25 things we’ve learned in 25 years of business

Last month, we explored all GSA has accomplished with YOUR help over the past 25 years. In honor of our 25th anniversary in 2022, we are sharing our biggest takeaways and pieces of wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years to support you in your business. 

  1. Think outside the box. Keeping an open, entrepreneurial mind allows for new ideas, approaches and innovation. 
  2. Life is all about learning.  
  3. Trust your instincts. 
  4. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  5. Gather the facts. Utilizing available research and data is the best way to ensure processes and end results are as comprehensive and thorough as possible. 
  6. Ask the tough questions. Don’t be afraid of the answers you might discover. Having all available information, even if it’s difficult to accept, leads to robust solutions. 
  7. “What gets measured gets done. Are we getting it done today?” — John Bryan. Without metrics or measurements, it’s impossible to understand impact or progress. 
  8. Take calculated risks. Risks are the essence of both success and failure – failure leads to improved outcomes. 
  9. Get on board with innovations when they appear or when they become accessible to you. Being on the cutting edge of your industry can give your business a leg up. 
  10. Change is hard – but transformation is necessary. 
  11. Never say never. Sometimes breaking a promise to yourself can lead to a pleasant surprise. 
  12. Collaboration is key. Getting involved is a great way to build relationships and make connections (serving on boards, attending events etc.). It’s never too late to make new and wonderful friends. 
  13. Don’t underestimate your ability to affect change.  
  14. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. 
  15. Be open to feedback. Seeking validation and criticism, as we have done through benchmarking, public comment periods, and putting on events, has created open dialogues which have paved the way for stronger standards. 
  16. Respond to criticism, and do it respectfully. In some cases, ignoring negativity leaves room for speculation. Address issues head-on. 
  17. Support your community. Lift up others who are doing admirable things – there is room for everyone. 
  18. Hire people that you trust and trust them to do their job.  
  19. Use different platforms to tell your story. Utilizing multiple platforms amplifies your message. We do this through the Aquademia Podcast, the Responsible Seafood Advocate, our social media channels, and our blog. 
  20. Representation is more important than ever. All of us within the advocacy space have a duty to give underrepresented groups a voice. 
  21. “If you don’t give/lead with trust, kindness and respect how can you expect to receive it? Asking another’s thoughts rather than giving them is a sign of respect. Reputation for character and integrity is earned over time, not given by virtue of your position in life. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Wally Stevens 
  22. “Positive thoughts frequently impact performance; negative thoughts always do.” — Wally Stevens 
  23. “Is what is as good as we can be?” — Wally Stevens. Consistently reflecting on the current state of your business allows for optimizing potential weaknesses. 
  24. Be patient – the best is yet to come. 
  25. Eat more seafood!