To Get Ahead in Print, Choose Wisely and Surround Yourself with Excellence

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn is quoted as saying we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

Whether you are advancing your printing career or running your own business, you MUST aim high to get ahead. Start by surrounding yourself with excellent people. Choose knowledgeable and good hearted people with integrity.


The world is noisy, and there’s so much information out there about business. Many people making that noise either (1) don’t have the experience you seek but are babbling about it anyway, or (2) have the credentials to speak authoritatively, yet are letting special interests dictate their topic and angle.

For that reason, I regularly clean out my email inbox and sweep books off my business bookshelf. For someone to make the cut as a “keeper,” that person’s email newsletter, podcast, book or magazine must be geared to improving ME and not pushing someone else’s agenda. Otherwise, delete!

We have all listened to podcasts where the host is spewing hyperbole to get traffic to a website or gain an affiliate link for payment. At first you may think, “I can look past the special interests and just extract the beef of the message.” No, sleazy profit at your expense is not beef it is B.S.

“When in doubt, follow the money. If you, the reader or listener, is not the beef in the equation, then go elsewhere.”

Now that we’ve determined that you should be listening to people who want the best for you, let’s talk about the caliber of information you ingest.


Some business authors spew out books and content as fast as they can because their online audience  is eager to buy everything that’s pushed to them. Sure, the first book may have been great, but the second, third, eighth, tenth are as light as air-popped popcorn.

Instead, make space for a FEW well-chosen experts. To get the most out of their expertise, you need to understand their body of work.

A true expert for YOU is someone who is suited to your style, ethics, personality, and level of professionalism. When you choose wisely, the experts you choose will have a philosophy or approach you can gain insight from.

“One such example of a thought leader is Frank Romano.”

People in the printing industry know Frank Romano from his teaching, lecturing, presentations, books, magazine columns, industry research and treatises, and his lifelong commitment to improving the industry.

He is Professor Emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology and has an endless list of printing industry credentials.

Frank Romano_Museum of Printing_Print Media Centr

Frank Romano is an A+ person.

Deborah Corn of Print Media Centr spent a few days with Frank at the HOW Design Live conference. The two of them jaunted around Haverhill, Massachusetts, and visited The Museum of Printing, where Frank is the president.

As you’ll  hear, when Deborah interviews Frank for the podcast, her respect for this industry leader is so apparent. I recommend listening to this podcast because Frank — being A+ Frank — leaves you a better person for having spent time with him.

Which brings me to my third point.


We must learn new things to get ahead and stay ahead, so why not enjoy the experience? If you’re taking precious time in your day, let’s get excited to try something new!

My friend and fellow PMC contributor Kelly Mallozzi says it well in this post about Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. On Kelly’s recommendation, I checked the book out of the library. That inspiring experience put me on the path of researching employee satisfaction and the internal culture of printing companies. That in turn led me to write about the topic of workplace excellence for a printing association magazine. Inspiring!

I hope the three points I listed above will lead you to take a closer look at whose expertise you follow. As you think about your career, I hope you’ll agree with me on this:

To get ahead in our careers or business, choose the best experts to read and listen to. Seek A+ people who are inspiring and and genuinely want the best for us.”

Aim high, my friends, surround yourself with excellence, and strive to be the best you can be! 

P.S. Feel free to leave a comment about the people who inspire you. If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn, I would love that. Please read my other Print Media Centr posts, especially those on how to get ahead in your career in the printing industry. Thank you!

Sandy Hubbard is a growth strategist and marketing advisor for printing companies. She works with you to build business growth programs that can be sustained over the long haul, with affordable tools and your own people…without stress!

Read more from Sandy here.