“For small businesses, we become a jack of all trades. We’ll do any job you ask us to do, because we’re trying to keep the lights on. So the best advice I got from a dear friend was to focus. Focus on what you do best, and eliminate all the noise and all the distractions. You have to actually listen to your business. Let your business tell you who it is, and invest in that. You’ve got to know what you are good at.”
“My grandmother always says something like, ‘Work hard, and remember I love you.’”
“A pastor told me, ‘God gave you your personality before he called you to this work.’ And that was so freeing. I can just be who I’ve always been. I can do something different, but I don’t have to be somebody different.”
“I think it goes back to not being afraid of taking risks and trying different things and making mistakes, and to embrace that process. Sometimes we’re so busy waiting for the next big thing that we miss the opportunity right in front of us, and that includes some of the mistakes.”
DON’T TRY TO SAVE THE WORLD.
“[Real estate developer and mentor] Jeff Randolph told me that. I graduated with a lot of passion and interests, and just finding one little place where you can meet a need was some of the best advice.”
GO HOME TO YOUR FAMILY.
“Your work is not going to love you at the end of the day. Also, leaders come and go in the community. Someone once told me, ‘You’re a great leader, Craig, but you’re a father first.’”
MAKE IT HAPPEN.
“The best advice is, ‘Yes, let’s figure out a way to make that happen.’ That’s what so exciting about the young people. Old people don’t lead revolutions.”
FIND YOUR PASSION.
“When people ask me what they need to do to be an entrepreneur, I say ‘Go find something you’re passionate about, something that is going to allow you to build a passionate team, and has a market you can capture.’ With passion, the right team, the right product and the right market, the sky’s the limit.”
TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME.
“A lot of people – clients, colleagues, people in my family – come to me when they’re overwhelmed. The best thing we can do is what we have to do right now, today. If you take things that seem insurmountable and break them into pieces, you can surmount them.”
USE YOUR UNIQUE GIFTS.
“Be aware of who you are and what your gifts are, and use them. Don’t try to be what you think fits the mold. I think the people who end up changing the world are listening to a different drummer.”
GRAB SOME COFFEE.
“I’m still very connected with Furman students and others who intern with us, and what I tell them is that Greenville is a really great, close-knit community. Just go and grab coffee with people and learn from them. So many people are so giving of their time; all it takes is a phone call or an email and most people are willing to share some wisdom or a tidbit. So just be open to meeting people.”
GET A MENTOR.
“I always tell people to seek mentors. I am a beneficiary of the work and sacrifice of mentors who have really helped me to navigate my career, navigate even some areas of my personal life. I tell people to seek to be a mentee to someone, but also seek to be a mentor. It’s one of the most unselfish things that I believe a person can do that can greatly benefit someone else.”
DON’T GIVE ADVICE.
“You don’t tell people what to do. I tell them how I would do something, but it’s up to them to decide how to do it. If you keep telling your kids what to do, when they fail, they’ll blame you. But if you talk to them and let them make the decision, they will own that.”