In the hilarious movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character wakes up every day and it’s Groundhog Day. No matter how he spends his day or what he does, he wakes up the next morning … and it’s Groundhog Day. Even walking front of a moving train doesn’t matter – he dies, but wakes up again the next morning. Groundhog Day. He spends the movie obsessing over how to break the spell.
Last week I told Wes that ten years into this business, it still feels like Groundhog Day for me. The same is true for him and for Hank, Charles and Tyler. But we cherish that feeling! Every day we add a few new customers, we set up 6-12 new trials, we get about 10 phone calls from customers and about 30 support emails, we turn off accounts of customers who are closing their doors (or sometimes have different needs than our software fills), we make sure our servers and hardware and software are running smooth and fast, we send thank you cards and Schedulefly trucker hats to a few customers, and we work on telling the stories of some of the many, many absolutely amazing, badass independent restaurant people we are so fortunate to serve.
Many founders and early participants in startup businesses that become successful eventually begin to reminisce about the “good ole days.” The business has grown and it’s “successful,” but things get complicated. More people, more rules, more systems. More of everything. For a business that’s ten years old, that’s very, very common. You like your revenue and profits but you you are stressed about how complicated your business is, and you long for the days when everything was simple. Clean. Easy. It’s very hard to maintain that, and once you’ve let it go it’s too late to get it back. You might wish for it, but you won’t be able to have it again.
One of the things we are proudest about is it’s still “the good ole days” around here, and it’s because we fought to make sure we never let those good ole days pass us by. We have the same small team of five people, we have no administrative assistants, no HR people, no marketing team, no sales team, no partnerships, etc. We do everything ourselves, nothing is outsourced. Everything is clean, everything is simple. Each of our days are very much like the day before.
And while in the movie it made sense for Bill Murray’s character to wake up each morning with a goal to do anything he could to figure out how to get past Groundhog Day, we wake up and hope nothing has changed.