For those of you who don’t know, QBconnect is the annual conference hosted by Intuit in San Jose, CA dedicated to QuickBooks users, developers, and accounting professionals. It’s where I go to learn all about the new features being added to the software, find apps and services to solve specific problems, go to breakout sessions on accounting and business topics, but maybe most importantly, to get inspired. While I get so much technical information from every part of the conference, I have to admit that my favorite part is hearing the stories. Stories like yours.
This morning the guest speaker was Julie Rice, one of the founders of SoulCycle. She started her business in the back of an old building with someone she had met over lunch only a few weeks before. She struggled with making payroll and with having enough money to buy equipment. And once she started gaining some popularity, she got negative press for being too expensive and too exclusive (exactly opposite of the experience she was really creating). Does any of this sound familiar? She made mistakes – big ones. Her partner said “Neither of us started with MBA’s. This is our tuition.” What a great thought! You’re going to make mistakes and those are as valuable as the business you are creating.
Inspirational Lesson 1: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are an important part of the journey.
She learned that the most important thing to grow her business was connecting to her customers. How? She learned their names and how they liked they liked their bottled water – room temp or cold. Her customers were surprised and pleased that in such a big, impersonal city, someone had taken the time to learn their name and a small thing about them.
Inspirational Lesson 2: Connecting with your customers/donors/clients on a personal level (even a small one) is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your business.
Inspirational Lesson 3: “Breathe in Inspiration; Breathe out expectation”
So what does that mean (at least to me)? It means taking the inspiration and momentum I have gotten from here – or anywhere else – and create a plan on how I am going to use it.
I have learned a lot and been inspired, now my job is to spread all that knowledge to all of you. Stay tuned!