NumNum turned 5 years old in March! Unbelievable! One of the ways we’re celebrating this milestone is with a blog series called 5 in 5. Each of these blog posts share 5 things that tell you a little more about us and our journey so far. This post shares 5 things we’ve learned over the course of the past 5 years. Enjoy!
Growing a Startup is Hard Work
I know we’ve all heard this before, but I guess Jess and I didn’t fully understand the many levels of exhaustion. In a startup, there’s no such thing as 9-5. You work for the business 24/7. Even if you aren’t in the warehouse or at your computer, your brain is still working. All. The. Time. It’s emotional. It’s exhilarating. It’s rewarding. It is, well, exhausting, It’s all these things simultaneously, But, it is your baby! And like a baby, you have to nurture it if you want it to grow and be healthy. If you’re thinking about starting a venture of your own, just know that there’s a broader definition of exhaustion that exists. Might want to go with the quad shot.
We Have Good News and Bad News
When you’re building a company from the ground up, there will be hurdles, setbacks, and disappointments. Count on it. Fortunately, there will likely be plenty of good news, as well. But it’s a roller coaster of emotions, day in and day out. We had to learn to keep more of a steady emotional footing, no matter how good or bad the news. One day you win a major award. The next day your packing company packs an entire order all wrong – woohoo, another all-nighter! Then the next day, you get an email from a customer that reminds you why you’re doing all of this in the first place. Just remember to buckle up and remain calm at all times.
There’s Lots of Love Out There
When you launch your own company, you expect your family and close friends to be there for you when you need a little emotional support. To our surprise, though, love has come from a lot of places and in a variety of forms. We’ve seen it from mere acquaintances, retailers, complete strangers, and even competitors. We have had people volunteer to help pack product, support us at trade shows, assist with SEO, and tens of thousands have shown us love by sharing and/or liking our posts on social media, quite possibly the most powerful form of love in 2018 . All of this kindness hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s incredibly comforting and inspiring to know that not-so-deep-down, we do all care about one another. Thank you for sharing the love!
The Competition Doesn’t Always Play by the Same Rules
While there is a lot of love out there, it is business. So, if we’re being honest, things can get a little dog-eat-dog at times. We discovered early on that the competition can play by a different set of rules. Some may employ unethical tactics. At least one will probably knock off your product. And another just might spread false information about your company. All in desperate attempts to lift themselves up by pushing you down. Fortunately, it is just a handful of companies that resort to these tactics. I am proud to say that we have principles and values that guide us and our company. So there’s no way a knock-off is going to knock us off our game, nor will we lower ourselves to their level. In the end, we believe consumers will recognize and support the companies that are transparent, authentic, and grounded in good.
Hug a Lawyer, You May Need Him Some Day
Bear with me here. First, an admission: I do love a good lawyer joke. (Who doesn’t, right? Remember the one about the lawyer in the BMW?!?) Funny thing about that, if you build a startup without consulting a lawyer early and often, they will likely get the last laugh. We are so glad to have partnered with amazing lawyers from the very beginning. They have kept our business on the right track, legally speaking. Following their advice gives you options when things happen (see Knock-Off, above). Plus, while they aren’t cheap, they will likely save you tens of thousands of dollars because you’ve done things the right way from the start. So go ahead, hug a lawyer today. You’ll thank me later.
In our next installment of the 5 in 5 blog post series, we’re sharing 5 photos from the first 5 years. I’m absolutely terrified, to be honest. But it should be golden for readers. Thanks for supporting our small company!