Some colleagues and I recently had the opportunity to attend Behance’s 99U Conference. It was two days of site visits and speakers, discussion of entrepreneurialism, business perspective, and creative living and working. There was a theme that struck me and stuck to me—work.
When participating in a site visit with SY/Partners, it was shared that “Greatness is achieved as you’re getting work done.” And “It’s not what you say, it’s what you do, and do, and do.” Companies look to define their brands and their culture. Some put words on paper or mantras on walls, but those can be just letters and words. It’s how we work, as we work that matters. That’s where the truth is told. That’s where the reality of your culture lies.
Jason Fried, Founder and CEO of Basecamp shared “It’s easier to start a business than it is to keep something going,” and “I like to think about business as a long walk.” Work is hard. And it requires, well, work. There is a reason why (according to Forbes) 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. And why ModCloth’s Susan Gregg Koger told us “It’s okay to look back and cringe.” There will be fears, struggles, and change (oh, yes there will be change).
The ever-present Seth Godin was quoted as saying “Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your change. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.” And writer Clay Shirky added “We systematically overestimate the value of access to information and underestimate the value of access to each other.” Who we associate with, as well as our associates themselves, are components of self (or corporate) definition.
Stuff happens. Work requires work.