The following was written by Stephen Fauer, CEO, ESA Environmental Consultants, and is posted on their website at, included here with Stephen’s permission. This marked ESA’s 30 years in business and shared some of the life lessons Stephen has accumulated over the years. We think you’ll enjoy his sometimes brash, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, always honest perspective on what he believes it takes to be successful – and happy – in business and in life.

  1. Clients don’t like surprises. Communicate.
  2. Always advocate for the best interests of your client.
  3. Everyone is entitled to make a profit.
  4. Honesty is unequivocal and paramount.
  5. Listen.
  6. Give back. Donating money is nice, but donating your time is worth more.
  7. No one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy.
  8. Ask open-ended questions.
  9. Never ask, “How are you?” You’ll never get a straight answer. Nor do you want it.
  10. Boldly and confidently ask to be paid what you’re owed.
  11. Provide great service. Be responsive. Deliver results.
  12. People want to work with successful people.
  13. Questions deserve answers. Say nothing until the client answers.
  14. Individuals who shop price exclusively will rarely be persuaded by other factors. Don’t waste your breath.
  15. Use caution in dealing with solicitors. Know where your money goes.
  16. Expect nothing in return for your kindness.
  17. Say what you do. Do what you say.
  18. The grass is always browner.
  19. If you do what you love, you will love what you do.
  20. Being polite costs nothing and reaps incalculable benefits.
  21. People often compliment me on my success, but no one ever explains how they define it.
  22. People hire people they like.
  23. Be humble.
  24. Be grateful, even when you lose.
  25. Thank people when they hire you. Be sure the quality of your work justifies their choice.
  26. Help people who are just starting out.
  27. Treat your employees with dignity and respect. Be the kind of boss you would want to work for.
  28. Be slow to hire and quick to fire.
  29. No matter how highly you regard yourself, you didn’t become successful on your own. Be sure to acknowledge those who helped you along the way.
  30. Owning a business is not about achieving a goal, it’s about the journey toward that goal. Have fun.

If you need environmental strategies or consulting email or call Stephen at [email protected] or 732.469.8888.

Also, do not hesitate to contact me with any tax, business or financial questions at [email protected] or by filling out the form below.

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