This morning I am sitting in the kitchen typing this post while my two boys are running around the house like crazy people listening to the song Happy by Pharrell Williams – at volume 10. I started thinking about how happy we actually are and how happy I am about Schedulefly and what it has become. Honestly it’s becoming exactly what I thought it could become and that’s a company that’s like no other company I’ve ever heard of.
I started thinking back to all the things we were told we should do. It’s almost as if all companies getting started are similar in many ways because they’ve been told or read how to get started. And over time (some of them) are able to break out of the mold and become something very different….but many don’t. They go down the path someone lays out for them – versus doing what they set out to do. For example – if you start your own business (maybe because your tired of following someone else’s dream) and ask for advice or are given advice by smart people who have had success before you – they will no doubt suggest things that they’ve seen work. Makes sense. And they can work…but they set you on a path to be more like others and less like the one you set out to build. More like that person’s dream and not yours.
Most of these things we were advised to do – we did. Maybe once or twice – only to eventually shed them from our outfit like Superman taking off his stuffy Clark Kent tie and dress shirt and then flying off into the atmosphere in a skin tight red and blue suit to go save the world.
The things were classic proven, successful things like:
* Being encouraged to go to the giant National Restaurant Association annual trade show – which we did once 9 years ago. Here you can read why we only did that once and never will again.
* Being encouraged to partner with a large organization with troops on the ground that are already inside restaurants and can push our product – along with all the other products they sell to restaurants. We did this with a large billion dollar food service business. Food. Really? People selling food and now leaving a flyer about our software too. I don’t do drugs, but sometimes I wonder if someone slipped me some back then. We quickly realized what a bad idea that was and that it wasn’t what we wanted to do and we unwound it. Here you can read why we won’t ever partner with anyone again.
* Being encouraged to send mass emails to expensive curated lists that we purchased. This – were were told – has really lousy results – unless you continue to bang these people over the head over and over and over. Seriously! How could something I personally hate work for our business? Here you can read why it was wrong for us and just not worth the negative affect it could have on our brand long term.
* Being encouraged to set up an advisory board of sorts – something like a board of directors I guess? Geez. Really? I hated this idea and thank goodness that was something that we never even tried once.
* Being asked by an investor what we would do with a million dollars he wanted to give us. We said we would split it 3 ways (just 3 of us back then) and keep doing what made us happy.
* Being encouraged to setup social media accounts. Actually I think that was more of something we just thought we should do to help spread awareness and as it turns out – we did not have to.
The list goes on and I guess my point for this post is that nearly everything we were encouraged to do – we didn’t really like and only made us feel like we were doing them because we were supposed to. I really believe that the reason we have such a fun, special business that’s different than any I’ve ever heard of is because we did not continue to do those things.
What’s ironic about all this (and my last comment about all this) is that most people who now ask me/us things like “How in the world do you have so much time?” and “How do you not have an office and still get work done?” and “Is Schedulefly the only thing you do?” are often the same people who would recommend all of the above.
p.s If you liked this, you might like this really awesome article on keeping your business small in order to really enjoy your life.