Ten Things I’ve Learned from Being in Business 19 Years

This month marks the 19th anniversary of Wilberg Community Planning, an independent, mostly solo, consulting practice working with nonprofit organizations and government.

So what have I learned in 19 years of consulting? Naturally, there’s a list of 10 things:

1. You need to be willing to wash windows. Especially when starting out, it’s a big mistake to turn down any work.

2. Every job is important. If prospective clients think you only pull out the stops for one or two clients, they’ll go elsewhere.

3. Die trying. Going for the extra yard is fundamental.

4. Connect with all kinds of people. The junior staffer today could hold the checkbook tomorrow.

5. Align with people with skills. Make the people who really, really know how to do things right your best friends.

6. Carry your own power. If you work alone, you need to be mega-kilowatt.

7. Charge what you would pay. Be honest. How much would you pay you?

8. Teach to get smarter. Nothing makes you sharper than teaching what you know.

9. Keep your moral compass in your pocket at all times. Come to terms with what you will and won’t do for money.

10. Be joyful. Do the work that you love and you will never go wrong.

That’s it — what I’ve learned in 19 years. Stay tuned for next year’s list – 2015. 20 years of Wilberg Community Planning!