as well.

    Great tips, thanks!

  8. justBcoz says:

    Thank you so much for all your kind words and congrats everyone!

    What an incredible honour it is for me to know that I may have inspired someone else to break free of the shackles of an unfulfilling job and create their own future.

    I may not have any business degrees behind my name but after many years of trial and error, I can offer some practical advice to freelancers and small business owners who are just getting started. Only yesterday somebody asked me for some help in starting a new venture and it felt great to be able to assist in some small way.

    @Dad … Your support over the years has been invaluable. So many people thought I was doing the wrong thing or viewed it as just a sideline thing to keep me busy (especially as I work from home). Getting people to take me seriously was, at times, a hugely frustrating exercise. But you never belittled me in that way, you have always been my biggest fan and by following your own entreprenerial lead, I knew that I could make it work. Against ALL odds.

    From the bottom of my heart … thank you. Your encouragement and admiration mean the world to me xxx

  9. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by darrengorton: 20 Lessons from the last decade

  10. Nerudo says:

    Im inspired I have been reading your blog for some time now and this is my first time commenting. I have read more than once your About us page all of it I have just re read this article.

    Im inspired