The strategies that make you successful in the beginning don’t necessarily help you long term.
Every company goes through it. These challenges are an inevitable part of scaling. The question becomes, how do we move through these challenges with minimal impact along the way? ( I’m going to share my experience at Wylder Space, so that you can hopefully minimize YOUR growing pains as you set out to make your dreams come true.
In the beginning, it was me, my hands and my craft that took me from the heart of the Silicon Valley tech hub to the breezy shores of the Santa Cruz and Carmel coastlines- hobnobbing with the elite, cooking for the stars of the tech world and having opportunities present themselves that would catapult me into a whole new world.
Let me preface this story by saying, I’ve spent many sleepless nights dreaming of what it would be like to grow this company from a 1 man band to a viable, thriving, well oiled machine collecting dollar bills and stock piling them into smart investment strategies. I’ve been low on resources, short on money and hanging on by a single thread- the dream of what it would be like to feel the impact of success on a tired and weary spirit.
And so, I start this story by saying, I rebranded. I went from me, to we. They say, the only thing you have to do, is change everything. So that’s what I did. I changed everything. I changed our name, I changed our location, I changed our vision, our vibe, our style and our concept. The only thing I kept the same was our mission and our core business philosophy, because I swear you guys- If you’re trying to build a business without the heart and the belief in what you’re doing or the product you’re selling, it won’t work. There is an element of authenticity and faith that I truly believe is necessary to pull you through the hard times.
In our first year of business as Wylder Space, these are 3 things we’ve had to learn how to do on the fly in order to meet the demands of quick and intense growth. There is a silver lining in this story and an element of grace and gratitude that I have discovered in every challenge we’ve encountered in 2019.
- Moving from a multi-functional team to specific roles within Wylder Space. In the beginning I was a thriving generalist and I forced everyone who worked with me to be the same (we were the folks that could take on any role, be fluid and adapt to whatever needed to be done to make things operate efficiently and effectively). Here’s a very real example of that: I do the cooking, I do the cleaning, I do the marketing, the branding and the sales. On top of that I’m a professional dishwasher and have no shame in taking out the garbage. However, time is of the essence and as we’ve rapidly grown, I’ve recognized, I need help. This year, I’ve finally taken the leap and put together job scopes and roles within our company that free up time and build autonomy, mastery and purpose within our team.
- Develop a process without slowing down. In the beginning, I did what anybody would do- I worked way harder than I needed to. I did what I had to do to get the job done (More importantly, to get the job done right.) I worked long hours, tireless days and spread myself way too thin – with no systems set in place to make things easier, with less room for error. However this year I’ve recognized the urgency for a streamlined procedure that helps us move faster, with less effort and better communication. I have found it’s critical to our success to hold weekly meetings and go over what worked well at an event, what we could have done differently, and what needs to be improved upon for the overall experience of our guests. In the end and what sets us apart from any other company – is having service that sparkles and a meal that not only nourishes the belly but also the spirit. Often times at restaurants or bars, you get really great service, but the food may fall short. Or you get an incredible meal, but the service lacks attention and connection with the guests. We strive for the full package. And if we fall short, we want to make sure we go above and beyond to make our clients happy and do whatever we can do to improve and rebuild their trust in our service. Feedback, though sometimes painful to hear, is critical to the success of any business, no matter what line of work you’re in.
- Becoming too large to adapt. I have successfully been a private chef for the last 15 years, pretty much all of my adult life. A large part of my success was because I stayed so small for so many years that I was able to adapt, innovate and move quickly to fix problems before they became an issue. This tiny nugget of wisdom I want to share with you is a key ingredient in growth. It’s going to sound crazy but I promise you, it’s critical. Stay scrappy, as you grow- to keep your passion and ingenuity alive. It’s the only thing that’s going to pull you through the hard times. Yes, you need to focus on your financial goals and projections, but if something isn’t working, you need to think on your feet, toss all plans to the wind and act impulsively. Don’t spend countless hours planning. Jump in with both feet and test the waters. Who cares if you fall. Get up and try something new. Try it again. Change the things that don’t work. And most importantly, don’t give up before the miracle. (clearly as I write this- I’m writing to my inner being.)
There have been many days over the past few months that have rattled me to my core. I’ve questioned my ability to cook. I’ve second guessed myself, thought about going back to being a teeny tiny 1 man band and entertained the idea of becoming a stay at home mom.
…… And then I get a good nights rest, wake up refreshed the next day and thank GOD for this tiny little light inside of me that doesn’t accept defeat as a possibility. I know it’d be easier if I went and got a 9-5 job and worked for someone else. But heck, I was given this double edged sword. It called the entrepreneurial spirit. I hold on until the wheels fall off. I thrive under pressure. I embrace competition.
If I continue to share my experience, strength and hope – it may very well be the one thing someone else needs to hear or read to keep on keepin’ on, for just one more day.
Don’t give up, you guys. We all deserve to live our best lives. We all deserve to do what feeds our spirits. It may not be easy, you may not strike it rich, but MAN– I am SO GRATEFUL to wake up every morning with butterflies in my stomach, excited to take on the day and face the challenges that are presented to me, it’s incredibly gratifying. I wouldn’t want it any other way. And I’m pretty sure that if you’re reading this, you can relate. You only get one shot. Do you really want to look back when you’re old and grey and WISH you would have followed your dreams? Just go for it. The worst thing that can happen is failing. And anyone who’s got the entrepreneurial bug, doesn’t recognize failure as failing.
We recognize failure as being one step closer to finding the key that makes all our dreams come true.
With Love and gratitude