October 1st marked our 22nd anniversary. It’s almost inconceivable that over two decades have gone by since we opened our doors. We knew almost nothing of the internet, there were no websites and we were charging $5/page to send a fax (cha-ching). So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same.

Our simple founding values have not changed: treat people how you want to be treated. Simple, but people remember how you make them feel. It has been the cornerstone of how we have built a loyal client base, marketing momentum and a stellar reputation as a go-to small business resource. Indulge me (in Oprah style) while I share a few things I now know for sure:

  1. Culture matters. In fact, it’s everything.This is where momentum finds roots.
  2. Letting go is the only way to grow. Don’t just delegate, raise up leaders. Your business will prosper and so will our world.
  3. Stay a student for life. Trust me, what worked 5 years ago probably won’t work today (did I mention $5/page for faxes)
  4. Embrace change with sheer joy. It will keep you relevant and it keeps life interesting.
  5. Do Less. Better. To Completion. You simply cannot do it all, choose wisely.
  6. Teach what you know. Speak, teach, mentor, train. Create your legacy, leave the world a better place.
  7. Think with the end in mind. From day one I was thinking about my exit. Your business should fund the life of your dreams. Strategically plan to make that happen.

I could go on and on, but you’ve heard much of it from me before. Over these 22 years, we’ve helped well over 2,000 companies to start and grow. We’ve built a self-sustaining organization and have helped others do the same. We’ve supported countless charities and associations. We’ve mentored dozens of interns (and hired a few). We’ve made mistakes, learned from them and moved on.

I’ll close with a simple, but sincere THANK YOU. None of this would be possible without all of you – the business community, our collaborative partners, our clients (past and present), our initial investors, our vendors. And, last, but certainly not least, the a-mazing C3 Team – my pride, joy and gratitude is overwhelming.

Oh, what will the next 20 years hold?

Stay tuned …

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