2017 Review: 4 Things I Learned From My Almost 5 Months In Business

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Wow. Have you ever been on autopilot so much in your life that you forget it’s the end of a calendar year? Ha! Today is Christmas Eve Eve – or something – and I’m just now realizing that 2017 is done. Finito. Over.

I launched One Week Website in 2017 – in fact – we’ve been in business for roughly 5 months – I say roughly because it’s really difficult to determine when your business “launches.” Is it when your idea first came to you? Is it when your website was “done?” Is it when your LLC was approved by the Secretary of State? For me, I think my key performance indicator (“KPI” may not be applicable here but it makes me feel super smart) is the first customer meeting I had which was on July 28th, 2017. On July 28th, I met a super nice lady for coffee and had an amazing discussion. She was so happy and thanked me profusely. I drove away thinking “wow, this is awesome! I’m really going to be able to help her. Business rules!”

Then I never heard from her again.

What an awesome way to get introduced to running your own company!

So I’m going to say my business launched on July 28th, 2017. So we’ve been in business for 4 months and 26 days. Wow, what a ride it’s been. Here are some of my key takeaways for 2017:

1.) I. Love. My. Business.

I did some soul searching before launching One Week Website – I went on a journey of things I loved and things I feared. And you know one thing I love? Business. I love meeting a business owner, understanding how they are successful, and using my creative, strategic juices to help accelerate what they have in place and turning it into something they love that will truly help them make clients happy. We are a content first company – we believe your messaging is THE most important part of a website – so you can imagine how the first initial minutes of meeting with a client isn’t really about a website. It’s about learning who they are as a business owner, diving into their brand identity, and understanding how they interact with customers.

It’s exhilarating.

I love it. I mean, you’re talking (or reading) from a guy who watches Shark Tank and The Profit for fun. I secretly want to be Marcus Lemonis. I love solving problems. I love people. And I believe there is an enormous amount of improvement we can all do in our lives and businesses to serve people by simplifying our messages. And the first step to doing this is meeting someone and diving into their current. Their now. I find it a privilege to be asked to create for my clients. Speaking of…

2.) We did good. (slang intended)

We’ve had a great almost 5 months. We’ve satisfied 10 clients – 10 websites in 4 months and 26 days – and I couldn’t be more thrilled to the fast start. I mean, we started from the bottom now we are here scratch. But what made me the happiest outside of the number of clients, is the FEEDBACK. I admittedly felt like One Week Website was a good idea. I mean, I lived through the hell of the alternatives. Well, not hell, but, frustration. Raise your hand if you want to learn SquareSpace for 3 years or pay $20,000 for a website? Go ahead, I’ll wait. In my past website experience as a client, I wanted a website exactly the way I wanted it (by providing examples of websites I liked) with some strategic help from someone who knew how to do it the RIGHT way that didn’t break the bank. This was something I couldn’t find. So I created the experience I wanted. And I wanted to create an experience that was honest, authentic, and against the backdrop of this insanely busy life: simple. We are bombarded with too much noise today so I wanted to answer the “what do you do” question with one sentence that ultimately SERVES someone asking the question. I wanted to create an experience that didn’t cause people to think. Any way – that’s what I wanted.

But clients want what they want.

And after your blood, sweat, and tears, this is all that matters. If clients can’t see themselves and their solution in your business, then you’ve got to change something. So, first client. BOOM, loved their website. Second client: BOOM, loved their website. Said very nice things. Third client: BOOM, roasted (The Office fans, anyone?). Same thing. Great feedback, pleasant experiences, all designed and developed in one week. I have asked every client for post job video recommendations and all of them except one (camera shy, still gave us a 5 star Google review) said yes. Getting validation on your idea is awesome. But when your CLIENTS, who I have the joy of getting to know along the way (cue fun), LOVE their website and actually enjoy the process of getting it made? It sends me on a level of job satisfaction I’ve never had.

3.) Just do something.

What “they” say about business is true: there are ups, downs, and all in between. It’s a good reflection of life. I anticipated it. I was ready for it. And ultimately I had a choice each day to wallow in whatever I wanted to wallow in. So I made a decision early on to just do something. Meet someone new. Go to the event. Put out a piece of content. Help. Someone. And you know what? I can literally trace my 10 clients to actions I took based on a choice I made in a given moment. I can even remember one evening in particular, after working several long days in a row, being extremely tired and not wanting to go to a networking event I signed up for weeks ago. I decided to follow my “do something” rule and go. And you know what? I met the owner of an agency that introduced me to a new agency “club” and I’ve met some amazing people from it – some of which I recently celebrated Christmas with. How sad it would’ve been if I decided to have self pity and cancel the networking event! I would’ve missed great contacts and future business. With that said…

4.) I’m not my business.

Launching One Week Website represented the culmination of the journey I had about 6 years before launch (and candidly, my entire life) – which is a different blog post that is coming soon. I spent about 10 years mostly working for big companies servicing other big companies. I also ran my family’s heating and air business. The different jobs I had, the experiences I experienced, and the attempts to figure out what was changing in me was equally frustrating and exhilarating. So when I went full time with the business, let me tell you, I was stoked. I’m an all or nothing type of guy so every waking moment (and sleeping moment – seriously – I would dream about One Week Website) was spent analyzing EVERYTHING about the business. Messaging, operations, marketing, sales, time – all of it. It was everything I ever wanted – and more. There were times I admittedly thought about my business every waking hour.

On the personal side, I’m a pretty big health and wellness guy. So I was “aware” of self awareness, the importance of exercise, ensuring I was eating right, and not “overworking.” But last week I got a call that one of my extremely close “framily” members (friends that are really family) had cancer. And for the past week, this moment combined with other ones have made me incredibly aware that I haven’t been taking care of myself or my stress management: heart flutters, digestive issues, and more. And I’ve had to spend time recovering. And as I write this blog wrapping up 2017 and getting ready to celebrate Christmas, I’ve had to tell myself: I’m not One Week Website. Even the fear that comes from vulnerably writing that is worth the risk to you – my visitors, potential clients, and current clients – to shout from our beautifully decorated rooftops (wait do we decorate rooftops anymore?) that:

We aren’t our businesses. We are human beings. Not human doings.

Outside of not sleeping enough or eating right, the more dangerous act is sidebaring how we are feeling and how we are doing. One of my favorite speakers said emotions are like the check engine light on your car. They alert you to something going on in your life. You wouldn’t go to the car mechanic and ask them to remove the check engine light without asking what’s wrong with the car, right? And if you keep driving that car while ignoring the check engine light then that car will eventually blow up – and so will you and I. So, in 2018, I’m going to work harder than ever before, but I’m going to keep an eye on the check engine light.

Will you join me and do the same?

I want to end this post and 2017 by saying THANK YOU. If you are a friend, client, potential client, or even visitor that has been watching us: THANK YOU! I wish you and your family the happiest of times this Christmas. And hey – you’re going to get to know a lot more of me and One Week Website in 2018. I’d love to get to know you. Send me a message at the bottom right chat program or contact us. Cheers! (*raises eggnog*)

p.s. I haven’t had eggnog in years.

Bring on ’18!

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1 Comment

  1. David Needham on December 24, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Exciting! It sounds like you had lots of healthy realizations in the last 5 months. Keep up the good work and knock it out of the park in 2018!

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