One-month anniversary of the Concealed Carrie and Suunday acquisitions (Dec 19, 2019)
JAN 20, 2020, 1;04 AM EST: With one month under our belts as the new owners of Concealed Carrie and Suunday, we would like to take time to reflect on the many lessons that we have learned. Here are the top three lessons that we're willing to share publicly:
1) Separate the signals from the noise.
Intuitively, we know that it is impractical and unsustainable to react to every sales notification from Shopify and every day-over-day variance in traffic or sales. When starting a new job or buying a new company or any other time when we are looking to accelerate our learning, we must be careful not to let our desire to learn rapidly result in hyper activity and anxiety. While there is tremendous value in understanding the underlying drivers of the business, it's imperative that we build mechanisms that ensure that we are reacting to trends (or signals) rather than noise.
In the coming week(s), we plan to develop standard reporting and standard SOP's for reviewing business metrics, which should be fairly easy based on our backgrounds. Once we become comfortable with the flow of business, we will pass along first-pass analysis to virtual team members which is a perfect segway to point #2.
2) Build a great virtual team and allow them to fluorish.
My experience at Amazon and Chewy led me to believe that I could sit behind a curtain, like the Wizard of Oz, wave a magical wand, and deliver results effortlessly. That couldn't have been further from the truth. Knowing what to do and having the physical and mental capacity to execute upon all of those things is close to impossible unless you plan to work non-stop. For the first two weeks, we did just that which completely defeated the purpose of buying into location-indepent, semi-passive businesses. We've quickly altered course and focused on allowing our existing virtual team members to take on more responsibilities while hiring/onboarding new team members. Over the next 30 days, we plan to onboard new temporary staff to assist with bookkeeping and customer service for Concealed Carrie. *Conversely, we've also brought some of the work in-house across the businesses, temporarily, to reduce overhead.*
3) Don't forget to pause and take a breath. (still learning)
Lastly, we learned that we need to take time to reflect, meditate, pray, acknowledge each other, etc. on a regular basis. In the spirit of being self-critical, this is still an area of opportunity. For me, the steam room at our gym has always been the place where I go to clear my head. Other than a swimming pool and church, it's one of the only places where I can't be tempted to check Google Analytics, Social Media, Shopify, or one of my many other vices. Over the last couple of weeks, the steam room has worked wonders for helping me clear my mental cache.
While there are many more tactical lessons learned, these are three of the more general lessons that we learned or have relearned in the first month of business.