Recently, someone asked me if I had a "Top 3 Best Moments" for Bulu Box this year. I gave them a PR-approved response: significantly improving our employee's benefits and compensation, selling Bulu Marketplace, and adding another warehouse location. And while I am truly proud of these things, it got me thinking about what I'm privately celebrating…what am I proud of “me” for. If you follow me on Social Media you might be surprised to learn that’s incredibly hard for me to be proud of my accomplishments (It can always be better! Harder! Faster!). Over time, I've realized this is the case for a lot of people - they don’t take time to be proud of themselves. In the spirit of both #BangTheDrum for the Midwest, and being uncomfortably honest to keep it real, I want to share three other, more personal highlights from 2017.
1. Work-Life Balance
Okay, I shouldn’t even call it “work-life balance.” Yuck, right? But it’s the closest phrase my brain could find. First off, everyone has their own shit, but running a growing company with your wife, adding dozens of employees, getting new warehouses and adding a baby into the mix, I feel I can provide a decent point of view on this. In 2017, Stephanie and I had disagreements about our vision for Bulu Box, our subscription box clients, and how to handle some serious topics. I'm proud that these events - which could have caused strain for our marriage, family, friends, co-workers and business - only drew us closer and made our personal and professional relationships stronger. As a former meat-head, intense d-line-football-player, I'm proud of the respect in our relationship (I didn’t go 0 to 100 quick in 2017 ;) ). When you have genuine mutual respect in a relationship, it's easier to compromise.
2. Letting Go
2017 challenged me to be more self-aware, particularly in my role as CEO at Bulu Box. To accomplish the things I want to in this life, I had (and have) to learn that I need to let go of things that don't impact our business' most important metrics in a major way. Letting go at the proper time gives my team the opportunity to step up and gives me the time I need to focus on the bigger picture. As Bulu Box is hyper-focusing on Turnkey Subscription Box Solutions, the team keeps growing and we're adding more locations, so this is even more crucial. I've always believed in hiring smart people and getting out of their way. I'm still learning, and it's hard, but it's the right thing to do. Plus, I know that my team will support me and hold me accountable for this goal so I can keep working on letting go in 2018.
3. Embracing the Chaos
Be a great Husband, Father and Businessman. These are the 3 goals I have for 2018, and I’ll ruthlessly focus on them. But, to accomplish this, I've learned to embrace the chaos of being a working parent married to a working parent. I had to ask for help in ways that felt weird, like taking on an assistant. Honestly? I didn't feel important enough to ask for help like that; having an assistant is for celebrities in my simple brain. But, to be a great husband, daddy, and entrepreneur, I needed to ask someone else to make my dentist appointments, fax immunization records to my kid's daycare and just help organize my schedule. It still feels weird at times! But when it comes to a few hours of scheduling or a few hours with my kid, it’s an easy decision. Plus, keeping focused on the big things that matter benefits everyone in the company.
So, that's what I’m proud of from 2017. What are you proud of this year?