How GoRoadie Found Its Spark Again ⚡️
September 2019 was awesome for GoRoadie in terms of Key Metrics. We smashed bookings and revenue. In fact, we almost grew revenue by 300%. What a stellar month everyone said. This was months of effort cumulating, and I suppose this was meant to feel good, right?
It should have felt good. However, since going full-time on GoRoadie, September was the worst in terms of enjoyment.
September, we focussed on; investment, SEO, conversion rates, customer experience, writing content, feature development and more. So, in other words, we didn't focus at all. We were all over the place trying to spin as many plates as possible. Does this sound like a familiar story? We didn't even realise we were doing this.
At the end of the month, we analysed how we performed and came to the conclusion:
We struggled to follow through with our commitments through the month: e.g. we have not improved the number of XXX in YYY.
We called this out, very clearly. Yet, in the following month we continued with the pattern of not completing our tasks and not hitting out goals. We were continued to take on too much and deliver on so little. And after a while, I realise that it was having a larger impact than we had noticed. I was finding myself disinterested, distracted and unmotivated.
This was deeply concerning.
As a founder, I'm aware of the determination needed to build a startup and to make a success off it. I'm aware that some days will be harder, but I've always had the drive to push through those days. My drive, passion and resilience have always been an asset to GoRoadie… yet I was struggling.
Maybe I needed a break? After all, it has been a full year without any real time off.
Luckily, I caught a cold! Barry manned the business for a few days. Surely then I would come back stronger than ever. My drive back to the usual force it was?
Then my business partner caught a cold (not the same one as me, surely?). I manned the business but it was more of a holding pattern. No real progress was made.
When Barry got back to full health a week later, we met up and spoke honestly about how we were feeling. I explained I don't feel we had any focus and that it's impacting motivation. From there we took corrective action.
We agreed on having a razor-sharp focus for the week. We agreed 2 key commitments and everything else is out.
The result? Pure joy.
So, what exactly did we do?
Commit to Less
We slimmed down what we set out to achieve that week. Normally, we were picking 3 metrics to change every week. We changed that to have 1 key goal with several achievable tasks that we felt confident we could complete before the end of the week.
Our idea was, if we completed all the work, we could bring in more tasks.
It also meant that we were not stressed when we had meetings or business as usual tasks, or support tickets come in. We felt we had enough time, and enough energy to tackle anything that came our way.
Stop Starting, Start Finishing
For me, this has now become a mantra.
When we started any tasks, we didn't move on to anything else until they were complete (of course if a customer called, we would answer the phone). This ensured that throughout this week, we kept a razor-sharp focus. It meant we delivered what we set out to deliver, which meant we started to build momentum again.
Of course, this was required to first acknowledge there was a problem. Leaving the problem to fester and think that it would sort itself out, was in hindsight, not a successful strategy at all. It was only when we both spoke about how we felt each week had become a chore and that we admitted engagement had dropped could we then move forward.
This is exactly why it's great to build a startup with a co-founder, being able to have these conversations, it helps accountability.
From there, we have always kept our weeks lighter, a strict focus and every week we now check in with how we think we are doing and how the previous week was - not just in terms of metrics and number but in terms of enjoyment. If we don't enjoy what we do when we need to change something.