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#67 – 13 Lessons After 13 Years in Business with Craig and Laura Davidson


In this special edition of the Tag Lab podcast, Laura and Craig celebrate Tag Digital’s 13th anniversary by sharing 13 essential lessons learned over their decade in business.

The discussion is filled with insights, reflections, and practical advice based on their experiences, mistakes, and successes.

From the importance of optimism and perseverance to the value of smart hiring and strong company culture, this episode provides a comprehensive look at what it takes to thrive in the business world.

Laura and Craig also touch on the significance of communication, ownership, and the power of giving, highlighting key aspects that have contributed to their company’s longevity and success.

Key Topics:

  • Optimism
  • Perseverance
  • Diversity of Thought
  • Hiring Smart People
  • Ownership and Accountability
  • Tough Times and Resilience
  • Hard Work and Motivation
  • Clear Communication
  • Supporting Others
  • Failing Fast
  • Vision and Ambition
  • Company Culture
  • Taking Action


Laura emphasises the necessity of maintaining an optimistic outlook when running a business. She believes in the importance of “packing your own sunshine” and contributing more than complaining.

Optimism is crucial, especially when things look bleak, as it fosters a positive environment and encourages persistence. This attitude not only helps in overcoming challenges but also inspires others around you.

“Nobody is interested in complaining,” Laura asserts, underscoring the need to stay positive and proactive in the face of adversity.


Craig’s lesson highlights the importance of perseverance, especially in the early stages of business.

He notes that many businesses fail within their first year, but the key to success is often simply continuing when others give up.

Craig discusses the reality of being constantly available and the sacrifices that come with it, such as working during holidays. Perseverance, he argues, can sometimes be the deciding factor in outlasting competitors and winning clients.

“You just have to keep going when other people won’t,” he advises, emphasising the grit and determination required to succeed.

Diversity of Thought

Laura discusses the magic of diversity of thought within a team. She highlights the benefits of having different perspectives and experiences, which can reveal blind spots and lead to innovative ideas.

Encouraging team members to speak up and share their thoughts is crucial. Laura mentions the need to sometimes give people permission to provide feedback, as it doesn’t always come naturally.

She is continually amazed by the brilliant ideas her diverse team brings to the table, demonstrating the value of inclusivity in business.

“Having that kind of really mixed team is a magical thing in action,” she says.

Hiring Smart People

Craig builds on the previous topic by emphasizing the importance of hiring smart people and trusting them.

He reflects on the early days when he and Laura had to handle all aspects of the business themselves. As the company grew, they learned the necessity of stepping back and allowing their talented team to take charge.

Trusting employees to do their jobs effectively is crucial for business growth. Craig notes the difficulty in relinquishing control but stresses its importance.

“Hire smart people, trust them to do the job that you’ve hired them to do,” he advises.

Ownership and Accountability

Laura’s next lesson is about embracing total ownership and accountability. She stresses the importance of owning decisions, whether they lead to success or failure.

Being accountable sets a standard for others and fosters a culture of responsibility. Laura believes that good decision-making and the ability to move on quickly from mistakes are vital.

“You live and die by your own decisions,” she states, highlighting the importance of decisiveness and accountability in leadership.

Tough Times and Resilience

Craig reflects on the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they lost around 96 – 97% portion of their business when the events industry shut down.

He emphasises that tough times are inevitable, but resilience and belief in eventual recovery are crucial. This experience taught them that “tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

Craig advises taking things day by day and maintaining faith that difficulties will pass, whether they stem from economic uncertainties, wars, or pandemics.

This resilience is a testament to the strength needed to navigate and survive in the business world.

Hard Work and Motivation

Laura underscores the importance of hard work and self-motivation. In the absence of external pressures, business owners must drive themselves to achieve their goals.

She talks about the intrinsic motivation required to build and support a team, deliver projects, and grow the business. The satisfaction from accomplishing difficult tasks is unparalleled, and Laura believes that hard work is essential for success.

“The most important thing is actually getting the thing done,” she asserts, emphasising the value of diligence and perseverance.

Clear Communication

Craig highlights the critical role of clear communication in avoiding misunderstandings and setting realistic expectations.

He notes that many client issues stem from poor communication at the project’s start. Clear and direct communication helps align expectations and prevents labelling clients as difficult.

This principle applies to interactions with clients, team members, suppliers, and advisors. Craig prefers simplicity and directness in communication to minimise ambiguity.

“In everything you do in the business, focus on being a good communicator,” he advises.

Supporting Others

Laura discusses the happiness derived from helping others and its impact on building strong relationships.

She believes in giving more than asking, whether it’s providing opportunities and support to the team or delivering exceptional service to clients. This approach fosters loyalty and mutual respect.

Laura emphasises the importance of creating a supportive environment where everyone can thrive. “Give as much as you can, and you will get that back in a million different unexpected ways,” she says.

Failing Fast

Craig advocates for the “fail fast, fail often” approach, which involves quickly testing new ideas and moving on if they don’t work.

This strategy allows for rapid iteration and learning. He describes their process of soft launching products or services to gauge market interest before fully committing.

This method helps in making informed decisions and minimising wasted resources.

“Don’t waste time, keep marching forward,” Craig advises, highlighting the importance of agility and adaptability in business.

Vision and Ambition

Laura emphasises that having a clear vision is half the battle in achieving success. She believes that once a vision is defined, it requires hard work and a dedicated team to bring it to fruition.

Laura encourages aiming high and pursuing ambitious goals, as anything is possible with determination and effort.

“Anything is possible, and I absolutely believe that,” she asserts, inspiring others to dream big and work towards their aspirations.

Company Culture

Craig discusses the intentional development of company culture, which he initially thought was a natural byproduct of the people in the office.

Over time, he realised that a strong, intentional culture is crucial, especially during the scaling phase. A well-defined culture can support a company through stressful and challenging times. Craig emphasises the importance of hiring people who align with the desired culture and actively working on cultural development.

“A strong company culture is something you can fall back on,” he says, highlighting its role in long-term success.

Taking Action

Laura concludes with the lesson that hesitation can kill opportunities. She urges taking action rather than waiting for the perfect time, which rarely exists.

Procrastination often leads to missed opportunities, so it’s better to act decisively. Laura believes in the power of moving fast and taking risks, as action drives progress.

“Now feels like a pretty good time to do something,” she advises, encouraging proactive behaviour and seizing opportunities.


In wrapping up their discussion, Laura and Craig acknowledge that while financial aspects like profit and cash flow are essential, they are not the sole reason for a business’s existence.

They stress the importance of having enough cash flow to sustain operations but focus more on the broader lessons that contribute to long-term success and fulfillment in business.

Their insights provide a valuable roadmap for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to navigate the complexities of running a successful enterprise.

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