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Matt Rizzetta, CEO, North 6th Agency: THE 30 MOST VALUABLE LESSONS LEARNED OVER NINE YEARS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP


1. Understand that careers and companies are nothing more than bets youre making on each other. Ask yourself if youre betting on a winner. Companies will ask the same question about you.


2. If someone tells you winners dont complain theyre lying. Winners complain with solutions. Losers complain without them.
3. Skin care products should become less important as you progress in your career. Your skin should get thicker with the lessons you`ve learned.
4. Celebrate winning moments. Learn from losing moments.
5. Consistency and longevity are perhaps the most overlooked qualities in todays workforce. Be loyal and place premiums on those who display this.
6. Develop championship habits.
7. Recruit for age agnostic qualities. Accountability, work ethic, common sense, and positive energy are usually good places to start.
8. Career cancers are toxic not because of the immediate impact they have, but because of the generational impact they have on others who follow. The longer you wait to treat the cancers the more generations are at risk.
9. You dont need a Wharton degree to understand the golden rule of management. Avoid surprises.
10. Culture boils down to three things: consistency, authenticity and differentiation.
11. Impact and improvement is the most valuable currency any leader can transact in. Puts cash to shame.
12. Collect data. Analyze it. Collect more data. Study patterns. Collect more data. Act on it. Let your instincts guide you at every step of the way. Data without discretion is destruction.
13. Do at least one thing every year that nobody in your industry is doing. Most experiments will fail, but the winning ones will be worth it in the end.
14. Fall in love with the process of building your career or business. It will make the journey more enjoyable.
15. Give customers a glimpse into your world internally. Give employees a glimpse into the customers world externally. It will make the relationship more pure and authentic. Just a glimpse, not a tour.
16. The notion of under promising and over delivering is inherently dishonest. Dont under promise. Dont overpromise. Promise. Deliver. Rinse and repeat.
17. The Jimmy V test is one you should bring to the workplace. A complete work day should consist of surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh, cry and think.
18. Listen closely to lawyers, accountants and consultants who are smarter than you. But don`t forget, the few breakthroughs in your career will likely be defined by the times you went against their advice.
19. Competition is the best fuel you can have on the way to improvement. Beat the competition with intelligence, innovation, and authenticity. Paranoia and reactiveness will only throw you off your game.
20. You are an unproven commodity at the next level. Let that be your greatest source of motivation, not fear. Remember we are all unproven at the next level, no matter where we are on our career journey and no matter where we fit on the org chart.
21. When you hire someone ask them to name someone who they want to make proud and someone who they want to prove wrong. Write the names down and keep them in your desk. You are now invested in that person`s mission to accomplish both.
22. Point as high as you can on the org chart and ask yourself if that person is someone you trust to get you out of a foxhole today. Point as low as you can on the org chart and ask yourself if that person is someone you trust to get you out of a foxhole tomorrow. If the answer to both is yes then you`re in a special place.
23. If you`re not experimenting as a manager you`re not doing something right.
24. As you scale it becomes harder and harder to find unifying goals that everyone can buy into. Keep it simple. The best goals that apply to large groups are usually the most simple to define.
25. When winning doesn`t become fun anymore it`s time to rethink your career choice.
26. There`s no magic formula, but old school work ethic and new school empathy is usually a safe bet.
27. Humility and sense of humor are qualities that should guide you through periods of immense success and epic failure.
28. Remember the lessons and the emotions from the early days when you were in survival mode. You should take them with you at every step of your journey. Complacency will kill you. You are always in survival mode.
29. Execute for the now. Plan for the future.
30. Build an inner circle that is impenetrable. It will be the most difficult part of the process, but the most important part by far.

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