Open Letter to Myself as Thinkspace Turns 9!
Nine years ago today on May 1, 2008, I started Thinkspace. As I reflect back on my nine-year journey of running thinkspace, there are things that I wish I knew then that I know now. So I’m about to step back and look at some of the mistakes made it feels a little bit painful and embarrassing kind of like watching a recording of yourself on video. It’s uncomfortable, but, in a healthy way. I wrote this open letter to myself from the perspective of Old Me sharing with Young Me what to look out for, and thought I would share it with you too.
- Young me: Bad advice has ramifications to you, your family, and your team. Find mentors, advisors, fellow entrepreneurs who have successfully done what you’re trying to do and get right sized advice. – Old me
- Young me: There are six human needs. 1) Certainty 2) Uncertainty 3) Significance 4) Love and Connection 5) Growth 6) Contribution. Meet four of your customer needs at a high level and your customers will be addicted. – Old me
- Young me: I wish I would have known how important it is to have alignment on the following levels: 1) personal 2) family 3) employees 4) customers. It would have saved me from a lot of pain. – Old me
- Young me: When you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. – Old me
- Young me: If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business. If you treat people at the end like you did in the beginning, there never would be an end. – Old me
- Young me: Say what you actually believe and you will attract those that believe what you believe. – Old me
- Young me: The social era will reward those organizations that realize they don’t create value all by themselves. – Old me
- Young me: Customers are not loyal to cheap commodities, they crave the remarkable, the unique, and human. – Old me
- Young me: Extend more grace and service to people. When someone is struggling, extend them more support and love, when you think you’ve given enough, dig down and give them more. – Old me
- Young me: There is no weakness in forgiveness. – Old me
- Young me: Always maintain a beginners mindset. There’s a lot to learn out there. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. – Old me
- Young me: Read these books before you start your company: 1) The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank. 2) Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder. 3) Lean Startup by Eric Ries. 4) Linchpin by Seth Godin. 5) Drive by Daniel Pink. 6) Who by Geoff Smart. 7) The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. 8) Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits! by Greg Crabtree. 9) The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna – Old me