Skim Sessions‎ > ‎

2013-05-09

“Always surround yourself with people who are better than you. If you're hanging around bad people, they're going to start bringing you down. But, if you surround yourself with good people, they're going to be pulling you up.”
- Donny Osmond

2013-05-13
2013-05-06

I started the day today with a three hour onboarding meeting with our new Head of HR, Rob Boggart. We focused our time on building out the structure of the company and assessing the positions and departments that we need to recruit for. Over the next month, we plan to onboard ~100 new Waveborn team members in a variety of roles.

Check out the Waveborn referral program to learn more about how you can get a FREE pair of Waveborn shades for referring five friends to back the campaign and join the waveborn movement.

A key theme of our HR discussion was the culture at Waveborn. How do we convey that to the work force? How do we teach new fans/customers/brand ambassadors/staff/managers what the Waveborn culture and lifestyle is all about? We need to have several hooks to pull them in. We want to teach people what it is like to be an entrepreneur - to give them a taste of what life can be like after you make "the leap" into running your own company.

Our hope is that by bringing on ~100 new team members and requiring each of them to work 10+ hours/week over the summer, we will be able to build out an in-depth program to introduce people to what it takes to become a full-time entrepreneur. It starts by getting a "side hustle" - something you work on for a few hours a day and continue to build over time. I spent 12 months working on Waveborn while still full-time at Deloitte and taking grad school classes at Georgetown. To learn what it takes to make it, you need to be willing to make sacrifices in other areas of your life (read: STOP watching TV) and commit to developing your skills over time by putting in the hard work and effort.

Science has proven that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. We want to get people started with 10 hours/week this summer to begin them down the path to learning and mastering these new skills they will need to be successful and continue to grow in their personal and professional development. 10 hrs/week * 50 weeks/yearr * 20 years = 10,000 hours --> it's time to start now!

We need to clearly communicate the "value proposition" for new staff. Because we are a bootstrapping start up, we don't have the capital to pay the staff we are onboarding. They will have to earn their income through sales commissions. This will also teach people some valuable lessons about setting (and achieving) realistic sales goals that will motivate them to work hard all summer long.

The biggest payment they will receive from Waveborn will be in the form of on-the-job training and experience to build their resume and skill set. We also love writing letters of recommendation and helping our staff land their next fabulous gig. We want to build a community of hard-working individuals who want to learn more about business and expand their skills.


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Brand Ambassadors are able to purchase Waveborn shades at a 30% discount ($60 instead of $85). If a Brand Ambassador spends the summer walking up/down the beach selling shades, and they sell 1 pair of sunglasses/hr at $85 then they will make $25/hr. That's a pretty good summer job. If you do some more math:

1 pair sold/hr = $25/hr
8 hrs/day = $200/day
5 days/week = $100/week
10 weeks/summer = $10,000/summer

That's a pretty good income for spending 8 hours/day on the beach selling shades and learning how to live the entrepreneurial dream!


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A key thing that Rob and I decided was the need to have a Weekend Update from all staff members submitted by Monday COB (Close of Business...before you go to bed) and reviewed by leadership on Tuesday mornings. This will allow us to track 4 key areas:

1) Sales - need to report and track the sales for each employee over the past week
2) Best Practices/Lessons Learned - share what works (and doesn't work) with the rest of the Waveborn team
3) Brand Activations - how frequently do you engage with the brand in real life and through social media? we want to know what you are doing to show your love for waveborn
4) Recruitment/Referrals - Waveborn's growth since Day One has been based on organic, word of mouth marketing. we want to track how often you talk to your friends/networks about waveborn and convince them to join the waveborn movement.

We are working on building out a template to allow everyone to create weekend updates and submit to Admin. This will teach our staff how to create weekly status reports and submit them on time - a valuable skill for any future job.


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When recruiting/interviewing/hiring new team members, we want to start with these questions:

1) Email HR your latest resume and answer these questions:
2) In two sentences, what type of job/internship are you looking for this year?
3) In two sentences, what type of job/industry do you want to be working in by 2015?
4) List 5 activities that begin with strong action verbs that you think would be good to add to your resume. Basically, what do you want to be able to say you did while working for Waveborn that will directly lead to you getting a good/better full time job. Read the resume recommendations link above for some hints/tips and look at my old resumes.
5) read Malloy's first book, Becoming So Good They Can't Ignore You


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We just created email addresses for several new departments at Waveborn:


In related news, we are actively hiring folks to work in each of these departments in the company. If you are interested in learning more about a position in one of these departments, email them. We will be posting more info about our job openings next week.


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In the afternoon, I met with our tax professional, Ryan Rocha. We discussed the recent growth for Waveborn and the exponential growth on the horizon. Some key takeways from our meeting include:

Tax deductions mean that we will get ~35 cents back for every $1 spent.
Keeping receipts and good records is vital to accurately filing company taxes next year
ALL receipts for > $75 must be saved

Buckets for expenses include:
Meals/Entertainment - track the full amount, but we only get to write-off 50%
Travel - plane, rental car, gas, hotel, etc
Technology - laptop, iPads, phone, internet, etc
Rent - office space, percentage of home rent for staff that works from home
Printing - business cards, event flyers, marketing materials, giveaways, christmas cards, etc
Sub Contractors - outside staff/companies who provide goods/services


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Since this is the biggest skim session I've had time to write since we launched the campaign, I wanted to highlight some of the old notes from my meeting with Steve Hyman, Director of Sales, last week.

(first half of full notes)

Create a system that allows team members to work when they want to work. It is important that we are understanding of other folks schedules and work/life commitments. Scheduling projects out in advance a few days before you know a team member will be available to commit time to the project is a good strategy. Since Waveborn is a "side hustle" for the majority of our team members, we must be flexible with their schedule, but still set clear expectations about when work must be completed by. Promotions within the company are decided based on reaching and exceeding sales goals.

We should focus on the beach market and the boatyard market. At the beach, we can follow the scopes business model to get attractive people to walk up and down the beach selling shades as a portable retail store. These distributors can get exclusive access to specific blocks (e.g., 1st to 20th st in OC) on the beach. Sending out beautiful women in teams of 2 will be the most successful method. We should start with OC up to NJ beaches as pilot programs.

Now we need to recruit/interview/hire/train lots of beautiful women to sell Waveborn sunglasses.

TODO: Berkleigh (OC Sales Rep) needs to do research about the scopes model
http://www.ocbeachphotos.com/ocb-home.html
http://www.ocbeachphotos.com/ocb-faqs-reg.html


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One of the key takeaways from our conversation was that I don't want to be responsible for implementing these new sales/distribution programs. And in general, I actually hate the implementation stage of projects. My mind is constantly thinking about new, creative, and innovative ideas, but it gets easily bogged down by the implementation stage of putting these ideas into action. It is important that I surround myself with as many "doers" as possible who can take my ideas and run with them by adding in their own creative touches and seeing the project through until completion.

I need to be working ON my business, not IN my business. This is key to the company's growth.

We need to find people who are so enthusiastic that they will be available online 16+ hours/day because I only want to be online for 2-3 hours a day. We need to find 50 other Mike Malloys in each state who can be responsible and accountable for running things in their territory while approaching the business with enthusiasm and vigor.

"Systems beat genius every time."
Steve does most of his teaching through story telling. Back in the day, he was selling products to schools, and he needed to get the school to agree to purchase. The company gave him a list of principal's and their phone numbers. Steve realized immediately that cold calling busy principals was not going to allow him to reach and exceed his sales goals. Instead, he decided to get up at 5am every day and drive to one of the high schools on the list. He got there by 6:30am and waited for the principal to arrive.

When the principal arrived and parked in his reserved spot, Steve would hop out of his car and walk with him into the school to tell him about his products. Now, every day he had a guartaneed good lead to start the day with. Starting the day with good momentum usually leads to a much more productive and successful day.

The focus of their conversation wasn't on getting the principal to write Steve a check. The first meeting NEVER involves a check book. Steve would ask the principal about his/her background, LISTEN to their responses and then follow up with even more insightful questions about their background. These conversations allowed Steve to build a strong rapport (extremely important) with the principals. Over time the new friendship would turn into a business relationship, and they would purchase Steve's products.

Now that Steve had successful sold to a new principal friend, he would ask them if they knew any other principals in the area who might also benefit from his products. Obviously the principals know one another and communicate somewhat regularly. Steve would ask his new principal friend to call 1-3 other principals in the area, and tell them about how Steve's product was making their school run better.

Now, Steve didn't have to cold call any of the other principals in his region. He had his first customers (early adopters) doing the majority of the legwork to reach out to their colleagues at other schools and start pitching them on his products. When Steve showed up at 6:30am at the next school, the new principal would be excited to see him and look forward to learning more about what he was selling because his first principal friend had already given a warm introduction.

Morals of the story:
Cold calling sucks. While it is good to teach you how to deal with repeated rejection, it is not the most effective way to reach and surpass your sales goals.
Building rapport and strong relationships is key to business (and life)
When you meet with someone, it is important that you intentionally connect with them - listen to their answers and build the conversation from there to learn more about what makes them tick
Friendly introductions will lead to 5000% increase in sales
Figure out who your close friends know and can introduce you to, from there the ball is in your court to close the sale
Don't ever go into the first meeting trying to close the sale
The goal of 90% of meetings is to "get the next meeting"


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After the HS ancedote, Steve and I discussed how we can hire a Mobile Sales Team (we need a cool name for this...suggestions?). We want to recruit folks to work at beaches and boatyards to hustle and sell Waveborn shades to our target demographics there. Beach people are on vacation and almost always need sunglasses. Boat people have money and love polarized lenses.

We need to set clear sales goals. Hire slowly, fire quickly. If you don't meet your sales goals, then we don't need you. We will need to hire 10 people to find 2 rock stars. The bottom 2 performers should be fired immediately. The top 2 will go above and beyond what we expected. The middle 6 will be okay but need some hand holding along the way. By firing the bottom 2 immediately, the middle 6 will only have those above them to look at to see how hard they should be hustling.

All promotions at Waveborn are dictated by sales volume and surpassing your sales goals.


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As mentioned above in my conversation with Rob, we need to focus on teaching the culture of waveborn. New team members need to conceptualize that we are not just selling shades - we are growing a business and constantly learning new skills and developing new relationships

We need to create training videos on YouTube for people to watch and learn more background info about the company. We can also make tutorial videos on how to sell, how to run events, how to do other cool things, etc. We are severely lacking staff with video recording/editing/producing skillz. Email Video if you are interested in leading this aspect of the company.


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Comments from Bryant Wolf:
http://www.betabrand.com/

I think you should check out Betabrand as a brand to model some of the things you want for Waveborn. First of all I think their branding is great. Second, their "Model Citizen" photos is a cool way to involve the customer and build a brand presence through these people (and giving them a small discount) plus it's creative. 3rd check out their think tank which is how they develop new products to sell.

I also think they hit the same demographic you're looking for. The idea of some of their products, like sweatpants disguised as dress pants, or other clothing mashups are really cool and speak to the kind of third tribe/startup/entrepreneurial nomad lifestyle that you want to promote and grow.


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Check out all the attachments at the bottom if you are interested in learning more about various aspects of the company. We've created a lot of content over the past two years and are trying to find the best ways to share it with our new, much bigger, audience. Email Malloy if you have specific questions about any aspects of today's skim session.



FAQs:



Relevant Links:

http://ultiworld.com/2013/05/09/southpaw-wont-return-for-club-season-top-players-headed-to-truck-stop/

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/05/who-do-you-know.html
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/05/miscommunication.html

http://alumni.georgetown.edu/career/career_96.html

http://www.ere.net/2012/08/13/exciting-job-titles-can-be-powerful-recruiting-and-retention-tools/

http://rcmap.hatnote.com/#en
(live map of wikipedia updates - would be siiick to make something like this for the waveborn wiki once it gets bigger)

http://www.threadless.com/

http://www.betabrand.com/

http://www.marginofexcellence.com/2013/05/10/a-marketing-lesson-i-didnt-learn-in-business-school/
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Mike Malloy,
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Mike Malloy,
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Mike Malloy,
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:41 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:44 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:43 AM
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Mike Malloy,
May 10, 2013, 8:33 AM
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