40 Ways You Can Too

Josh_FlemingSeriously. I am honored, humbled and somewhat shocked to have been named to the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2013. It’s actually a little overwhelming and a much bigger deal than I anticipated initially. It seems like everyone knows about it and I feel like a meat head when I run out of creative ways to thank the folks kind of enough to take the time to congratulate me. Typically saying something silly like “The Marketing Coup of the Century!”

I guess that’s my way of humbly handling it.

Since the announcement, I’ve been wondering how to best parlay what I’ve learned into something tangible for others. Sure, it’s great for me and the organizations I’m a part of, but how can what I’ve learned through this insanity we call life benefit someone else? And make no mistake, I am still an active learner on the whole life thing.

But, I’m proof that if a middle-aged ginger with B+ marketing skills (at best) can be so honored, then I’m pretty sure you can too. Unless you’re over 40, then you’ll need to find another list!

So here’s my 40 ways you can too…(in no particular order)

  • Be passionate about what you are doing.
  • Don’t like what you are doing? Don’t do it.
  • Be engaged. With everyone. At all times. No exceptions.
  • Try something new. Central Iowa Bloggers seemed like a geek fest. It is. And I love it.
  • Find value in others. Everybody matters. You matter.
  • Volunteer. Thank you AMA Iowa!
  • Volunteer again. Thank you Prevent Blindness Iowa!
  • Ask a lot of questions. People like to talk about themselves. Listen to them.
  • Wherever you are, drink the Kool-Aid. And then shout about it!
  • Have an opinion. Just not on everything. Focus on what really matters.
  • Have fun on social media, but set limits on that fun.
  • Be self-deprecating. Saying “I collect BBQ” makes me instantly human and lets people know – that I know – I need to drop 30 pounds.
  • Take smart risks.
  • Dream big and create something. Even if it fails, you’ll learn.
  • Meet people that you met on Twitter offline. Do this regularly.
  • Take the sales call. Tell them now is a bad time. But schedule something in three weeks. Hold the appointment.
  • Don’t burn bridges – even if people have burned bridges with you.
  • Call your mom at least two times a week and tell her about your life.
  • Find a true peer. Not a mentor, but your business equal. Bounce career decisions (like this blog post) off of them. Word to you Claire Celsi!
  • Don’t settle for being average.
  • Don’t spend your time with Eeyores.
  • You are who you are. The sooner you embrace it, the sooner you’ll be embraced.
  • Surround yourself with talent greater than your own. Harness it for good.
  • Friends with photoshop skills are invaluable.
  • Your ideas are not in stone. Allow your ideas to be made better by others.
  • If you don’t know the answer, admit that you don’t know the answer. Then go find the answer and report back.
  • “Fake it till you make it” is a flawed strategy. Figure out how to make it.
  • Go out of your way for someone else. Do this more often than you can actually handle and expect nothing in return.
  • Everyone is busy, stop telling people you are as well.
  • Always say thank you.
  • Call service staff members by their first name.
  • Using smiley face emoticons in email let people know you aren’t pissed off.
  • Give praise when others do well.
  • Stand up for people you believe in and do not waver.
  • Become an expert at something.
  • Make friends with the media and return their calls. And give them story ideas that don’t benefit you directly.
  • Celebrate the success of others with vigor.
  • You can’t get what you don’t ask for. So you have to ask.
  • Close the _____. (Sale, Interview, Next Meeting). Move it forward.
  • Pick your battles carefully.
  • Karma is a very real thing and happens when you least expect it.

Ok, there are a few more than 40, but none that I wanted to leave out. A big thank you to all of you have been a part of my path, you know who you are. : )

-JF

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26 comments

  1. Machismo

    Good stuff buddy! Though gotta disagree on Karma. Can’t be a Jesus guy and believe in Karma. If it were real we’d all be hosed! 😉

  2. melissaburkheimer

    Yo Josh. I’m going to say congrats again, because you rock.

    ll funniness aside, you’re one of those dudes who helped this girl believe in herself. So thanks for that.

    Kudos to you, my friend. This honor is well-deserved.

    Melissa

    PS – I’d love to see all of those lessons in a rap video. You’re kinda good at that. 😛

  3. Tina Gray Carstensen

    Congrats on the Forty Under 40 recognition! What a great summary of how to get there! I hope to meet you tonight 🙂

  4. Carole McCarthy

    They are really, really great suggestions, I wish about another 175 million thought like you do, thanks for sharing….

  5. Joe Winn

    Thought for sure the “friends with photoshop skills” link was gonna show what Hanson did to your license to help make you eligible for this award. Ah snaps! Congrats!

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