12 months ago…

..we cut the ropes and leaped into the wild world of running our own full-time business. In tribute to this one-year rollercoaster ride, we thought we’d provide you with our top nine learnings from year one. Why nine? We couldn’t think of ten.

9. “Cashflow is the lifeblood of any successful business,” advised Mike Behr, of Behr Strategies.

“Yeah, no kidding,” we thought. Looking back, probably the most accurate statement we’ve ever heard. Thanks for the advice Mike. And thanks for guest blogging.

8. Professional development is a full-time job in itself.

Read, read and read some more. Try to be a student of your chosen field. Heck, write a book report when you’re done. It’ll help.

7. Be nimble. Evolve constantly. Pay attention to trends.

For instance, at the moment, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is king, especially in regards to marketing. What are long-term implications and advantages? Who knows? But at the moment, it’s a lot of fun. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Let's get connected on LinkedIn (Joe/Jon).

6. Use your talents to do some good.

Find a non-profit or three that you feel strongly about and jump in. For us, one such organization is Gilda’s Club St. Louis. We were recently asked to sit on the Young Friends of Gilda board. It’s been a very rewarding experience thus far.

5. Stay as financially lean as possible.

The office for instance – it wasn’t necessary for us in year one, so not having one made survival much more likely. Year two? Different story. Check out our new digs. Pardon the in-process photos.

4. Write the business plan.

Plain and simple. We can’t imagine launching a business without one. It will make you think of every aspect of a multidimensional undertaking.

3. Ask for advice and then do what is suggested.

For us, when encountered with unfamiliar issues, we turn to our Board of Advisors. Asking these guys to get on board (zing!) has been one of the best decisions we’ve made. Whether industry specific or just business savvy, look to those that you trust.

2. Do work that you’re proud to put your name on.

Work that drives you to get out of bed in the morning or to keep cranking late into the night. Here’s some work we’ve done recently for The Korte Company that we’re proud of.

1. Go fishing. Hike the great wall. Support the return of the mustache.

Put simply, have fun and stay inspired. That’s really what it’s all about.

Thanks for helping us make it happen. We appreciate it.

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©2009 Gorilla 76 LLC. Any mark is a trademark of its respective owner. Please don’t steal our ideas.

Looking forward to working together in year two.