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5 Things You Would Tell People Before They Start Their Own Company



5 Things You Would Tell People Before They Start Their Own Company

This week I had the pleasure to meet the masterminds, Jonathan Lepow and Layne Schmerin, behind the eminent Top Tree. Top Tree is a prosperous marketing agency that prides itself on its adaptability and personalization of campaign strategies. Top Tree has worked with major clients such as Atlantic Records and Hemper Co. As we sat down I asked them what were five things they would tell upcoming influencers.

Their tips were:

1. Protect Yourself

This is one thing that, unfortunately, Jonathan and Layne learned through trial and error. “When you jump into something, you get excited. You want to give it your all. What we learned is that this energy is great, but sometimes you should take time to think about it. Not everyone is your friend.” 

This is correct, although it would be ideal to be able to trust everyone, that is simply not the case. Luckily, as you progress on your journey you learn this. You also learn how to read situations more easily making it less likely to accept damaging situations.

2. Perception Is important, It’s Not Just About Doing What Is Right

“Another thing we have learned is that it is not just about doing your job correctly. Perception is also key.” Layne and Jonathan quickly realized that the way people see their company was imperative to their success. “We like to provide a quality service. We always do what is best for our client, but that isn’t enough if nobody knows about what we do.”

In today’s society, social proof is even more important. Every business is only one search away. Without social credibility, it can be hard to convince potential clients that your company is legitimate and the correct choice for them.  

3. Karma Is Real

“I truly believe that Karma is real. When you put energy out there you will get it back one way or another.” Through this belief, if you do good things, good things will come back to you, alternatively, if you do bad things, the energy will still come back to you.“We try to provide everyone with a good service. Once you are part of the Top Tree Family it is forever.”

He told me how they try to do good in the world by participating in certain drives (such as toy or clothing drives) that their clients hold. “There are positive and negative particles in the world. If you put out enough positive it’ll come back to you and vice versa. It’s like – what goes up must come down.”

4. In The beginning Plant Every Seed You Can – But Over Time You May Need To Monitor Your Time

“As Jonathan said, when you start something you’re excited. You want to give it your all. You have to, but as time goes on, you become more and more busy and you need to learn to prioritize.” As the company grows, outsourcing becomes a necessity.

However, if the time is not put in in every category, the company will not grow. You always have to be making connections, always learning, but as your plate gets more and more full overtime, prioritizing is key. Why spend 10 hours on a task that someone else can do when there are five other tasks that only you can do?

5. You May Be On Top One Day And Not The Next

“If you aren’t humble people remember and may not help you get back up. You definitely have to treat others the way you want to be treated.” Both brothers agreed. In business, nothing is guaranteed. A company can fall just as fast as it rose, if not faster. However, if good connections are made on the way up, it may be easier to climb back up. I definitely agree with this tip.

I firmly believe in the quote “The humble man makes room for progress, the proud man believes he is already there.” As Layne and Jonathan agreed, it’s a race to the top, but nobody is at the front for too long. Not only can the connections made on the way up help you, but the mindset itself can.

You must always know that there are bigger things. You can always be better. That is not to say you cannot be proud of your accomplishments, but rather with every accomplishment a new goal should be set.


Sean Kelly is the founder of, one of the largest sports jersey companies in the United States. He is also a motivational speaker empowering the youth to pursue entrepreneurship in America.

Fortune favours the brave
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