– Jason Sprenger – President, Game Changer Communications

September 13 marks my agency’s four-year anniversary.  It’s thrilling to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going, because it’s been one wild ride.  But it’s also a day to take stock of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and items that I’ve noticed have been particularly impactful on helping to get my own life and the firm where they are today.  I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you – no matter who you are and what you do, I think there’s something all of us can take away.

Here are just a few of the key themes I’m thinking of today:

  • Surrounding yourself with great people is at least as important as everyone says it is. In my first year, I hired a subcontractor who did a fantastic job for me and my client – and it paid off in a great work product as well as ongoing and referral business.  I made the decision early on to align with a good business accountant and lawyer, and while I might spend more than others on their services I haven’t ever second-guessed those decisions because I know I’m getting good advice and my business is better for it.  I’ve invested lots of time and money into networking and membership in professional organizations, and there’s a lot of value I’ve received from it already – and I’m sure there’s more to be had in the future.  I’ve aligned myself with mentors who have meant the world to me, both professionally and personally.  And many more.

I’m a firm believer that people can’t do most anything in this world, much less something great or impactful, all by themselves.  You need help, support, counsel and advice, someone to aspire to and so much more.  Game Changer has had these people, and I continue to place tremendous importance on cultivating great, mutually beneficial relationships.

  • Doing good work is the backbone of success and growth. So many people are concerned with new business development and networking, and of course I’m one of them.  There’s also definitely a fair amount of luck and good fortune required to grow a business.  But my most important job every day is taking care of the current roster of Game Changer clients – and doing all I can to retain their business for tomorrow, next month, next year, etc.  First off, I think it’s quite simply the right thing to do.  Every Game Changer client past and present made a decision to place their confidence in me and my firm, and I don’t ever take that lightly.  Second, most of Game Changer’s revenue and growth over its history has been due to referrals – and those only come in the door when you’re doing great work with your existing clients and they’re telling their friends about it.  Third, it’s really pretty simple math; you can sign all the business you want, but if you’re losing accounts and turning over resources then all you’re really doing is treading water.  The morale of the story here: do great work.  Every day.
  • Rolling with the punches. In both life and career, storms and roadblocks are inevitable.  And no matter whether it’s a work issue or a real-life concern, there’s no way to completely separate stuff of this nature from your work product.  The old truism “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans” sums it up perfectly.  But despite these obstacles, it’s important to keep in mind that it happens, and it’s okay.  Everyone goes through stuff like this at some point, and it’s not what knocks you down but how you get back up that makes the difference.

Thanks also are in order.  In particular, thank you for reading, and thank you to Steve Baird and the entire DuetsBlog team for the opportunity to contribute to this forum.  I look forward to the discussions to come!