10 years map with compass and pins

November 10, 2023

Paul Sterett

10 Years of Insights from White Hart Insight

It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years since White Hart Insight went from a vision in my head to a real branding and marketing firm.  The past 10 years have taught me a whole lot.   

The three top things I’ve learned are:

  • 1️. My wife is amazing!
  • 2️. You can’t do it alone. And you don’t need to.
  • 3️. When things are hard, keep your feet moving. Do the next best thing.

My wife is an absolute rockstar!  I knew my wife was amazing; that’s why I tricked her into marrying me. Starting my own firm showed me just how amazing she really is.  There is not enough space on the page to explain how much her love and support allows me to do what I do.   And it is not easy.  

Making the decision to start your own business changes things instantly.   There are no safety nets except the ones you build yourself.  At my previous job there were layers and layers of safety nets.   It was a massive corporate beast.  No safety nets can make things stressful from time to time.   As I have heard before, signing the front of the check is a lot different than just signing the back of the check. 

One safety net you can create for yourself is through mentorship.  Over the years, I have been blessed enough to have a few great mentors.  They have helped me navigate some stressful situations and some big wins.   It is easy to let our egos get the best of us.  We should be able to build our businesses with our God-given talent.  Mentors help unlock a higher level of talent if we let them. 

Hiring a good coach is another powerful safety net.   The times I have worked with coaching on things like positioning, lead generation, point of view writing, and ongoing branding and marketing education, it has been a tremendous help.  One of my favorite authors often says, “You can’t read the label from inside the bottle.”  Great coaches are well worth it. 

Having the support of my wife, mentors, and coaches has been critical when things get complicated.   No matter who you are, there will be hard times.   Hard decisions to make, deals that fell apart, and on and on. Having a solid support system helps keep you steady. 

In these moments, I often think of a great running back in football.   When they hit the pile at the line of scrimmage, for a moment, it looks like they are stuck.   Watch their feet.   They never stop moving.   They keep pushing and pick up another yard.   They earn a fresh set of downs and eventually find the end zone.  

No one in business is immune to challenging times that test one’s resolve.  I know I have not been.   Focusing on the next best thing has kept me moving.  In the midst of things going wrong, it is easy to become paralyzed, wondering what is going on.  Find the next best thing to do and complete that task.  This has never failed me.  I say a prayer for clarity and then get to work on the next best thing.  

Another thing I’ve learned, a bonus for you, is the importance of a great team.   Ten years owning a strategic branding and marketing firm has crossed my path with some great people.   Some have been employees, some have been contractors.  I have learned something from every person I have worked with along the way.  My team is simply remarkable.  They are the hardest workers.  They encourage me, hold me accountable, and make me better in every way.   I am grateful to have them. 

The next 10 years will be as exciting as the first have been.  I will continue to work hard to honor the love and support my wife and family gives me each and every day.   I will never stop learning from others.   Mentorship and coaching will always be part of my life.  I will always keep my feet moving through the hard times and challenges the next 10 years will bring.   

Here’s to the next 10 years!

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