During the past few weeks, I’ve been (over)analyzing what accomplishments I’ve achieved this year.
I’ve always dreamt of starting my own thing. I’m not the kind of girl that can sit still. I constantly need to be doing things, exercising my fullest capabilities. The everyday companies we work for (or at least most companies/or at least the one’s I worked for) don’t allow their team to truly stretch their wings. I always felt confined in school and then that feeling followed me to work, bound by limitations from management or society.
So I embarked on an adventure to start my own business and inspire happiness at work.
Wekudo started 2 years ago. I ran it out of my apartment for many months (okay, okay, over a year) and quickly built clients like Macy’s, ADP, E&Y, etc. I felt progress was being made. Most days I felt the steps of achievement.
After my first year, I had made enough money for the company that I decided to take that money and invest it in outsourcing the technology I always dreamed would take Wekudo forward.
But I didn’t choose the developer wisely. A projected three month due date ended up smearing to a nine month failure. And I’m not talking about the good kind of schmear.
I took the failure of that development very hard. I questioned my competence for several months before re-stabilizing.
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I got out of this slump after speaking to a mentor who reminded me to “Keep doing what you're doing.” As in, grow your small business into a bigger business. Don’t worry about the tech. Hire a few salespeople and let yourself grow.
Following this advice, next I found myself hiring two different account managers during a six month period and not having success with either one.
I uncovered fundamental problems and issues with Wekudo’s organization. I discovered we weren’t as organized as I would have liked. Our (3,000+) activities' information weren’t accurately stored and updated and it made my account managers have a difficult time to do their job. And it made my ability to lead difficult, too. I would end up doing all their work and getting frustrated at them (and myself) for the additional failures tallying up against the calendar.
Meanwhile, business continued to expand and I felt like I was constantly taking two steps forward and five steps back.
I sat myself down with new friends and mentors and a new vision and direction for Wekudo naturally unraveled. I started interviewing developers again and felt huge progress was being made. I was happy.
But after a month or so of interviewing, the most serious developer I had ended up going in a different direction. Again, I kept looking and interviewing.. And then the same thing happened again, putting us a few weeks behind yet again.
Meanwhile, my personal savings were at the remaining 4 digit mark. I was starting to feel panicked.
And that’s still where I am today: still (over)analyzing what accomplishments I’ve achieved this year and where I’m going next.
For an idea of what this thought process looks like, here’s a peek into my brain:
What happened this year?
That’s not true! You doubled your revenue! Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about you! You also moved to the country you always wanted to live in and successfully ran Wekudo from there.
Is inspiring happiness at work even our true mission?
Of course it is!
But are companies really ready to invest in their employees' happiness?
A lot are, sure. And the ones that aren’t, you’re going to show to them why that's important.
But maybe we should just take an easier route and help provide a platform that helps people create events easily?
What’s our business model?
It should be free to use.
It should cost money to use.
It should be free to use.
It should cost money to use.
What will this new platform look like?
Hmmm. No ideas on that front yet. Come back to that later.
Is this valuable enough to our clients?
Yes it is!
Hmm. I don’t know.
What am I doing?
When I look at the past year I know I’ve accomplished a lot - but on the inside I feel like a whole lot of nothing has happened. I’ve never questioned or thought about stopping my company. But I’m at a point now where as I’m ironing out all these whats and ifs, I can hear myself sternly say to myself, “You better make sure this year is the year of success.”
I took a deep breath.
And I found myself stopping myself from writing more emails or frantically planning my future and, instead, I started writing this post.
So what were my accomplishments this year?
Ah: there it is. I’m starting to remember. In the haziness of all the Google Analytics, sales charts, revenue projections, investment decks and failures, I can see it.
Lee Rubin is the founder of Wekudo, a marketplace for corporate events and activities. It was at the University of Florida where Lee started exploring the idea of being happy. When she worked for a few years in corporate sales after college, she saw companies struggle with turnover and employee satisfaction. She built Wekudo to help address that struggle and instill happiness back into the lives of employees. Lee has a special interest in art and design and believes the road to corporate success is a superior customer experience. Based between Tel Aviv and NYC, she’s determined to uncover the secrets to corporate well-being and customer satisfaction. She also loves cat Youtube videos, IKEA catalogues and colored markers.
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