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The Circle of Trust

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

391 - A Tough Love Special "20-ish Characteristics You Need To Succeed When Working For Yourself" with Greg Kerr of Miles To Go

Mark Brickey

Success starts from the ground up. As your start to get some momentum, you will continually have to fall back upon a bedrock foundation of traits needed to keep your head on straight when life won't stop pulling you in a million directions. Mark and Greg Kerr of Miles To Go each made a list of ten personality traits needed to succeed when you work for yourself and came together to share their lists and find where they overlap, where they differ, and why each of these traits are so important to keep your head above water. With over 30 collective years of entrepreneurial expertise, this exclusive content for Circle Of Trust Members is an all you can eat buffet of chicken nuggets that is always open whenever you need a little nibble, an entire meal, or you just want to stuff yourself until you can barely push yourself away form the table.

Below are the 20-ish traits Mark and Greg compile with timestamps on where they start within the episode, expanded bullet points for each trait, and some choice pull quotes to help you navigate through this dense episode of applicable content.

1. Having the Anti "Yes Man." (3:30)

  • Not every idea is a great one and you need someone brave enough to be honest.
  • This person doesn't have to be a business partner. An outsider's perspective can be equally valuable as a peer's.
  • Always keep your customer and their needs in mind.

"I don't even necessarily need an explanation as to why it's not up to par."

"I know you want to make that, but who's going to buy it."

2. Be OK with missing out. (5:20)

  • Throw out all the traditional work hours and holidays off.
  • Setting realistic boundaries on putting work above other things.
  • You will need to put in work and then some extra work when it needs to get done.
"When push comes to shove... can you do it?"

3. Knowing production top to bottom. (10:05)

  • If you do everything, you will find where there is room for innovation.
  • Planning proper production timelines.
  • Remain a student as the market evolves to stay ahead of the curve.
"The people that are innovating are the ones who learned how it works and figured out how to manipulate and break it to make something new."

"Get into the next thing. That's your job."

4. Can you carry a heavy load? ( 15:15 )

  • Bearing the stress of financial burdens.
  • Managing the expectations of clients.
  • Maintaining a healthy but not crippling fear.
"You just have to keep going forward with it."

5. Follow your gut on what is right for your brand. ( 19:00 )

  • obody else knows what your brand should look like.
  • Avoiding trends that don't add to your brand's story.
  • ow to leave room to grow in your initial steps.
"You got to start out with one place. Master it. And then you'll see room to grow."

6. You cannot be a completist. ( 21:55 )

  • Know that everything will never be "done."
  • Prioritizing what you take on for your business.
  • taring down the ever-growing, never-ending list.
"You've got to pick when and how those 80 hours happen and what do you want to get done."

"You can close the door for the day but hay doesn't mean it's done."

7. Wake up at least an hour earlier than you need to be. ( 25:25 )

  • Not feeling rushed once you wake up will keep you calm throughout the day.
  • This hour allows for life in your day before you get down to business.
  • No email, job, or phone call can carve into your time before work starts.
"My mind starts spinning on its own of making its list of things but I'm not feeling rushed about it."

8. Can you do without? ( 27:40 )

  • Being cool with being poor.
  • You will do the work but that doesn't mean you have the cash.
  • Assimilating to the wax and wain of your bank account.
"I've got a news flash for you... in the beginning you won't be able to afford to go to the movies."

"You will be a different spender for the rest of your life."

9. Successful people don't wait for permission. ( 33:30 )

  • If you're not doing what you're dream is yet, then you probably never will. 
  • Raising your hand because you have an answer.
  • Having the unstoppable fire that doesn't need validation from anyone else.
"You're not going to fucking stop me."

10. Are you always thinking? ( 36:00 )

  • Sitting at your desk isn't the only time you are working.
  • Picking your head up from the day to day of work to see ahead.
  • Figuring out the puzzle in front of you.
"I'm still plotting what's next."

"Are we still talking posters? Are we still talking about the Internet?"

11. Be appreciative ( 43:25 )

  • Giving a "Thank You" goes a long way towards a long term relationship.
  • You can't be an island as a successful business.
  • Supporting the people that support you.
"Once you stop respecting the people that are giving you a career it's quickly over."

12. You can't be afraid to fight. ( 46:20 )

  • Learning to say no.
  • Asking for what you need, not what you think you can get.
  • Standing up for yourself against bad clients and worse timelines.
"That doesn't matter if you need to make five grand. It just doesn't." "I would take this guy under my wing and they would work half as long and make four times as much."

13. Understanding your margins. (50:20)

  • You need to know your profits otherwise you are choking your ability to be profitable.
  • Do the math and reverse engineer your costs to determine your price points. 
  • Materials. Wholesale. Retail. 
"You need to figure out what everything costs you and your time. Then you need to establish a wholesale price. Then you need to establish a retail price."

14. Are you talented? ( 59:30 )

  • Do you have enough quality to last in the marketplace.
  • Will you last compared to others.
  • The gut check of assessing your real talents.
"Am I at least in the middle? Can I make a difference?"
"If I was trying to make a brand off of my own art it wouldn't have gone anywhere."

15. Share your knowledge with others. ( 1:03:00 )

  • Learning from your peers and adding to your business from how they do the same task. 
  • The conversation of business will only improve yours. 
  • Teaching causes you to analyze what you do as well.
"I am my own competition."

16. You can not have a back up plan. ( 1:06:45 )

  • You will always go to your back up plan if you have one. 
  • Stay completely focused on everything you want to accomplish.
  • eing "all in" sets you apart from your competition.
"There is no contingency plan. It is 1000% Adventures In Design."

17. Set goals and how to achieve them. ( 1:09:10 )

  • Be aware of obstacles in your path to overcome them.
  • Needing vision to lead your business through the rough times.
  • The importance of keeping things on your own terms. 
"I have that number and it is my goal and it's not ridiculous."

"If it grows beyond this moment it's only going to be more work and more stress."

18. You need to be constantly learning ( 1:15:35 )

  • Seeking out knowledge to apply to your own business.
  • Tapping into passion on a regular basis.
  • Keeping your business hat on at all times.
"We're educated enough to make a non-educated guess about what we're going to do on our dumb fucking plan."

19. Are you not willing to fail? ( 1:18:20 )

  • Fighting to the death for your idea.
  • Trying things and failing is ok.
  • Being stubborn on the concept.
"You've got to just go in and do it guns a blazing no matter what."

"You choose next. You don't let the world choose for you."

You. Are. Welcome. Now go put these things into practice and when your friends ask you what turned you into the business mogul that looms before them today you tell them to sign up for the Circle Of Trust and start with AID 391.

Also, Thank You (even we learned a thing or two from Greg on this one).