THE BLOG

15 Lessons After 15 Years of Being an Entrepreneur

06/06/2014 05:10 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT

June 7 marks the official 15th anniversary of when our firm hung out our shingle in downtown Toronto and was open for business.

What a journey thus far.

As I reflect on the past 15 years, I keep thinking about what an evolving and exciting business I was able to envision, create and accelerate over these years. All of which would not have been accomplished without the efforts and passion of an incredible, dedicated and motivated team. And over the years, I have had so many MAVERICKS contribute in such meaningful ways.

As an entrepreneur I've learned valuable lessons along the way; on how to run a company, how to manage people and how to create a signature culture that transcends every part of the organization.

So on this historical day, here are my 15 lessons learned over the past 15 years:

1. Hire people who bring different skills other than your own. And if they are smarter than you, even better.

2. Take risks, even non calculated ones. That's the best part of running your own business.

3. Don't write a business plan -- write a business purpose. That will guide the core of your organization.

4. Always keep communicating -- with everyone on staff.

5. Celebrate every victory, even when you un-jam the photocopier!

6. Trust your team.

7. Stay humble. It's attractive.

8. Be grateful for everything.

9. Never manage people. Lead, inspire, and coach them.

10. Running your own company is like a game of golf; you compete only with yourself. Don't care about your competitor's game. Focus on your own score card and you'll be on the leader board.

11. Good employees sometimes move on. Get over it and take pride in knowing you are nurturing and developing great talent. That's the role of a great leader.

12. Laughter, fun and joy should permeate in and throughout the halls. It's a sign of a healthy and happy office.

13. Positive corporate culture is rooted in behaviour. Not a pithy saying on a poster hung in the office kitchen.

14. Your gut feel is always right. Go with it. Intuition and instinct are the human GPS of successful entrepreneurs.

15. Lastly. Realize loyalty runs both ways. Show commitment and appreciation to your team. They will reciprocate with dedication and deliver outstanding work.