It’s been almost 4 years since I started SEO Hacker. Seeing the big, fat, desirable brands out there like Google, Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and other such companies, I was always anxious in growing my small, fledgling start-up company.
Thank God that anxiety has not turned into a breakdown or a burnout – but it can be pretty darn pressuring at times. Sometimes I dream about things that a 3 year old company like mine ‘could’ve been‘. But to be honest, it wouldn’t have been any different. I knew that how SEO Hacker is today is still going to be the same because I’ll make the same decisions given the opportunities and closed doors I was given before.
We have bootstrapped SEO Hacker with limited funds. We had to make do with what we have. We had to invest and innovate from within. We had to balance clients with manpower because cashflow was thin. And yes, there were multiple times when we had to walk the wire.
Reading about Sam Walton and how he grew Wal-Mart from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” chilled me out. I wasn’t too late after all. Perhaps those big name companies are big now, but when they were starting out, I’m pretty sure they were just like how we were – except they had better funding.
You see, Sam Walton is commonly thought of as an overnight success in our world today. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sam Walton started Wal-Mart back in 1945 with a single dime store. That’s it. Just one store.
He didn’t open the next Wal-Mart store until seven years later.
And here I am freaking out after just 3 short years of starting up.
It’s not that it’s wrong to be anxious. In fact, if you ask me, it’s even worse to just chill out and cruise off with the company’s revenues. However the key here is patience.
The flywheel is heavy and there’s a lot of pushing to be done to nudge it an inch. It took Sam Walton seven years. While that’s a very respectable goal to open another rural superstore, I sure hope it doesn’t take me 7 years to nudge our flywheel forward.
After that second store, it took Sam another 25 years to grow it to a chain of 38 Wal-marts. Another 23 years and it exploded to over 3,000 stores with over $150 billion in revenues.
The growth is exponential. The rewards are many.
But the flywheel is heavy and the effort needed to nudge in an inch is colossal – perhaps far more difficult than moving it forward a thousand times when it’s already running.
Overnight sensation? Nope.
It’s a buildup to breakthrough process. People don’t see that.
Until the first inch forward, I guess I better keep myself in tact.