4 Big Lessons From our First Three Months in Business!
Yesterday, a business acquaintance-turned-client asked me how many years it’s been since we started Marrow. I had a good chuckle and proudly told him that Marrow just celebrated a very, very special anniversary:
We are one quarter old.
Not a quarter century, or even a quarter decade… we are one quarter of a year old. Just a baby, really. An overtired, sometimes overworked, super happy, ass-kicking baby.
Just three months ago, we removed password protect from madeofmarrow.com and headed over to social media to tell our friends + family all about our brand spanking new agency. Equal parts fear + hope combined for a powerful potion that gave us just enough courage to hit send on our announcement. Marrow was open for business. The time since has been a whirlwind!
We’ve stayed on track and maintained focus on some things while we’ve shifted and pivoted on others. We’ve learned that some of our best-laid plans weren’t actually the best FOR US. And, we continue to learn every single day. There are many things that we’re not sure of. We have lots of questions like:
How do we want to grow and scale?
Do we even want to grow and scale?
Should we expand our services?
Should we narrow our services?
What will this business look like in 5 years?
When will we get weekends off? (HA!)
While business experience is abundant around here, the experience of being business partners is brand-spankin’ new for us. In taking our own advice, we’ve decided to document the journey. The dream? That someday we will be little old lady BFFs in our rocking chairs reminiscing about the passion and courage we poured into the early days of Marrow.
So we’re taking some advice from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book and documenting the journey!
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 3 MONTHS:
1. Touch base every day. For us, that means a phone call at minimum. We are open to remote working and supporting each other’s dreams. Over the past three months that’s looked like one of us in Florida, Toronto or PEI while the other is at home base. By setting the expectation that we will touch base each day at a designated time, we are able to ensure that we remain on task and connected and that no small detail may fall through the cracks.
2. Values drive our decision making - without exception. I’ll be honest - when I was consulting alone, I would compromise my values and my value on a regular basis. After all, it was just me…. Who would know if I threw in a few extra blog posts for free or worked well beyond the scope of the client agreement? Having a business partner gives me accountability to someone else and requires me to ensure that any decision I make would be in service of my partner as well Marrow, the organization. And this new-found accountability allows me to focus on the work that is most important to Marrow and our clients. We are able to do what we do best!
3. Decide who you answer to + stay true. The lure of entrepreneurship for many people is the desire to be their own boss but often, along the way they end up answering to many other “bosses”. These new “bosses” creep in when you lose sight of what’s most important in exchange for what’s most convenient.
I’m talking about investors, advisors or even clients whose value relationship with you is unbalanced. Don’t get me wrong - investors, advisors and clients are very important to your business! But what we’ve learned is that accepting the inconvenience of finding the RIGHT people to fill these roles instead of the most convenient people to fill these roles is crucial to your happiness as a business owner.
4. It’s easy to get along when you’re willing to be wrong. On the surface, Cearagh and I agree on almost nothing. Vegetarian vs. fur lover; minimalist vs. borderline-hoarder; yogi vs. the-opposite-of-a-yogi; but we have yet to have an argument. We disagree all of the time but never ever argue and if you ask us, we’re both pretty happy with the outcome of all decisions. How do we do it? We think it comes down to the fact that we are both okay with being wrong. Let’s face it - everybody is wrong once in a while so why not own that fact and make your relationships a lot more enjoyable.
Be open to being wrong and apologize when you are.
Three months down and a lifetime to go! Do you have a business partner? What’s your best advice for Cearagh + I? Let us know in the comments!