Businesses across the country have been closing due to the pandemic, but there is a small percentage that have grown!
In this series we take you behind the scenes in those businesses to empower you to apply the same strategies to your business, whether you’re in growth mode, or recovering!
In general, we ask three specific questions of our interviewees. Because of the unique nature of this interview, we’re breaking it up into two segments: (1)the story of success in the face of the impossible (haven’t read part 1? Check it out here!), and (2)the keys that created that success.
This Week’s Interview Guest:
Luke took a complete shutdown and turned it around to create an insanely successful business! Stephanie was stoked to sit down, and we’re excited to bring y’all Luke’s story because his work is touted as the “Most impactful” exercise experienced in corporate America.
If you prefer to watch or listen to the whole interview, check it out on youtube here.
Behind the Scenes Part 2: The Keys to Luke’s Success
Question 1: What did you do to create growth?
The First Thing…
Is that we definitely didn’t stumble onto success. We were very intentional with what we did, even if we did sort of luck out by going viral initially.
Initially, our programs started out as summer camps for kids and they morphed into team building events for adults. We’ve been doing that for about five or six years now, but it has always been about answering the question “How do we give back and do good work?”
I knew that if we did the right program, made the right connections, did good work, and showed up to bring the energy, it would pay off. And it has! Focusing on giving back and doing good work has been a huge part of what has made us.
No Fear of Failure: Continually Iterating
Another important aspect of our success is that we weren’t afraid to try something and fail, but we always moved forward from those failures.
We’ve been rolling out new programs and we’ve run a few demos that were all about finding connections and doing something fun. But we were always willing to tweak things and continually iterating with what worked.
As much as we enjoy the events, we’re always jumping back in immediately to see what we did wrong or what we can do better. We did 110 events last year and we’ve one 60 paid events post-COVID, and this is something I would advise to everyone.
People don’t always take enough time to talk about improvement for the next time, but it’s incredibly important to focus on continuing to get better and looking at what was fantastic. Look at what you did really well to make absolutely sure you do it next time. And look at what didn’t go well, to make sure you can fix it for next time.
Because you don’t need to completely change what you’re doing each time, just make tweaks as you continually iterate the next product or service.
Everyone is (or hopefully is) an expert in what they’re doing, and COVID has changed the market.
But you don’t have to completely change what you’re doing to adapt and pivot to a place of success. Everyone has a skillset, and many times you simply have to evaluate your expertise and repackage it.
Here’s what we did:
We are experts at engagement and getting people excited. We excel at getting people focused, and leading a mountain bike trip. But when COVID hit, we couldn’t lead mountain bikes with people. So we took a section of our expertise and repackaged it.
Since we excel at engagement, we focused on that. The essential product that we had was picked up and dropped into another arena: the online arena.
Of course, not all skillsets are quite so easily transferred to the online world. But there are other ways and avenues of operating that are open if people are willing to have an open mind and get help re-focusing where they need it.
What are you doing to ensure you continue growing?
The number 1 thing we’re doing right now is increasing talent in the organization.
Just like any other entrepreneur or business owner, I’m my own worst enemy. I’m often the one that is halting the growth and scaling of the business because I have my fingers in all the pies. So we’re looking at systematizing our product and training people to run the experiences so it’s not all on a few people.
Aside from obviously hiring and training people, we’re looking to partner with other companies in order to amplify the product and make it bigger, better, and more available. So we’re actually looking into three different ways to engage people online, and how to improve those three avenues of engagement.
Marketing… But not!
Obviously, we’re continuing to spread the word about what we’re doing.
But rather than seeing it as just “marketing”, we see it as making more and more connections, and continuing to do good work that supports other people’s good work.
When I met with Stephanie, we didn’t start the conversation with “what can I do for you?” We started just talking ideas and looking at where we are going and if/how we can help each other get along that way. I wanted to connect with somebody else and find out ways to work together and do good work, because that good work comes back to the people who do it.
It’s all about lifting each other up!
What is a good action step that people can take away and start implementing?
That’s a tough one, but I’d honestly say…
Find something you can fail at quickly.
What I mean by that is to go out there and create a prototype or some marketable product that you can fail at quickly. When you’ve got an idea, get it out there in a way that has the opportunity to fail quickly. Because the faster you can fail, the faster you can go back and tweak it and go again and again.
Keep going and never give up, because eventually you’ll end up with an amazing product!
If you’ve been struggling through 2020 and need a leg up, we’re stretching out a hand to help you! Thanks to our donors, we’ve got a number of full-ride scholarship seats to the Grow2020 available to support business owners who need the strategies and information delivered at the Grow Retreat (Including a workshop on getting Free PR for your business!). If this sounds like something that you’d like to get, fill out your scholarship application here.