“I really don’t see Executive Media going anywhere. You guys are just three kids working on a college project. It’s not a business and it’s not going to last,” are the words that I’ve heard many too often that it has somewhat become music to my ears. In fact, I think they’re the words that most entrepreneurs would hear when they were just starting out. They sound negative, but they can be positive depending on how we react to them.
For once, instead of doing what I used to always do after being told that I would fail, which is give up and move on, I decided to do something different. I persisted. I thanked my friend for telling me what he genuinely felt about my company and continued to work harder than ever. And the reason why I did was because of my team. I thought that I had persisted because I wanted to prove him wrong, but I realized that his words were just the fuel that keeps my fire on. What really started the fire was my team and the first six members in Executive Media.
Grow Together as A Team
Now, with almost 800 members and a combined audience of nearly 50 million plus worldwide, Executive Media is a thriving business. As the leader of the company, I truly believe that in order for the company to grow, the team must grow both in terms of quality and quantity. From just the three of us (me and my other two partners) working in my bedroom, Executive Media has now grown a team of sixteen individuals working everyday to support the growth of 700 plus influencers worldwide.
It’s never just about earning money and making profit. Yes, I do agree that building a company needs profit to sustain and by having massive capital in the account, we can do a lot of things that can highly contribute to the growth of the company. However, more than that, I strongly believe that the team matters a great deal. I always tell my team that the only way a company will grow is if the people in it grow. Every Saturday, we will spend some time together working on our self-development and sharing insights with each other. One Saturday we’d be sharing with each other about the books or interesting articles we’ve read and the next, we’d be watching an episode of The Profit together and having an in-depth discussion which would usually lead to a bunch of other compelling topics.
Sometimes We Have to Let Go In Order to Move Forward
We have had to let go of a few people in the past. I have to say it wasn’t easy but it had to be done. And in the process, I learnt that not everyone is meant to stay. Some people are meant to cross our paths to teach us a lesson and move on. For quite some time, I wanted everything to be perfect and to stay the way it did in the beginning, so I stopped myself from saying anything when I saw the early signs that something wasn’t working. But things were not getting any better and months passed by, the team’s performance was quickly deteriorating. I knew I had to do something.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. This Einstein quote knocked the stubbornness off of my head and I decided that something had to change. So after speaking to my co-founders about the issue, we decided to let go of a few of our earliest teammates. It was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make, but it was one of the best too.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping The Positivity When Nothing is Going Right
Just like all the companies in the world, we face challenges everyday. On a good day, our challenge is one reported internal issue and a few minor disagreements. On a bad day, it’s ten customers reporting ten different issues, bots not working as expected, broken air-conditioner and a bunch of other stuff that decide to knock on the door on the exact same day. And at times like this, we all have to keep our sanity and be patient.
One thing I always tell people whenever they ask me for an advice is that: It’s easy to stay positive when things are going great. It’s easy to say that life is awesome when nothing is going wrong and everything goes as planned. To stay positive when our plans fail, when things take a detour, when life knocks us down to our knees, that’s the challenge. It’s not easy but nothing great comes easy and if we can keep our calm and stay positive during those times, we win.
Building a team may be easy but building a team that genuinely loves and enjoys what they’re doing, that is the ultimate goal.