I had my first quarterly review a few weeks ago. Things didn’t go very well. Though I had exceeded a few of the goals that we set up when I started, there was one key area in which I had undoubtedly failed. That failure led to a stern discussion with my VP of Biz Dev (my direct boss) and the CEO (his boss).
The short story? I was probably really close to getting fired, and so I started searching for things to blame. I was grasping for excuses.
One of our core culture points at FullContact is that “we communicate with candor”. Bart was very forthright with what he needed to tell me. He believed that we could meet the goals that we had set, he was aware that there were roadblocks, and he was willing to help in whatever way possible to remove them. I just had to “do more faster”.
In the spirit of candor, I’ll say this now - Being told to do more faster initially pissed me off. I had spoken at length with Bart and Ben about what it takes to grow traffic, and I knew that we were in agreement and understanding that it was a slow process when you’re talking about building a quality audience over simple quantity.
But then I realized that I was making excuses. I could do more faster. I just had to do the right things. While the public face of FullContact’s content marketing looked bright and shiny, behind the scenes I had an absolute mess on my hands. I had a thousand projects that required me to be involved with them and I was falling apart at the seams.
So I started to figure out the pieces that I needed to get in place. I realized that doing more faster wasn’t about the growth of traffic, it was about finding and using the tools that would allow me to work more efficiently. The traffic growth would come naturally, as long as I was doing my job.
Over the course of the past couple weeks, that realization has come to fruition. We’ve seen exponential, sustained growth of quality, converting traffic to FullContact. I’ve been able to take a paid, PAID vacation with my wife to reset my course and the powers that be definitely seem to be happier with how things are moving.
So stop for a moment and figure out where you’re making excuses. Now back up from those places and find the tools that will help you to not have to continue making them. This is one of those “an ounce of prevention” problems. When you find what you need, you’ll do more faster by default. There is no room for excuses.