The Ramblings Of A Michigan Creative CEO
So, I have been getting on my staff to make sure they blog. So, Jessica, our video production manager, (Michigan Creative Video) being the super organized person that she is, put everyone on a schedule. Well, that also meant me. So, here I am, the day of, writing my blog.
I do need to blog more, and I advise every business that has a web site to blog and encourage your employees to blog as well. Blogging is good for many reasons.
1) Writing is always good! It gives you and your staff a chance to express themselves, and sometimes you will find a wealth of knowledge in an employee that may not say it out loud.
2) Blogs are keyword rich content for your website. Google loves content. We find that our blogs battle for the number one spot!
3) It gives you authority on your subject. Customers like to see the CEO and employees blog and share their knowledge and passion for their company.
Now that I gave you all that great advice, I better come up with the most amazing CEO blog that has ever been, right? The pressure…
Even the word CEO seems funny to me. I mean, that is what I am, but we are small, with big dreams…I am trying to get my beautiful wife to call me CEO at home. That is not going so well. She is the CEO there for sure.
We have been operating full time out of the TIC in East Lansing for two years now. We have grown from just me, to six part time amazing people, and six amazing interns. So things are going well. We still have big plans, dreams, hopes, and sometimes trying to stay focused on today, and tomorrow, becomes problematic. My blog today will simply give you some advice; things not to do (that I did), what I learned from them, and what I hope not to do again.
1) Get organized. Today. A very successful Doctor and client of ours told me that. You have to have a place for everything. I have Jessica and Melissa to help me with that, but I have also started folders for every client, to do lists that actually have an order and purpose, and forms, etc etc.
Organization is vital to any business. Take every opportunity to become a better leader and hone your craft. Consider attending seminars or see about earning a masters in organizational leadership.
2) A beer and a handshake won’t be good enough. I thought, hey this is new, fresh, we are different and I wanted to be that guy or that company that a handshake and a cold one would be a good enough contract. We got burned on that a few times. Even though you might be an entrepreneur, old business ways still need to be a part of the plan. Write up detailed contracts for your clients; they outline exactly what you will be providing and gives them a neat little place to sign off on it.
3) Get away from the computer and your desk. I say this as I have been sitting here for five hours today doing just that. At first, it will be just you, doing everything. But at some point you are going to hire people, and allow them to handle the brunt of the work. You, as the CEO, the leader, need to have the vision, make connections with clients, meet other CEO’s and business owners. I will sit here for hours, my butt hurts, my neck hurts, and I don’t feel accomplished. But, every time I get out for a walk around East Lansing, or I go to a networking event, or even set up meetings with past clients, I feel great, and usually come back with new business.
4) Stick with it. It is hard. But worth it. I get frustrated, stressed out, worried, but when I am out hunting, or out working on the farm, I know that what I am building is amazing, and I am the only one that can make it work. I also can be the only one to make it fail…but don’t think like that…and if you see me, remind me.
5) Hire great people. This is the single most important thing I did. Of course I do not look forward to pay day like the rest of you. Yes, I have to pay on pay day. I may have more money to myself if I did not have so many employees, but I don’t think that the job would get done right. They are better than me, and that is why I hired them. My favorite quote is, “A great leader makes everyone around him better than he is.” The staff at Michigan Creative makes that easy.
Well, that is it for now. To sum it up, I love my staff, my company, and our city and state. I have made so many mistakes, some twice or more…but I am learning and growing every day. I think the day I stop making mistakes is a good day to retire….
Brian Town, CEO
*also another tip, get a really big dog, and bring him to the office a lot!