Who me? I’m not 30…that was a long time ago! What about you…what’s 30 to you?

If you’re in your 20’s it might live like “There’s all this stuff I wanna get done before I’m that old!” And if you’re in your 40’s or 50’s, maybe you look back on 30 like you were just a babe in the woods back then, and wonder “How did the years fly by that fast!”


Old and young. Depending on your perspective, 30 is one of those ‘both/and’ phenomena. My company, KHJ Brand Activation is taking a time out this week to celebrate 30 years in business. Funny, because over the years, clients would come to us wanting to make a big deal out of an anniversary as a marketing tactic, and we would diplomatically remind them that no one but them really cares.

“We would diplomatically remind them that no one but them really cares.”

As the ‘H’ of KHJ’s founding trio in 1986, it’s hard to believe that 30 years, four moves, three recessions, two acquisitions and one whole bunch of people and experiences have flowed through this organization. It’s been an amazing trip, with life lessons every step of the way. I’m surprised how often people acknowledge that we’ve “survived” 30 years.

So what now? What’s next?

What’s next, to borrow from the wonderful Maya Angelou, is to change the game from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving.’ So how do we do that? We are doing it by upping our game. Oh, we’re still in the game of brand, and expect we always be. But for us, brand isn’t about what you’re doing. It’s about who you’re being. If you visit our offices, you’ll see a question painted big on our wall. It’s an all-important life question that we ask ourselves, each other, and every client we work with: “Who are you being in the world…and how great are you willing to have it?”

To thrive is to find your soul and live it with all you’ve got. When we changed our name from KelleyHabib John to KHJ five years ago, it was symbolic of a move from an identity to a way of being that would carry us into a future we could feel good about. So now when I’m asked what it stands for, I say KHJ stands for Kindness (a commitment), Happiness (a choice) and Joy (the outcome).

It is with profound gratitude to the clients, colleagues and friends – past, present and future – that we celebrate KHJ, thrilled and thriving at 30.