The chances that a startup business will reach $1 million in annual revenue are pretty slim. According to the government statistics, only 7 percent of U.S. businesses have reached that level. That's only 1 percent more than the people who believe in unicorns. (Yeah, I looked it up.) What's more, it takes between three and five years to prove out the typical business model. That's a high-risk, long-term possible return if there ever was one. Woohoo! Where do I sign up?! So, when SynFiny landed its first $500,000 purchase order, it wasn't just nice. It was a huge deal.
Realizing our potential
SynFiny holds a company-wide, quarterly meeting for the entire organization. We review business results, discuss company goals and direction, and engage in training and development-;the usual stuff. Beyond that, though, we also make it a point to recognize our team members, celebrate success, and have fun. It was right during our fourth quarter meeting of 2018 that Georg Schlangen, one of our North American partners, landed the big fish. The half-million dollar engagement wasn't just our largest to-date, it was a game changer that showed us just how successful our company could be.
I remember him walking into the courtyard of Arnold's Bar and Grill in Cincinnati just after we got the good news. The entire company was yelling, cheering, stomping their feet and raising their beer steins to the amazing success of Georg and our company. The time, the place, the image, the feeling...they're all burned into my memory where I'll cherish them forever.
We settle too often. We find a job that pays the bills and we don't hate. That's not good enough. Our career needs to be a life calling. And a life well-lived is where passion and paycheck align.
Warren Buffet is one of the most successful people out there. He talks a lot about how very much he loves what he does-;so much so that he "tap dances" his way to work. Now, you don't need to be Bojangles Robinson or Fred Astaire around the office. Some of your co-workers might find the racket distracting. (And let's face it, Warren Buffett can get away with it because . . . well, who's going to tell him to please contain himself?) But, if your work doesn't put a spring in your step and bring you joy, find work that does.
Loving your work
Perhaps the most important thing about loving your work is enjoying the people you work with. Most of us spend more time talking and engaging with co-workers than we do our own families. If we don't get along with them, the workplace quickly becomes unpleasant.
Take an interest in your co-workers and become their friend. Let your attitude and comportment be a positive influence for them. Let your coworkers know you respect and appreciate them. If you do the hiring, employ people you like and who will fit in well with the team. A candidate might be the best salesman since Zig Ziglar, but if they are a toxic influence on team chemistry, you may risk your company's future by hiring them. Hire people you want to be around.
Another key to loving your work is knowing what you're passionate about. Understand what drives you and brings fulfillment to your life. Think about what kind of people you like to be around. Know how to have fun at work and make sure that the rest of your team has fun, too.
That last part-;having fun-;may be the biggest reason we've done so well so fast. Our team was assembled with chemistry in mind. We acknowledge and honor our successes-;even some of the smaller ones. At SynFiny, we celebrate when we send off a proposal. Potential clients have a huge range of consulting options, and we're honored they included us among their prospective partners. Moments like that are to be treasured and enjoyed. They're what makes our work fun, and that's the biggest part of our success.