We just finished a complete gut-job remodel of our corporate office this week.  Along with the new layout and new furniture, we needed artwork that fit the space. Finding good, meaningful, soulful corporate wall art is hard. It’s either incredibly boring or too fluffy and pretty. I also wanted something that stood for something and helped the team understand our workplace principles.

So, after research and reflection, serendipity raised her wonderful head and led me to Dakota Meyers’ company, Flipside Canvas. Jackpot. Scrolling through the website of artwork I immediately decided there were worse ways to spend money than with Dakota’s company. Check out his backstory. 

So we ordered three pieces of canvas, eagerly unwrapped them, and installed them prominently in our office.

This 1st canvas in our corporate lobby gracefully reminds everyone who enters for what and to whom to be grateful.

This 2nd canvas hangs in the team work area.

No One Owes You Shit wall art

At first, eyebrows went up. Then, the team understood.

  • No one owes us loyalty. Not our landlord clients, not tenants, not REALTORS, not even our vendors. We have to earn it every day.
  • No one owes you a paycheck. You have to earn it every day.
  • No one owes you training. Only you know how deep your skills truly are or aren’t.
  • No one owes you a promise of a job tomorrow. You have to excel in your job today to earn the right to be invited back tomorrow.
  • No one owes you “fair play”; people cheat, lie, and steal in life. Learn how to deal with them proactively.
  • No one owes you politeness; the world is full of impolite people. Learn how to deal with them successfully.
  • No one owes you professional competency on their side of a transaction. Learn how to anticipate their weaknesses to protect our clients’ interests.

It’s not a negative outlook on life. Nor is it whining of an old-curmudgeon about the youth of today or the incessant societal shift towards “entitlement.”  Rather, it’s a declaration of self-reliance.  A declaration of humbleness.

As originally stated: “No one owes you shit.”

Is it harsh for this “vulgarity” to be displayed in the workplace?  I don’t think so. Not one bit. What is harsh is pretending our real world challenges don’t exist and everyone should get a “participation ribbon”.  Dakota earned his ribbon. It hangs on a powder blue ribbon with white stars.

As we go about our jobs each day, managing our client’s rental properties, we remember these principles.



P.S.  If you’ve read this far, you might be asking yourself “Wait a tick, Dan said they bought 3 canvases.  What was the 3rd canvas?”  Here it is, but that’s for a different blog post altogether…