To mark Inc.'s 40th anniversary, we're matching 40 aspiring founders with 40 experienced mentors in the Founders Project. Here's an update on our latest pairing.
I'm excited to be part of the Inc. Founders Project. We started our running sunglass brand goodr in March of 2015. Since then, we've grown three times every year, and now we have over 50 employees. (On a side note, each applicant has to submit a drawing of an octopus fighting a pirate to be considered for employment.)
At goodr, using mentors is deep in our culture. We provide everyone with personal mentors and check in on key issues regularly. So getting guidance from Morris Miller--the CEO of health care company Xenex Disinfection Services and managing partner at Tectonic Ventures--for Inc.'s Founders Project has made me feel right at home. Here are the three main goals Morris and I are working on:
1. Growth Finance Plan
We are a self-owned company and want to stay that way. Still, my partner and I (like so many founders) have real concerns about our cash flow. We hope to create a capital/cash flow model so that we know how much money we need to continue to grow as quickly as we have been while maintaining the same profitability.
2. Team Growth Plan
We currently have an amazing team of over 50 and growing by the week. But I know we need to make some key hires moving forward to keep us on the same revenue growth path of 300 percent per year. Morris has been helping me identify those roles and create the right revenue-per-employee model to get us there.
3. Culture Recognition
We always joke that we come across as a culture that just slams margaritas all day, but our fun culture takes a lot of work (and occasional margaritas...). We have no bosses (a flat reporting structure) and a personal, development-based advancement system. Our team is amazing. They're our most valuable asset and we celebrate them. We want to ensure that goodr is a place where employees want to work every day and ensure that our culture can scale with us.
Morris and I have been conferring, and appeared together onstage at the Inc. Fast Growth Tour on May 21st in Chicago. I will report back on how we are doing with these goals!