Happy Birthday To Us!

According to the calendar, today is July 2nd, 2019. It’s a Tuesday. Or as you may know it, one of 52 days out of the year in which tacos are to be consumed. But if you have the nagging sense that this particular Tuesday is of some import beyond the mere consumption of Tex-Mex cuisine, you are correct (and as an aside, good on you for being so in touch with your instincts), for today marks Dirigible Studio’s five year anniversary. That’s right, half a decade in the books. Our first of hopefully many quinquennial celebrations. There’s lots to be thankful for and we’re pretty excited to disperse many congratulatory GIFs in the group Slack thread, but that’s not very engaging to those of you reading this.

So, as a gift to you, we thought we share five things that we’ve learned over our first five years of being the Upper Midwest’s finest website design and online marketing firm featuring a rigid lighter-than-air vehicle in its name.

Dirigible Studio started as a side hustle, a way for Kindra and Sam to apply their web design chops/skills/mastery of marketing mayhem. So, if you’re looking for the right time to start a business or a significant project, the time is now. Do it. There’s never going to be “the perfect time”, so don’t keep your dreams in a holding pattern.

Now, this isn’t permission to be reckless. There are certainly factors that you should take into account before you make any major decision. You know, things like how you’re going to go about the business of living and paying your bills and the sort while going through the process of getting your dream operation off the ground. So, yes, create a checklist of things you have to get in order prior to launching your operation and start knocking them out one by one, but get started now.

#1
Get started. Now.

Don’t sit around waiting for the perfect fill-in-the-blank (company name, logo, client, employee, office space, etc.) to show up – it won’t. In the meantime, you’re wasting the one thing in life that you can never recover: time. So while you never want to be sloppy or slap-dash in your approach to handling clients or delivering your service or product, you’re never going to be perfect from the jump. Instead, get started, and work on getting better as you move forward. Just a little bit at a time. Identify areas for improvement and put together a realistic plan to make it happen. You know, constant improvement and such. And once you get going, recognize that you may have to become a competent bookkeeper or toilet scrubber until the time comes when you can hire outside help. It’s just part and parcel of starting your own business. Which leads us to the next tip…

#2
Don’t let
Perfect
be the enemy of Good

The Self-made Man is a myth. No one has ever made it on their own. And if they claim otherwise, run away as far and as fast as you can from that person. Preferably with the assistance of a friend! The point is, if you want to succeed, you’re going to need a team to help you achieve your goals. That doesn’t necessarily mean that having employees or a cadre of experts at your disposal correlates to success on a 1:1 basis, but it does mean that developing a reliable network of people who you can count on to help you in a jam, to delegate tasks to, or who can handle a job more efficiently or with greater expertise than you can is vital if you want to grow your business beyond what you can do as a one-person organization. What does your team look like?

#3
You can’t do it alone.

Pulling off feats of bravery or engaging in demonstrations of derring-do are laudable, for sure, though, we’d argue, only in a limited context and under the right circumstances. Think: saving orphans from burning buildings being attacked by flaming lizards of unknown origins (though, now that you think of it, their arrival just happens to coincide with that recent industrial chemical explosion at Malevolent Co., the one in which a whistleblower informed you of its likelihood, allowing you scant time, though just enough of a window, to alert the authorities so that an entire town of orphans – different than the ones you’re saving now, of course – could be evacuated in the knick of time? This is caper is deeper than we thought, and possibly, by which we mean absolutely, goes all the way to The Top). While just one common example you run across practically on a daily basis, notice how little of that involves performative struggle in the workplace. In other words, there’s no valor to be gained by being the Office Hero. So don’t be one.

#4
Don’t be a
hero!

At the risk of repeating motivational poster pablum, take time to celebrate the wins when they occur. This is pretty solid advice, not just in the workplace, but with life in general. Finalized that big project and made a client very happy? That’s a win–go party. Rocked those Q3 sales? Also a win–time to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be a huge accomplishment; be sure to find time to recognize the smaller ones, too. What do we mean by smaller ones? You’ll know them when they come around. Celebrate in proportion to the feat, of course, or you’ll have inadvertently created a confusing hierarchy of priorities. But, you can always sort those issues out later so long as you start celebrating whenever you and your team achieve your goals.

#5
Celebrate the victories, no matter how big or small.

This list (or to use an ugly term of art, listicle) isn’t comprehensive by any means; we’ve learned a thing or two on top of the ones listed above. But, you know, five lessons for five years of being in business… it’s kind of the obvious choice.

Finally, holy smokes, five years!

That’s five trips around the Sun. We’re pretty stoked to have hit this milestone. But like we said further up this page, we didn’t get here alone and we have a lot of people to say thanks to. So here are our shout outs.

Taking a headshot of Brad Knight

Our Clients

Shout out to all of our clients–we appreciate your business and love working with each and every one of you.

Our Business Partners

You help keep this ship afloat, coming through on everything from printed materials for our clients to insurance coverage for that time a fire ripped through our building.

Our Team

What we do here every day helps our clients grow their businesses and organizations, giving them the best shot at achieving their goals. This whole operation is only possible because of you.

Here’s to five more years!