2014 was a killer year for Stryde. We grew significantly, brought on some big name clients, were featured in Utah Valley Business Q Magazine, and won some local awards.
Here are two of the awards that we won in December.
Hot 100 Award
UVEF’s Hot 100 Award, sponsored by EPIC Ventures, recognizes the 100 most buzzed about companies in Utah under 5 years old. This list was composed by 2/3 of public voting and 1/3 from internal UVEF voting. There is no correlation between the position of the names on the list and the results from the voting.
We ended up quite high on the list.
Peak 100 Award
The Peak 100 award, sponsored by Peak Ventures, was created by UVEF to identify and recognize entrepreneurs with Utah ties that are most likely to favorably impact the community. Members of the Peak 100 become part of an ongoing community that fosters collaboration in building and growing companies.
Somehow I managed to make the list and ended up with a fair number of votes. Good entrepreneurs are usually backed by a killer team, as is the case with me and Stryde. Couldn’t have done this without them!
I’m listening to a new book, well, not a new book, but new to me called Think Big and Kick Ass In Business And Life by Donald Trump. Last night while driving home from the office he said something that made me think deeply about how I approach problems and solutions and realized that I’ve been doing it all wrong.
He said something along the lines of “can you imagine what you might accomplish if you stop wasting time focusing on the problem and instead putting it toward the solution”. My mind was blown and what’s sad is that it was blown by such a simple concept!
I think back to some of the problems I’ve faced over the last month… the biggest, we need to grow revenue as quickly as possible across all three companies. What does the average person do when they hear that? They begin strategizing and writing down every way they can grow revenue, meeting together to discuss, going back to the drawing board, meeting together again, etc. Before you know it, you’ve sunk countless hours into strategizing without any action. Freaking A!
Let’s take another recent problem… oh no, my keyword data is gone from analytics! I can’t tell you how many hours I was consumed with this issue let alone everyone else in the digital marketing space. I saw hundreds of blog posts being written about it and how it is such a bad thing. I saw thousands of tweets about it as well. Now that I think about it, it’s actually quite disgusting how much time and effort went into focusing on the problem at hand instead of the solution. Our solution of course is to focus on what we can impact positively and ensure we can track conversions across traffic sources (organic, paid, social, referral, etc).
I’ll tell ya what, even though Donald Trump comes off as a you know what, he’s a smart dude and if this is the only thing I get out of his book, then it was worth the eight hours of listen time because starting yesterday, I will approach problems and solutions far differently.
So, I was browsing the Inc 500 tonight and noticed that there were three specific companies on the list last year that failed to make it this year and it got me thinking… what makes an Inc. 500 company? Sure, there’s the obvious ones, companies with huge margins and a rockstar marketing and sales force, companies who innovate like crazy, companies who solve the specific needs of a very specific niche, etc.
What else? Well, the people do. Your front line employees, your middle management, many of your upper management, etc. Not just people though, people who are bought into the company mission, vision, values, and goals. People who feel respected each and every day. People who are driven by crazy success. People who are given credit for the hard work they do each and every day. People who trust in company leaders to make the right decisions and do the right thing, every time and in every situation. People who aren’t scared of the owner or individuals on the executive team and their next asinine, dictating moves. And the list can go on and on.
I’ve been reading Good to Great and it is sad what one person can do to a company. In as little as a few years, one arrogant, egotistical person can corrupt an organization and bring it to its knees. Honestly, reading this book and pondering after reading through each company on the Inc. 500 list this year makes me want to be a different kind of leader with my new company. It makes me want to work harder each and every day to develop our people and to give them credit for their work and their successes. It makes me want to lose myself and not worry what everyone outside of the organization thinks of me, as long as our people trust and believe in the direction we are taking things.
I’ll tell you one thing, I’m excited for the coming years and I’m extremely excited to see where our people take our company.