As I look back over my time since I left University, I realise that I have a good bit of knowledge to share, all those things I’ve learned over the years in business.

We started our creative agency; This Is Union, with a desire to make a splash in the world and help our clients do the same. We had between us, over 30 years experience and £250 to our names and we made our decisions with ambition and heart. We knew business was difficult, but you don’t realise how little you know until you actually take the leap.

Here are my best 12 tips for upcoming graduates and young talent as they set out to blaze their own path:

1. Never eat your soul to fill your belly.

It’s one thing to be hungry; it’s another to give up your values for impetuous gain.

2. You can never walk out on your own story.

It’s a simple truth, but you can’t abandon who you are. We all have aspirations to shed parts of ourselves or hide what we don’t want people to see. You need to embrace your talents and even your faults and learn how to work with them. After all they make up the story of who you are and let’s face it, everyone else is already taken.

3. Failure.

The greatest glory isn’t “never failing”, but in how we rise when we do.

If you chase your dreams, you are bound to get bruised a few times. It’s simple really – get up quick when you’ve been knocked down!

4. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Fear prevents us from going after what we truly desire. Quoting Jim Carrey recently; “Fear is going to be a player in life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all it will ever be is what’s happening here, the decisions that we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

5. Endure with a smile.

If someone above you asks you to run and grab coffees, or hoover the floors, do it with a smile. Employers look for endurance and appreciate those who work their way up.

6. You’re going to be told you’re not good enough, maybe even not worth it.

You’ll hear this more times than you can imagine. You’ll be told your ideas aren’t good, that you’re not good enough for the jobs you want, for the titles you desire, and that you’re not worth someone’s time or mentorship. Maybe it’s true, but mostly it’s not. Do not be discouraged; it’s just an opinion, (and you know what they say about opinions!!)

7. If you can’t get the little things right, you won’t get the big things right.

If you’re paid to artwork a brochure and it’s filled with typos, it’s a reflection on your attention to detail. Some things require iterations, but carelessness shouldn’t be a substitute for fast.

8. Always do a little more.

Extra effort is not a quality to be overlooked. Most of us are grateful to those who help us achieve great things. We’re even more grateful to those who genuinely give a little more of themselves to help others. On another point though, be careful not to make a rod for your own back. I have gone over and above more times than I can count, but it’s bitten my on the arse because the client goes on to expect it as the norm.

9. Everyone is hungry.

Just get to the table earlier than everyone else.

We are all hungry for something. But some of us are a little hungrier than others. Which one will you be?

10. Break the rules before they break you.

Sometimes rules need to be broken in order to have creative breakthroughs. Don’t stay within the grid, break outside of it.

11. Give what you get.

If someone asks you for personal or business advice, give it away and expect nothing in return. Help others reach success, grow their business, share your ideas and inspire others on their journey to greatness.

12. Your legacy is yours to make.

Start now. Don’t wait.


by Scott Jenkins.

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