You Have to Prove Yourself Every Day
It's funny, when coaching you always tell your players, "You gotta prove yourself every day." "The opponent doesn’t care who you are. You need to prepare and execute every game." "Practice is important because you have to set yourself up for success for the big games." Yadda, yadda, yadda.
The same is true in business. We've had a pretty good run at VenueKings for the last 10 years. We started in 2009 in preparation for the 2010 Olympics and had absolutely no idea what we were doing but we got set up and just rolled with it. We broke a bunch of metaphorical bones along the way but we made it out the other side alive. Before we knew it, we landed ourselves on "Canada's Fastest Growing Companies" list five years in a row and our COO, Robyn Wilson, was named to BC Business Magazine's Top 30 Under 30. At that point, we had low staff turnover and we were making good money. Then, some things changed that forced us to adapt.
Once we started to figure out innovative ways to keep growing, Covid-19 hit—and for the first time ever, there were NO EVENTS.
Side note: VenueKings also has a subsidiary Air BnB business, that's been quite lucrative over the past couple of years. Before the pandemic hit, our properties were booked for March, April and May and then the C.E.O of Air BNB decided it would be a good idea to change the company's cancellation policy and let anyone cancel for any reason until the end of time. Boom. Three full months turned into three empty months in the blink of an eye.
As the backlash from the pandemic became more and more real, the Federal Government decided they needed to develop a grant to help small businesses like ours stay afloat. They came up with a grant but as it turns out, we pay our employees too much to qualify. We got nothing.
The reason I'm saying all of this is not for any sympathy, I don’t need that. Luckily, I've done a good job at planning ahead and VenueKings will be just fine once the world decides to open up again. However, what I am saying is this:
Nobody cares about your yesterday. You have to prove yourself every-single-day.
Banks used to fight amongst themselves to loan our company money. Now, they're fighting with us to take that money back. It's all part of the process.
Every day, there's a possibility you could go out of business. Even the best teams can lose on any given day. That said, you have to prepare, you have to plan, and you need to have Plans B, C, D, and E ready for when the world suddenly decides to stop. Usually, when we refer to the world "stopping" it's a figurative term, but as we saw for the first time ever, the world actually stopped. Not for an hour, or a day or a week; it stopped for months.
The good news is, this past Monday, we opened our office back up with full Covid-19 safety measures in place. We lost our C.O.O to a new role, but as always, we'll roll with the punches and figure it out. We'll create new solutions to new problems and find a way to get back on top.
It's not easy. Running a business is hard. It may look easy, but especially in our field, the competition is relentless and the government is always trying to slow us down.
The real lesson here is this: Every day, you have the choice to try and figure out how to make yourself, your company, your family, or your team bigger and better than you were yesterday. Or, you can quit.
At VenueKings, we’ve decided to keep trying to figure it out and find a way to make things work. The good news is, our Air BnB's are starting to fill up again, we are seeing sales in the ticket business (hopefully the events actually happen), and in Canada, the Covid-19 infection rate is continuously decreasing week after week. Good news is hard to find, but it's out there.
Now more then ever, we have to search for good news just to stay sane.
I've actually stopped going to CNN, Fox News and social media as much as I can. It's an addiction so it slides past from time to time, but the intention is to fully lock it out just to maintain a positive mindset.
We have to ask ourselves, "What can we do tomorrow to get closer to the finish line?" Every day we're one step closer to this pandemic being over and life going back to normal. We're getting there.
Monday marked the two month anniversary of my son, Eli, being born. He gets his own blog post next week, but something we know for sure is that life goes on and tomorrow will give us another opportunity to prove ourselves.
On my computer screen, I have the words, “Doubt Kills.” I've found that when I doubt myself, things usually don't end the way I want them to—but more importantly, when I doubt myself, I'm losing sight of the process. If we can focus on the process the results take care of themselves.
Here's to tomorrow being a great day and one day closer to all of us to reaching our goals.