As Joshua PR is ten years old this year I wanted to share some of the lessons that I’ve picked up over the last ten years.
These are lessons / reminders for me as much as they trying to offer advice to anyone else, but see what you think.
Leads take time to develop and many of the best ones only happen once someone knows me and my business well enough to feel comfortable committing their budget, or recommending a friend.
Network now to see the rewards in 18 months’ time.
Have something that will help you leave the office and forget about work. For me it’s open water swimming – I find the whole process quite meditative – but find your thing.
This is very true for freelancers, as you need to find something that you can enjoy on a random Tuesday afternoon when work is quiet, but that will also inspire you when you’re working at midnight on a Thursday because work is busy.
Not for fun you understand, but if you need to, do it. I’ve only had to do it twice, but both times it was necessary and actually helped the business grow as I removed the time and energy burden.
You don’t need to work for people that don’t respect you or what you do.
We’re in the ‘service’ industry, so we need to fit in with our clients’ requirements.
Restrictive contracts, or inflexible working practices just aren’t going to get you very far any more.
Being flexible doesn’t mean being a doormat – especially with your expertise. You are being hired for your expertise, so express it. Tell a client if they are wrong, explain a better course of action, refuse to deliver bad work.
You’re being hired as the expert, so be one.
Every article about business advice mentions this – every article is boringly right. Get on top of them both. I only take on new projects if they will be fun and profitable. If there is a lot of one (fun or profit) then I can accept there being less of the other, but surely we do this for those two reasons.
Enjoy work, but remember to make money too.
This should be self-explanatory. But it includes you. Be nice to people and be nice to yourself. If you’re not, then take a look at why and do your best to fix it.
Even if you’re self-employed, only employ nice people.
This is very much a personal reminder. I might tell you story some time [ironically] over a drink, but not in Nashville.
We all have one of *those* stories to tell.
They are hugely over done and I think an out of date tool, I don’t think even Buzzfeed does it anymore. I apologise to you all.
Occasionally you should break the rules.
I created Joshua PR because I felt the structure of the agency would offer clear benefits to clients. But I also created it to give myself more choice over my working environment and more freedom to choose the elements that I enjoy. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of my jobs, I enjoy this one the most. I also think that enjoying your work helps you to produce better work.
If you can’t enjoy it, then you should stop.
Joshua PR is ten years old this year – come and help us celebrate.
And don’t forget our PR in a Box programme – helping you create your own PR plan.