Nothing I was doing for Schedulefly was working. It was 2010, and everything I had tried since the fall of 2008 had not panned out. Rather than continue to convince myself patience would pay off, I needed to get uncomfortable and try something different.
For nearly two years I had tried doing what I knew: selling. My sales efforts took shape in several forms. Selling to chains. Selling to restaurant groups. Selling at a trade show. Selling door-to-door. Heck, I even tried selling magazines on writing stories about us. None of it worked. I felt so dejected. I couldn’t believe that what I had done for my entire career in business was showing zero results. And because I couldn’t believe it, I stubbornly kept trying it for longer than I should have. My intuition was that if I kept at it, it would eventually start working. But it never did. Before I stopped selling, I tried setting up partnerships, figuring sales people that had restaurant customers could sell for us. That didn’t work out either.
One day I sat quietly on my back porch, closed my eyes, and sighed. It was the moment I had to accept that nothing I was doing was working, and I needed to find another way to help our business. That’s a tough moment because it can be scary to start from scratch and force yourself to learn to do things you’ve never done, but it’s an important moment if you are going to find a way to move forward and figure out something that works. I don’t remember when I decided to start recording interviews with restaurants owners and post the recordings on our blog, which eventually led to our book, our video series and our podcast channel. I could make this story more dramatic and claim it was at that moment with my eyes closed. But it wasn’t then. It happened later. But it only happened because I experienced that moment.
That experience taught me that when you get outside of your comfort zone and finally let go of something that isn’t working in your business, you liberate yourself to grow and learn and find something better. Right now I’m sitting on that same porch, answering Schedulefly’s phone calls, writing this post, and working on ideas for our next video, and because of that our business is doing much better than it would be if I were out on a sales call.