They say time flies when you’re having fun, but those people obviously haven’t launched a business. As I sit here and reflect on The Bullet’s inaugural year, I certainly cherish some fun moments and good chuckles (those Daily WTFs aren’t just for your entertainment — they’re the highlight of our day). But there’ve been many twists and turns, and ups and downs, that make this more like a game of bumper cars than a walk in the park.
A year ago this week I posted this blog outlining my rationale for launching this business. When I look back on it, I’m proud to say that I’ve achieved the objectives I set out for myself. I’ve never felt more passionate, committed and excited about what we’re building. And along the way there have been a few surprises lessons learned:
Everything takes longer and costs more than you expect.
I have to admit: I’ve actually learned this lesson numerous times with all of my businesses, but this was a great refresher and it’s the lesson I most frequently impart on budding entrepreneurs. There’s no such thing as overnight success, so I’ve learned to sit back and (try to) enjoy the ride.
Haters will be haters.
I said a lot about this here. I’d just like to take a moment and thank those people for doubting me and wishing me unwell. (You know who you are. I bet you’re reading this right now, so thanks for the page view!) When I’ve been in my darkest hours, wondering if this was the little business that could, it was in part thinking about those people that got me back up and in fighting form. Knowing that someone didn’t believe in me gave me more incentive to believe in myself. The lesson? Not everyone’s going to love you and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s for the best.
The news can be really shocking, offensive, depressing and sometimes all of the above.
One thing I underestimated was the impact that writing about the news would have on my mental state (and sleep patterns). Then again, I could never have predicted (even in my worst nightmare) that Donald Trump would become POTUS, that Kim Jong-un would literally go ballistic, or that Mother Nature would give a big “F You” to the world (actually it was probably directed at Trump). Back in the Sweetspot and Eluxe days, it was all sunshine and roses (actually, more like the best fashion finds and the hottest hot spots). Like people with jobs that actually change the world (thank you doctors and teachers), I’ve learned how to compartmentalize the information and remember my place in the ecosystem. If I can help a fellow Canadian understand the world a bit better, while putting a smile on their face, then I can sleep a little easier. (Ativan helps, too.)
It’s all about the “good eggs.”
Those who know me, know that phrase means a lot. The mantra of my consulting company was that you’re only as good as your people and success happens when you surround yourself with the best. I’m blessed to be surrounded by the very, very best eggs in the world. It would be impossible for me to acknowledge them all but I need to highlight a few:
• All of my friends and family who participated in the beta phase for sharing their feedback and suggestions. You helped create and hatch this baby. (Sorry RA, the sports scores are still in the works.)
• My girlfriends (that includes you David Lester) who picked me up when I didn’t think I could get up, helped me see the light and seem to always see me as the smartest person in the world, even when I’m feeling dumb AF.
• My low-profile, but highly supportive investor. While he may be silent in investment terms, he’s always full of words of wisdom, encouragement and pride. I’ll be forever grateful for our friendship and the faith you’ve had in me.
• My new, incredible business family. I’ve very recently partnered with an amazing group of people and a business that I’m so excited about. Together we’re going to build a media empire, the likes of which Canada hasn’t seen. (How’s that for suspense?) I don’t know you all very well yet, but I already love you.
• The Bullet family: Rachel, Cam, Matt, Megan, Cara and all the contributing writers who helped take my idea and make it a reality.
• And then there are the sweet peeps. These are the former Sweetspot employees who immediately put up their hands and said “How can I get involved?” Bringing you back in the fold has brought me more joy than you can imagine. Many of you contribute as a side hustle (hence why you’ll remain nameless) but all of you have left an indelible mark on The Bullet brand. You gave it the sweet touch that makes it so special.
• On that note, there is the sweetest of all sweet eggs, without whom I can tell you with certainty there would be no Bullet. My managing editor, Sam Speisman. Sam jumped in with the passion and energy of a seasoned entrepreneur. Her tenacity, integrity and dedication is unmatchable. She’s the calm to my storm, the light to my darkness and the answer to my prayers. (Sam, I don’t even know how I’m writing this when you’re not the one writing it for me.) Her tireless effort is the reason there is a newsletter every morning (and speaking of tireless, I seriously don’t know she manages to edit the newsletter at 2:30am.) Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In the words of the great Albert Einstein “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” We’ve spent the past year trying to build something of value, but without you, our readers, it’s worthless. So thank you for giving us a shot, and sticking with us. We’ve only just begun!