When I saw this, I literally almost started to cry… Sometimes I complain to my friends about how hard it is to manage a team of 30+ people. But then I read something like this, and it all becomes worth it instantly. It’s insane how we can foster this type of team culture – in a 100% remote company.
It really is all about the team… but let’s have some foreplay first = )
Tom was one of our first “real” copywriters. Before we hired him and some other creative people, it was just everyone doing everything. You’d write copy, you’d do design, you’d send emails, work on strategy, all of it. Working with rockstars like Tom (and shoutout to brother Kunal!) allowed us to specialize and to grow. Deliver a better service. Btw, Tom wrote some pretty damn amazing copy, so if you need a great copywriter reach out to him!
Now what amazes me about people like Tom, is the strength of the feeling of belonging they add to/feel in the team. Tom’s “only” been with us for about 15 months. Not so much in real world time. We’ve all been spending our days lurking online, in front of a computer screen. Slack, Asana, and Zoom video calls.
And yet, it feels like it was way more than a year. Just like in an office, we got to know more about each other. The strengths, the weaknesses. Some bits about personal lives. And then when a person leaves, you really miss them.
As cliche as it sounds, it hasn’t been about the money for me for quite some time. It’s about the challenge – how to scale and grow a relatively difficult business model (a digital agency). And even more than that, it’s about the people. About the team.
Seing people (and yourself) develop professionally and personally is incredibly rewarding. It’s kind of like going on a quest with some great players in World of Warcraft and seeing everyone level up. Except it’s happening right here in the real world. And we all get to pay real bills with the fruits of our work. Working “from the computer” huh? Who would have thought such a thing is possible.
There were some incredible developments in the team, it’s really crazy. Socrates has been working at McDonalds before. Now his emailing strategies have sold $600,000 of product for one client in just a month. Marko and I used to breakdance together. Now he’s leading two teams of 7 and 4 and having calls with million dollar store owners like it’s a walk in the park. Stan used to pack frozen chicken. Olin worked in an underpaid 9-5 soul-crushing office.
And there are so many more…So many people that were not happy where they were. And somehow they were drawn to us. Applied through our “weird” selfie-video application. Went through the process and got a shot. And then started to develop and grow like mushrooms after rainfall.
We’ve got young parents producing outstanding work while they get to spend more time with their kids. We’ve got students who can juggle studies and work and smash it with both. We’ve got talented rock stars from 3rd world countries whose talents are allowed to shine. We even got some seniors who despite being older (50+) put in more hours than all of our young hustlers combined, and make clients extremely happy and satisfied.
Somehow at Hustler Marketing, we manage to offer fertile grounds to our people with so many talents to grow and prosper. And there are many more opportunities, many more areas we want to develop, so many niches we want to expand into…So much more brainpower and talent we’ll need!
And of course we (the management) make mistakes too. And we can’t hear everyone as much as we used to. And some idealistic ideas from the past have been trampled and crushed. We’re becoming a bigger organization where we need to have rules and processes in place. We need to control costs and be profitable. And yes, it’s still a job. You still have to do some stuff you don’t like. It’s not all sunshine & rainbows.
But guess what. We’re still Hustler Marketing. It still says “get shit done” on our hoodie. We can still work in our underwear. We still send cheese to people, and photoshop people’s faces on top of superhero characters just for the fock of it.
So having said all that – seeing a post like this in our dear #who-I-Noticed channel warms my heart and makes me want to push even harder.
It’s up to ALL of us to keep this culture growing. It’s up to us to keep holding ourselves accountable. To keep being radically honest. To keep saying what we mean. And to keep bringing our best selves to Slack and the work we do. For our team, and for our clients.
For all my Hustlers (and my online friends)
– Love, Bostjan
Random bits of advice
- If you’re thinking/running a business and you struggle with a lack of motivation – you’re probably thinking of yourself too much. Think of others, and that problem will go away.
- If you KNOW you’re doing a great job and are being unvalued at your job, leave them. Go find a place where you’ll be appreciated. I know there are not so many places like this, but it’s sure damn worth to find them. Join us. It might take a while. Persist.