Today’s entry is about the beginning of opening the floodgates for us at Three Sixty. In the previous decades, I have been nose-to-the-grindstone working on systems and infrastructure at the studio. Implementing things I have learned in previous businesses, applying methods learned in Lean Training and the constant pursuit of a better business through education and relentless R&D have all helped me come to this junction.
My Experience At Three Sixty
The good news is Three Sixty can run without me. This means it is a full-fledged business. All the key elements that are needed have been put into place. It has been a tremendous journey in refining the process and I am delighted that I can now work on scaling this venture.
That takes me to what I’m rambling about today. So often I meet ambitious and high energy entrepreneurs that are just itching at opening the floodgates to their business. There is technically no right way or wrong way to build a business and I thoroughly applaud their bravado and confidence to just go and do it. But I’m a planner and I like to place hedged bets on things. When I chat with the entrepreneurs that are out to mass market their business, I fear for their failure. It’s not that I don’t believe in them, it’s that I don’t feel that they can handle the storm they are working to unleash. They haven’t built the failsafes to protect them and their business but instead just want to push it out to the masses first and fix things as they go. And although minor fixes and improvements are part of any journey, major flaws have the potential to tank your business.
Let’s say you have an amazing product. You push out the marketing heavy and demand has picked up significantly. My question for you to consider is: how do you ensure that you handle all the orders efficiently? Have you figured out how to continue marketing after the rush? Is there an exit plan or is there a way to continue a steady pace as a business and not a fly-by-night operation that comes and goes as fast as the latest H+M seasonal clothing line?
I’ve always been the one to admire and want to run a successful long-term venture. One that would continue going and, even better, be able to extend a legacy far beyond whatever I was able to bring to the table in my tenure. It is the reason why I put such painstaking efforts to build out a business and eating shit while others around me are raking in the money and hoarding it to themselves. I chose not to do that. I suffered a great many years in making very little money (profit) and making sure that any extra money I did make went back into creating more opportunity and stability for the team. Let me be clear, I work and persevere not for my own self but for those who choose to be on my team.
I have always operated by putting the team first. I lead by being the best practitioner of whatever I ask them to do. I learned and stayed up late to be the top tier person in the studio, not because I wanted the lions share of the work, but so that I could refine the process and ensure that I was able to understand their needs. So many “leaders” are disconnected from their team. They feel that being in management or in a leadership role excludes them from being in the trenches. But it is quite the opposite. Being a good leader means that you are there to help your team pave way to success. It’s seeing the iceberg ahead and guiding your team around it because they are too focused at their immediate task.
When these fly-by-night operations come about, some of them have great dreams but the reality is that they let their own ego get in the way of their greatness. One must understand that this is the mightiest sword of our own demise. It is the person who keeps everything in their head and their team struggles to understand or operate in an efficient manner. It is the entrepreneur that is so burnt out because they are working so hard as the face of the company or because they can’t trust anyone else to take over. It is the person who fears that they will lose the reins to their company by giving up control and empowering another person to be the go-to person. In short, it is the lack of foresight, trust and ego that kills more businesses than anything else.
Cashflow issues can also be boiled down to ego. A person feels they gained some success and expects that revenue will continue to exponentially climb. They over extend themselves to grow instead of wisely creating infrastructure for longevity. They burn out their liquid cash for a bunch of equipment and staffing that was way more than they needed or could sustain and in the end when they hit an inevitable obstacle in the road, their empire crumbles before them because they are cashflow poor.
So back to the topic. With all the above being predicated I am exciting in embarking on the next phase of our business which is the marketing phase. We, as a company, have barely scratched the surface of marketing. We spent very little time on it for ourselves, but instead have spent the better half of our 2 decades in business building a better business. One that will serve our clients and ensure that we are able to scale in both quantity and quality with a company culture that is second to none. It is not because we didn’t believe in it, nor is it because we don’t have the time. It is purely because I wanted to create a viable business able to handle the load with grace. If I let the floodgates open and people have a bad experience with us, I’ll only expedite my own demise. So being patient all these years as I continued to grow our business has led me to a place of confidence where we can really put on some traction and create content for you.
There are a few takeaways for you in this article:
Be patient with your business. Business is a long game. The grind is real. From leadership to marketing there are so many moving parts. Don’t market to the masses unless you are sure you can handle it. Marketing heavily to drive volume in is a double-edged sword. Yes, you want more customers, but if you don’t have a sound business execution, you could be expediting your demise
Put your ego aside. Spending like crazy and thinking that the exponential climb to success you are getting will last forever is a delusion. Plan and spend wisely and build up that war chest to ensure you have enough for the hard times.
Marketing It is important and even if you feel far behind, just start and get into it (when your business is ready for heavy marketing). By starting on the journey, you’ll learn things and refine the process. So even if you feel like you are late to the game on YouTube or Instagram, the practice now will prepare you for the next medium and then you can be an early adopter there.
Are you building a business or creating a job? It takes a lot of work, trust and putting aside your ego to build a business. It’s one thing to be the best practitioner at your business, it is another thing to pass that info to another so that they can free you up to do more.
Throughout this journey I’ll be happy to share tidbits about what and how we’ve done things. There are some things we are working on that may seem like we’re late to the game on social media, but we have the foresight to start no matter what. As long as we have a plan, we can be prepared and look ahead to the next generation of marketing mediums and be ready for that next boat. This is the practice ground: to give us the marketing infrastructure we need that balances with our day-to-day business. It’s important because as we grow as a team and work on reaching a larger audience, we want to put our money where our mouth is and ensure that we walk the walk and talk the talk. It is part of our corporate DNA to be accountable and to ensure that we always have our client’s best interest in mind. So subscribe to our various channels below and buckle up for some amazing ways to both build your business, overcome obstacles and be a better business owner.
Three Sixty as a production team is a critical role in this and if you like what we do and want to engage us to help propel your business, we’d be happy to see if we are a good fit. As with everything in our business, fit is more important than any amount of money you can throw at us. We work with hardworking, driven, fun and honest people who operate with the highest of integrity and passion for what they do.
So until next time, seize the day and be awesome.