25 Lessons From 25 Years

By Michelle Pujadas, Founder and co-CEO

I started Zer0 to 5ive because I was working at a global PR agency, which I really liked, but we weren’t set up to work with small start-ups and that was where I wanted to be. In addition, I was seeing a number of entrepreneurs making preventable mistakes that ranged from branding and messaging to category definition and initial market launch. I knew there was a better way and that I could provide value across the marketing spectrum. That was the genesis of Zer0 to 5ive and the Zer0 to 5ive Roadmap™.

Over the years, we’ve had Fortune 500 clients that represented great brands and many start-ups that we helped become industry leaders. When I look back at how many clients Zer0 to 5ive has had the opportunity to work with, and how many we’ve helped get to the next level of success, I am so gratified. One of my favorite things is the “team win” for a client. That team win represents thoughtful strategies, constant creativity, team growth and success, and a whole host of little things that make teams work. To me, that’s the whole point and the most fun!

I appreciate those entrepreneurs and CEOs who have shared their lessons before me. I read your posts constantly! Here are my top 25:

  1. Start with the end in mind
  2. Think big and have a campaign mindset
  3. Be patient
  4. Put it in writing
  5. People have good days and bad days
  6. Everyone makes mistakes, including you
  7. As a founder, you are your company’s best salesperson
  8. Attitude matters; passion can be contagious
  9. Culture is created when everyone is together
  10. Choose positivity
  11. Be constantly learning and encourage others to do so
  12. Admit failures and learn from them
  13. The smartest clients tend to be the best clients
  14. Agencies can have a huge impact on a company’s success
  15. PR is largely misunderstood
  16. Only work with brands and companies that you believe in and care about
  17. Always go for the big win; never settle
  18. A little competition is a good thing
  19. Transactional clients will never fully value you
  20. Show you care
  21. Surprise and delight clients whenever possible
  22. Remembering someone’s work anniversary goes a long way
  23. Hire your children, but only after they’ve worked elsewhere
  24. Humor goes a long way
  25. Have fun whenever possible

Thanks to all who have contributed to these lessons learned over the years. I’m excited about what’s next, and grateful for everyone who has been along for the ride!