My 22 Lessons from 2022 🎄
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're spending today with somebody you love. Whether that's family, your significant other, good friends, or your lovely french bulldog I hope you find sometime to disconnect, relax, and reflect on how blessed we all are.
Even if you're not opening up that gift you really wanted today, take some time to be grateful for how lucky you are to be able to open this email, have a cell phone, have people who love you and a warm bed to sleep in. No matter the current state of your business or the stress you face daily, we truly are so damn lucky. If not the entire day just take the next few seconds to think about that.
The best gift I gave myself (besides getting married, I love you Lyndsey) was building this active, incredible newsletter community that tunes into each and every email. Across all socials, nearly 40,000 people see or read CROSSED COMMERCE weekly. I hope my emails have been helpful and inspired you in some capacity this year, because you are capable of accomplishing so much more than you think.
So here's my gift to you.
22 Lessons for 2022
- Slow your business down. Unless you have investors breathing down your neck, it's okay to not 5x or even 2x your business every year. Of course that's a nice goal, but mistakes happen when you go to fast. Give me the slow and sustainable business over the one thats bright and burns out fast any day.
- Treat your team right. Company morale goes a long way. Do anything you can to keep your people motivated.
- Everyone is replaceable. As much as lesson #2 contradicts this mindset, you can't ever find yourself held hostage with an employee. The business is not one employee and if it is...you have bigger issues to worry about.
- If you wouldn't spend it with your personal bank account, don't do it with your companies.
- When things are good pay yourself. You never know when you'll be able to take another pay day.
- Less is more. Lean teams are going to be needed in 2023 & 2024 for profitability. You may "accomplish less" than you'd like but you'll have a growing and stable business as a result.
- Clarity doesn't strike, it unfolds. Hindsight will always be 20/20 but it will take time to come to the right decisions and you'll look back at yourself and say how can I be so stupid. Sometimes you simply just have to go through shit to learn tough lessons and become better in the future.
- Trust your gut.
- Take some time to truly get to know somebody before entering into a permanent business relationship with anybody. They say it takes "six months" for the crazy to come out, nothing is worse than getting stuck with a partner you can't stand.
- Cheap advice is very expensive. Hire a good lawyer.
- Remember, the deal is not done until its actually signed. If you think its too good to be true, it probably is.
- Free cash flow is above all else. It doesn't matter how much you raise, how much revenue you have, a company that is profitable by $1 is still making more money then a company with $10M of revenue and $11M in spend.
- Contribution margin is everything to an ecommerce business. If you don't fully understand yours, make it your #1 mission in January.
- Don't waste your life building a business your not happy with. Yes, money is important; but being happy, sleeping at night, and having the time to do the stuff you actually want to is way more.
- Start thinking in terms of where you want your business & life to be in the next 5 or even 10 years. Every month or day does not need to be the best day ever. Do everything you can to make sure your business can stand the test of time and weather any storm.
- Keep your team focused. Put the right people in the right seats. Let them focus on one thing at a time. Start pulling people in different directions and it creates problems.
- Hire fast and fire faster. Hiring the right people and empowering them to make an impact will have the biggest impact on your business.
- Persistence. Failure and tough times are simply a test of persistence.
- Being "busy" doesn't mean being "productive." 3 hours of focused work > 8 hours of random shit.
- Stop feeling like you're not doing enough because of a few people on the internet. There will always be somebody smarter, richer, prettier, and ahead of you. That's life. Focus on what you can control. What gets you out of bed. What makes you the happiest.
- Put your phone away. I promise you'll be okay without scrolling Instagram.
- Life's short. Remind your friends and family you love them. Say thank you. Tell somebody you're proud of them. It takes five seconds to let somebody know what you think of them.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.