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21 lessons in business

The last 21 years seem to have crept up on me. On the one hand it feels like only yesterday, and yet on the other it feels like it was a lifetime ago. 

I actually don’t feel any older, but unfortunately I am. There are a few things that remain constant, I am still absolutely passionate about this business and about businesses as a whole. Businesses are great - they create jobs, they create opportunities for people to progress, for people to grow and to do things that they never thought that they could.  They create value for staff, for clients, for shareholders and, of course, for the taxman.

At one point in my life I was scared that I would never get a job let alone run a business, so to be in a positon to have employed so many people over the years is one of my biggest lifetime achievements.

Along the way I have certainly learnt many lessons. With this evening being Equilibrium’s 21st birthday party, I thought it was a perfect time to share my 21 most valuable lessons...

Lesson No 1: There are some establishments you can't beat. Sometimes you have to suck it up or accept the consequences.

Lesson No 2: Sometimes those with more experience really do know what’s best.

Lesson No 3: If you are looking for inspiration go to the pub!

Lesson No 4: If you don’t know where you are going, keep moving forward and you will figure it out along the way.

Lesson No 5: Success is a formula that can be followed.

Lesson No 6: If you want to be successful you need to work hard to build a team that supports you (at home as well as at the office).

Lesson No 7: Persistence and stubbornness focused correctly really does pay. 

Lesson No 8: You can never do it all on your own. Ask for help/accept help whenever you can.

Lesson No 9: To climb a career ladder you need to let go of the rung below. To be successful you have to take a giant leap.

Lesson No 10: If it’s not working/if you are not happy (at work or home) make a massive change.

Lesson No 11: Always seek advice from successful people (and follow it).

Lesson No 12: Enthusiasm, confidence and arrogance can be a dangerous combination. (Unless it's backed up with experience and money).

Lesson No 13: The best business in the world can fail if you haven’t got the cash flow.

Lesson No 14: If you focus on the problem it gets bigger.  Never focus on the problem – focus only on the solution.

Lesson No 15: If you can see it and believe it you can achieve it.

Lesson No 16: Always deal with the issues as they arise however tough it is - it's far better than letting them fester.

Lesson No 17: If you are going to make a big ballsy move, plan your finances carefully and remember Lesson No 13 - cash flow is everything.

Lesson No 18: The founder of a business can sometimes be the biggest barrier to growth. 

Lesson No 19: There’s always a choice.  Choose wisely.

Lesson No 20: Culture and values are everything. If you share the same values and believe in the same culture then all the big issues become small ones over time.

Lesson No 21: Always set huge BHAGS “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.

The only thing we can all be certain of is “change”.  I know for a fact that in 21 years’ time Equilibrium will look nothing like it does today.

It’s exciting and as long as we retain our constant focus on improving the business, for both our staff and clients alike, we will continue to go from strength to strength.