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If I knew then what I know now is a series of bylines from small agency executives about the lessons they learned in building their shops.

I have high standards. So does my partner. This has served us well over the last 15 years of running our own agency and another 10 years as employees at other companies. We live by the credo "Never Settle." We push until we either run out of time or money.

This isn't a particularly unique belief system within the creative industry. We all grew up with the understanding that creating great work would lead to bigger and better things. A promotion. Bigger budgets. Sexier clients and opportunities. Generally speaking, I still believe this is true. But what I have come to learn more recently is this approach to the products and services you provide needs to be de-coupled from your approach to running the business itself.

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