We hired a new employee. So what? Isn’t that what companies do – hire people? Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s an exciting time for our company. It’s special to me and we know it’s due to people like you. While I thought about writing a press release, it just didn’t feel right. I had to take a moment and write about what it means to me. Being part of a boutique bicycle company where you’re fighting for attention in this industry requires drive and relentlessness. I have two quotes that keep me driving forward:
The first is, “The American Dream has no snooze button” and the second is, “I want to work. I want to build something of my own.”
The first is self-explanatory. We live in the greatest country in the world. She is able to provide resources for people to uncover potential opportunities and resources to go after their dreams. However, she doesn’t hand us those resources or opportunities. We have to go after them with a ferocious tenacity. Expecting someone else to do all the work and then reap the fruits of their labor is not how it works. We have to always be thinking, “How am I going to find a way to make it work?”. I’ve always been a student of this, but over the past few years, I feel like I’ve been in a PhD program. Welcome to small business!
The second is a quote from Mad Men‘s Don Draper. While the context from the show has a different situation and back story, this phrase is powerful for people with an entrepreneurial mindset. On face value, some people may interpret “something of my own” as selfish or greedy. I read it differently. While I do believe looking out for yourself is important, I know I can’t build something without the help and support from others, my team, and a sound support system. Digging deeper, I believe that it’s more about how you approach whatever job you undertake. Not fitting into a mold or sacrificing your outlook because you don’t want your visions brushed aside is important. I’m not saying I wish it wasn’t easier at times (I do!), but everyone is fighting for your attention. How do we stand apart? Your experience with us and our bikes are something I strive for you to be proud to talk about. If you’re still reading this, I hope it means that what we’re doing is resonating.
This brings me to the point of my post: Four years ago, I came on board at Jack Kane with the goal of growing this company. We’re doing just that despite being the David-against-the-numerous-Goliaths with lots of spending power. Our growth has allowed us to hire a new employee. His name is George. He has years of experience in body working, painting, detailing, and he’s absolutely hilarious. What does this mean? We’re even better now. The pride, the satisfaction, and the excitement of being able to say I’ve helped grow something to be able to sustain another employee is more than just an earmark in my career. I’ve never been in a position to directly help make that happen before. I am beyond grateful. I couldn’t have done it alone. Jack works his butt off (he’ll say I’ve given him a few more gray hairs). You, our customers have trusted us. You’ve shared your experiences with your peers. Some have simply stumbled across us and seen our work. Regardless of how it happens, we do not take it for granted.
Small business is a roller coaster of successes, disappointments, what-ifs, and adventures. That’s not even taking into account the emotions experienced along the ride. We’re fighting our way up.
To all of our customers that have blessed us with their business, thank you. To our future customers, we can’t wait to work with you. To Jack, thank you. The pursuit of the American Dream is rough and certainly not guaranteed, but I assure you, it’s Alive… you just have to go after it and hope people believe in what you’re doing.