We are in the middle of a major celebration here at Inprint. It began a couple of weeks ago and will continue into early 2012. The reason: we're turning 20 years old. Remember how good you felt at 20? Yeah, we feel the same way.

I'm told by experienced business folks, like bankers, insurers and others that it is a major accomplishment to survive and thrive for 20 years. That's 20 corporate tax returns, 80 quarterly filings, 240 rent payments, and more payroll periods than I care to remember. Those are some of the more mundane chores that come with being in business, and as any entrepreneur will attest — you do whatever you have to do to meet your obligations. They all pale in comparison to the thrill that comes with producing great creative work, like kicking off a cool new campaign or supplying a client with the perfect brand identity that is unique and innovative and sure to help the business be successful. Even after 20 years, the greatest satisfaction still comes from the simple things that revolve around the creative work:

• pride in a job well-done
• seeing our work produce results for clients and in our case having an impact on entire communities
• watching members of our team grow in knowledge, skill and confidence
• forming long-lasting partnerships (we have clients who have been with us for nearly our entire 20 years in business)
• when one member of the team takes a good idea and makes it even better, in other words genuine collaboration, which happens a lot in our office.

Never does a week go by without one or more of these things showing up on my radar. A brainstorming session will produce pure gold; new stats come in on an ongoing campaign; a long-time client or vendor will call to chat. Find joy in the core activities of the business and tolerate the obligations with as much good cheer as possible and 20 years will fly by in the blink of an eye. Trust me on that one.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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© Mikula-Harris