We had an amazing time this Wednesday night at Monday Night Brewing as we kicked off our thryver Career Insider Launch. Our small team worked really hard. It paid off when 150 amazing young Atlanta professionals gathered, heard more about our story and got on board!
The next day we reflected on what we learned. I hope that some of this can apply in your journey as well.
I’m going to make a “sh%t sandwhich” for you. That’s what you get when your boss is kind enough to give you criticism by putting a nice tasty piece of bread on each end of the criticism.
1. We’re on to something! (Phew!)
People didn’t just come and drink free beer. They learned about thryver, raved about it and made promo videos. Adam’s comment probably summarized the thoughts of many: “I was never on-the-fence about thryver, but after this, I’m all in!” We thought we were on the right track, but this is so encouraging!
2. Get out of the building
It’s the mantra of smart startup entrepreneurs. Everyone loves their own idea but you have to get in front of potential users and customers to see if you really have something. Our original idea has morphed like crazy. We talked to students about their job search needs. They spoke. They wanted access to young professionals ahead of them. We talked to young professionals. They told us what they liked about helping students and what they were frustrated with in their own lives. We listened and came up with solutions for both. So now everyone likes our idea. Of course they do, because it’s their idea.
3. People don’t follow vision; they get behind execution.
Don’t just talk about something. Do something. Every founder thinks s/he has a good idea. Frankly there are a lot of good ideas out there. It’s not until you invest planning, hard work and perseverance that people actually take notice. We received more affirmation on that night and the 2 days following than we have in the past year. We’re serious and people could see that.
THE MIDDLE PART
4. Analyze your team’s strengths and plan accordingly.
Kevin is an amazing utility player with mostly balanced strengths and I am off the charts in Artistic/CREATING and Enterprising/PERSUADING. BUT we both have very low Conventional/ORGANIZING scores on the thryver test. Would that stop us? NOOOOO! At times we barrelled along like Kevin Hart taking on a motorcycle gang in Ride Along. Sometimes we got a little goop on our shoes. We would have been better off to pull in an “Organizer” earlier. Gita is a thryver fan and she stepped in to help but we should have asked earlier. It would have made our lives easier.
5. Keep criticism constructive.
I have a lot of time and money invested in this vision so I speak up if I think something is wrong. (Pretty stinkin’ high on the thryver Boldness scale!) And I am the harshest on myself. Instead of falling asleep that night, I kept playing back all the little things I had done wrong in the past week. Angry with myself. Ashamed. Fortunately before I got up the next morning, I knew I had to recalibrate. Focus on the big picture of what we are trying to do and recognize that we moved the needle the night before. Apologize to a few people. Forgive myself. Remind myself that my worth is not tied up in how I perform. I committed to not make the same mistakes again. And then got up and celebrated all that was good.
SECOND PIECE OF BREAD
Probably the best things you will do in life are not easy. Adversity is all around. Anyone who wants to make the most of themselves or make the world better will have to face adversity. It shouldn’t shock us. We should expect it and eat it for breakfast. IT glitches, programmer delays, misunderstandings, traffic, “NO”s — all happen. We dealt with them. We wouldn’t give in to adversity. We’ll need to remember that.
It’s one of thryver’s Core Values. This event reminded me of how much I have to be grateful for. A movement doesn’t happen unless people get behind it. Enough people showed up on Wednesday night that we can literally change the world! My wife selflessly announced that her birthday would be postponed until after the launch! (Another phew!) Kevin and the rest of the team, Anisha, Gabby and Alexander continued to do an amazing job. My daughter, Anna, encouraged me and coached me. Her circle of friends spoke into the process as did my Brookhaven Supper Club YoPro friends. An ever widening group of you committed to come and spread the word to your friends. You literally infuse life into what we are building! For the opportunity to try, for friends who have coached me, for the team on the ground, and for everyone who is making thryver a success, I AM GRATEFUL.