Kaleidoscope’s CEO, Cabanne Howard, recently sat down with Michael Greenberg of Business Radio X St. Louis for their “Talk with the Top” segment, a series dedicated to sharing positive business stories about the St. Louis business and entrepreneurship community. She dropped some knowledge on the entrepreneur life, customized digital marketing strategies, and the future of social media.
Listen to Cabanne’s full interview here:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” ~Steve Jobs
While we place such a premium on looking forward & planning ahead, I am struck this year by how much we have learned from the past. We are stronger and wiser from the many successes – and yes, occasional missteps – we have had with our clients over the course of the last several years.
Industries are being disrupted; the way we think about media has changed; the political landscape has been fundamentally altered. It has never been more true in my lifetime: the only constant is change.
So to keep up with the ever changing landscape, we look back in order to look ahead. So before January is in the rearview mirror, we are reflecting. And planning. Can’t wait to share more highlights along the way in 2017.
Everywhere I go people are bemoaning the past year. “Year from hell”, “Can’t wait for it to end”, “2017 can’t come soon enough”… you get the picture. The Presidential election, Aleppo, the passing of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, now Debbie Reynolds (ok, really not a banner year) all cited as reasons why 2016 will not be missed.
While I don’t argue that 2016 dealt the world some emotional blows, it’s gotten me wondering:
- Can we find a silver lining and will we emerge on the other side stronger, braver and, ideally, more human?
- Was this year really as bad as it’s being made out to be? Perhaps is there an element of “information is not always power” in that the constant deluge of information might be contributing to our feeling lost in a sea of news.
So on the dawn of the New Year… As I find myself in these conversations, I plan to stop, remember to breathe and acknowledge that we only have now. And if ultimately things are as bad as they seem then 2017 must be a year for healing. This process starts with each one of us. Happy New Year.
One year ago today I set out to chart my own path… career-wise that is.
I leapt forth with hope and confidence that if I work hard and give everything I’ve got, that maybe, just maybe, I could have a successful – even thriving – business.
This celebration of 365 days in business does not in any way mean I don’t wake up every day praying that the dream will last, giving blood, sweat and tears to make it so. Now is when the real work begins: to ensure we sustain the company beyond the honeymoon phase.
This post is for those who believed in me, willing to take a risk on a new entity. It’s also to my tribe of supporters – family and friends – who encouraged me to take the plunge.
To commemorate this small but powerful milestone, I thought I’d share the 5 most valuable things I learned in year 1:
1) Be flexible. KMG provides these services. But I say rules are meant to be broken. So if a client needs something and it’s within our capabilities, the answer is: “yes we can.”
2) Find experts and keep them close. You’ve heard the old adage, surround yourself with people smarter than yourself, right? No one can go it alone and I took this to heart. Thank you to those who came on board and shared their talents with KMG and our clients. You know who you are and I am eternally grateful.
3) Know when to say no. Sometimes the fit is not right. So, contradictory to what I say above, sometimes the answer is actually no. If I sense a misalignment of values or that a client has unrealistic expectations I have tried to always be honest with myself… and them, as it will serve us both better in the long term.
4) Hustle. “Go the extra mile; it won’t be crowded.” – Author unknown. This is so true. On mornings – and in many cases, late nights – when the going gets tough, we got going and I realize that this is one of the things that sets – and will continue to set – us apart.
5) Be lucky. Lucky enough to work with clients who have heart and vision. I pinch myself when I think about how fortunate I have been to learn from and partner with people who value our services and treat us with respect.
Bonus tip: Listen. Then listen some more. I am always working on this, but when I listen – like really listen hard – I pick up on invaluable feedback, insight – and even criticism – that informs what we do and makes us infinitely better.
This is list is just the tip of the iceberg and I am so far from having it “figured out” but I hope these may serve you if you are thinking about starting a business or are currently working for yourself. Do you have tips on how to start – and stay – in business? We are taking it one, thoughtful step at a time and can’t wait to see what the next 365 hold!
With love and gratitude,