Thirteen of my favorite professional philosophies, in no particular order (your results may vary, void where prohibited):
1.) Know your value and stick to it. If you don’t know what your value is, think about what you want it to be, then double it. Then add another 50% or so. Don’t let anybody else set your value. This not only ruins it for you, but also contributes to lowering industry standards.
2.) Do your own thing, and be your own man (/woman). Make something your signature thing. Be known for it. Be good at it. Kick ass at it. Make them need you. Make them want you. Own that thing.
3.) If you’ve got an idea and it hasn’t been done before, it’s either a great idea and nobody’s thought of it, or it’s a horrible idea and will burn you. Figure out which.
4.) Do what you love and love what you do. Everything else — including the money — will follow. (Sure, it’s cliché, but it’s also very true.)
5.) Work like you don’t need the money. (See #6.)
6.) Don’t act like you’re desperate, especially when you are. (See #5.)
7.) Make your handshake your promise. Contracts are a pain in the posterior, and can be a double-edged sword. If somebody doesn’t honor a promise you made with them, always remind them what an a—hole they are. (You know who you are, a—holes.) Then punch them in the suck-hole. (Also, see #11.)
8.) Be a little mysterious. Be consistent, but not predictable. Normal is boring.
9.) You live on in your work. Achieve immortality by leaving behind a legacy, whatever that is. If you follow your passion, you will be remembered exactly how you want to be remembered.
10.) Balance philanthropic endeavors with professional ones. You gotta give somethin’ to get somethin’. Make your world a better place. Most people bitch about everything but don’t do a damned thing to help. Don’t be those people. They suck.
11.) Don’t take any crap from anybody. (Also, see #7.)
12.) You can do anything you set your mind to. Your biggest competition is probably your own self-imposed limitations. Set yourself free.
13.) Follow your passion. (Again, I realize this is cliché. But you’ve gotta keep reminding yourself of this on a regular basis, and don’t get led astray by money.) Your passion is your compass. Or your GPS if you’re too young to know what a compass is. If it scares the hell out of you, you’re probably on the right path.