Behind The Scenes Q&A: Work Hard & Be Nice To People

Have you seen this poster?


It may seem trite but it’s the answer that always pops to mind when people ask me the following questions:

How did you get the clients you have?
How can I grow / build my business?
How do you attract new clients?
What do you do to ensure a consistent flow of clients?
How to get to the level you are at online and in your work?
How do I promote myself?

Or another way of putting it…

Don’t worry about knowing the right people. Just make yourself worth knowing.

I always think back to the beginning. Before I even had a business, I was passionate about doing great work. I was passionate about design, and working with people who were doing interesting things, who were up to great work in the world. I noticed when these people crossed my path and I reached out to them. I offered to work for free, for money, to get involved with what they were doing, and kept in touch even (and maybe especially) when they didn’t have work for me. I made this effort for years, and those relationships returned so much to me in time – in the way of new opportunities and connections that blossomed into networks and projects and a bigger opportunity to create a business and life I love – work, travel, friendships and more.

When I look back, it’s a reminder that:
1 // success doesn’t happen overnight.
2 // being nice and doing good work pays off.
3 // if you stick to it longer (and put in more effort) than most people would you’ll reap the rewards.

I hear all the time how (especially in the online world) it’s hard to find people who are dependable and who do great work. These seem like simple things to me, but I think in order to do both of them consistently you need to be passionate about what you do and who you’re doing it for. Are you?

If you’ve had any of the above questions recently…

Are you passionate about your work? Do you love to see it, hear about it, play with it, be a part of it, create it – does it inspire you? Seem like second nature to you? Is it obvious to you? Do you see how it changes the world? Can you keep it fresh? Does it interest you?

Find what you can be passionate about – so that working hard feels like play.

Are you passionate about who you work with? Notice I said with and not for. Do you feel you’re part of a movement, a cause, something greater than yourself? Do you feel like you’re working for an income, chasing money – or that you’re working with comrades, and that the money is a byproduct of what you’re creating, together?

Someone said you shouldn’t work with anyone you wouldn’t have dinner with – that’s a great litmus test for me.

Be nice to people – which is easy when you’re working with and for people you admire, genuinely like and want to succeed.

It’s my experience that if we’re aligned with these points, the opportunities follow.

A simple answer to questions that can seem difficult at times. Simple but significant.