I’m working with the following principles in mind, always trying to follow them as much as possible, because I believe in them.
Most of the things mentioned here are about loving what you do, because if you do something you don’t love, then it will never satisfy you.
Even if a fast Implementation is cheaper, that’s only true for a very short time. It’s always more expensive then a clean working solution. You always need to adjust or extend your solution at some time, which will be cheaper if your existing solution was well designed.
If you are doing something, do it the right way, there is no other way that will satisfy. Why would you do something the half way or just try something?
If you don’t already know the right way, invest some time to find the right way. Build prototypes and investigate. Otherwise you will produce a half way working solution with shortcomings.
Participate in any way. Share your knowledge, improve existing code or documentation. If you are using an open source product, help improving it by filling out bug reports or feature requests. Create pull requests and improve documentation. Also go to events like code sprints or user groups and meetups. Share your knowledge and get new insights.
Knowledge is power, you will be able to solve more tasks in shorter time, support others in solving issues and just be better. Invest by the above ideas like meetups and such, also follow blogs and read books. Read about new concept and ideas and understand the technologies you use.