Four years, the length of our time in high school or college. It's one presidential term. It also happens to be one Olympic cycle—which dictated how I lived the majority of my adult life. One can accomplish quite a lot in four years.
It’s hard to believe Run Gum has been in business for four years already. As I sit back and reflect on it all, I realize just how much I have learned.
For this special anniversary blog, I came up with the top four things I’ve learned from four years of Run Gum. Perhaps, you will find a nugget of useful wisdom here.
1. You can do more with less.
We didn’t start Run Gum with a big bank account. As a small startup, we are a lean, do-it-yourself kind of operation. From packing boxes to product photography and digital marketing, our entire team has had to be students every single day on the job. While it would be nice to have the large budgets of the "big guys," these four years have taught us to think creatively and to be very purposeful with the resources we have. I am so extremely proud of our team for “running lean” and I am certain it has made us more cleaver and kept us humble along the way.
2. It has to be about more than just making a dollar.
In anything big that you do in life there are going to be ups and downs. As a pro runner, I had good races and I had bad races. As an entrepreneur, I have days where I am certain we will all be billionaires and days I am worried we will go bankrupt. This emotional roller coaster can be hard to deal with sometimes. As an athlete, I always found a lot of purpose in the fact that when I did have a bad race, I could inspire people by the way I handled the disappointment. Inspiring people became a big motivator for me.
As I neared retirement I realized I could continue to inspire people through Run Gum. Knowing that I have this opportunity to help and inspire people keeps me focused and working hard through the ups and downs of business.
3. The TEAM never gets enough credit.
I look at companies like Tesla or Amazon and think wow, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are really something. And they are. They are brilliant and they took risks and deserve their success. BUT what I know now, after running a company for several years, is that what is most incredible about those companies is the TEAM they have built. When something big happens for Run Gum, as the CEO I get a lot of messages of congratulations (like when we launched NATIONWIDE with Target last week!!)
In many ways, I feel I hardly deserve the congratulatory messages as nine times out of ten Run Gum’s successes are a result of my team’s hard work. Never underestimate the importance and value of a good team.
4. Listen to your loyal customers.
I am ECSTATIC that our customers can now find Run Gum in the Sporting Goods aisle of their local Target and at hundreds of their favorite running stores across the U.S. However, there is something really special about being able to ship our product directly to the homes of our most loyal customers.
Our customers that have signed up for a Boost Plan (our monthly subscription service) are our most loyal customers and are often the people who believe in our company the most. It is our responsibility and pleasure to take especially good care of these customers.
We are so passionate about this side of our business that we recently revamped our subscription service. Our upgraded Boost Plans offer HUGE savings on Run Gum along with a gift and personalized note from me each month, direct to your door.
People are LOVING this option, and our subscriber count has nearly doubled in the last few weeks. I am so confident that you are going to love being a Boost Plan subscriber that I am willing to send you your a trial kit for just $1.
I’m only offering this to the first 500 people to sign up so act quick! Offer ends at midnight on our birthday (Sunday, October 14th).
I have never been more excited than I am now about this business. We have a great new podcast, amazing retail partners (both big and small), and phenomenal customers and fans. Our team is made up of A+ men and women who are humble, smart, and hard working.
It makes me proud to be the CEO of this company, and I can't wait for the next four years.