Do what you love; pursue the things you're curious about and bring that passion into your work. And keep learning as you go. Think of this as the Swiss Army Knife approach. Don't view your job as just a title or a rung on the corporate ladder. Learn everything you can about not just your position, but also the roles of the colleagues with whom you interface daily.
Tap into what inspires you. For Jack Dorsey, founder of cultural game-changers Twitter and Square, a childhood obsession with city maps and transit -- coupled with a talent for art and math -- drove his curiosity for how cities worked, and inspired his path into programming.
Encourage employees to learn new skills and rethink responsibilities. If you want to learn a new skill, do it. For example, learning how to code can help you understand how developers and web designers think -- this is knowledge you can then incorporate into your web-based projects.
Network with other entrepreneurs, learn from others' mistakes and leverage help when offered. I find inspiration from talking to my colleagues and attending industry events like SxSW and Big Omaha. Participate in your community and learn through participation.
Don't put your good ideas on a shelf and wait for a better time to attack. Now is always the best time to run with your good ideas and breathe new life into your brand. Startups don't have time to wait for Q2 or Q3 -- they have to prove themselves at every bump in the road. Bring this urgency into your work and see how it energizes your brand.
In the startup world, mediocrity is uncovered quickly. When small teams are hacking away at seemingly insurmountable projects, it's imperative that everyone on the team brings their A-game. Less than stellar performance is obvious in that setting. You want experts in the room with you -- or, at the very least, people who are willing to go the extra mile on every project.
The entrepreneurs I know don't talk about vendors -- they talk about their partners. It's not just a question of wording; it's a mindset that speaks to a collaborative spirit.
Anyone you bring into your world as a marketer can potentially drive your business beyond the obvious avenues. See how else you can help them and they may help you in return. Think of your work collaboratively and see how others want to pitch in.
While nothing's certain in the startup world, being an agent of change and staying passionate about your work will always set you apart from the crowd. As you tackle new challenges in 2013, find inspiration in the startup community: Be lean, be quick to innovate, and develop relationships that are mutually beneficial and fulfilling.
Dave Knox is Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
Follow Dave at @DaveKnox and read more of his marketing insights on his industry-leading blog, HardKnoxLife.com.
"Competition of young business woman" image via Shutterstock.
Not a People Connection member?
Interesting - a brand guideline for startups that doesn't mention customers anywhere?
Full Summit Calendar | Request Invite
1 Marketing jargon translated for normal people
2 The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn
3 6 top social media management tools
4 The marketing jobs with the fastest turnover
5 The best social media campaigns of 2013