The first month and a half of my new startup is past me. It’s interesting how quickly something exciting, turns into something scary and then into something so normal and familiar.
Time has flown by, but it feels like a much longer time since I had made that call about leasing out the space for this gym.
What are the main lessons I have learnt so far?
1) Staying Cash flow positive will always be the life blood of your business.
I realized when I emailed a mentor for help, that my question was how do I maintain my vision while doing what I needed to do to stay cash flow positive. I understood before the previous club used flyers for marketing. I wasn’t familiar with that technique and was just getting settled into the transition. With my passion being branding and my publishing vision, I focused on that. Wrong decision. Weeks passed and no flyering was done. No new customers came in, in addition, a few clients, were reminded they had a gym membership they weren’t using and canceled.
Membership went from not so great to worse.
I freaked out and quickly came to grips that my vision would never see the light of day if I didn’t focus on fixing the immediate problem of negative cash flow.
2) That my vision will also probably change, and that’s OK.
In addition my vision will change and evolve in time. I’m trying to lead with my vision, as plan A, but I have definitely rehashed a plan B, plan C and even plan J. These alternate strategies are worse case scenarios that are very different from my original vision…because there is something worse than not achieving my vision, loosing all my money. In the end I’m a builder, and building something wonderful that improves society in some way, would make me pretty happy in itself.
In the lean startup lessons we realize how radically different our visions will be at the end of it all, and how not only is that ok, but a smart way to do business. I’m OK with this.
3) Remember My Why Everyday and in Each Moment
I think we can’t forget our ultimate why in what excites us abut the business. Whenever I become disillusioned, I remember my why and it helps me get at least ehhh 60% back to clarity and energy.
4) Past experience on how to do anything really does help you get things done faster.
I had been working towards doing a publishing only online business. The project kept evolving, and each time I felt somewhat like I failed. However as I run through the day, I find myself drawing upon realizations, research, educatin I had gained during that process. It’s great because since I strongly believed in each project and went full throttle I soaked up everything I learned. I’m so grateful now for all my past project, for the educartion it compelled me to learn.
If I were to do things over again I would
- Have started marketing with minimal branding to get people in the door
- Sent out a preliminary email that I’m in the collection phase and all the ideas given to me are heard but may take time to implement
What I have learned about myself
- How much I still struggle with wanting people to like me. I’m grateful that I can see this challenge and have a space to improve upon it.
- I’m seeing also patterns that I still have that I had while running BumblBee Tennis. I’m grateful to have more perspective on them and will hopefully be able to do it better this time.
- How much seeing progress and working with people who I enjoy and also get things done determines 95% of my work satisfaction.
Thanks for reading. At night I get discouraged, but writing this I am going to remember why I’m doing this. I love fitness, and I love createing a community of love.
I also feel grateful for all my friends, mentors and family who have been incredibly supportive. Thanks Marty, Jen, darren, mikey, Devon, Clara and everyone! Your support means so much to me.