Are You #CrushingIt or Crushing Yourself Building a Startup? A Story of Raw Passion

Are You #CrushingIt or Crushing Yourself Building a Startup? A Story of Raw Passion

One of my heroes is Gary Vaneychuck. His book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook blew my mind and I just finished reading Crush It. This guy is a legend and I am glad he is coming to my hometown of Atlanta for the Rainmaker conference hosted by Salesloft in March. I’m stoked to finally meet him and see some raw passion.

For those who are not familiar with Gary, watch this video and here are his top 5 quotes that will get your blood pumping and out of your seats. Say these quotes out loud and you will know what I mean. These are truly powerful words which he says with so much passion that you gotta feel it.

  1. Get off your ass and get noticed.
  2. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do every day for the rest of my life? Do that.
  3. You didn’t grow up driving. You figured it out.
  4. You can market your ass off, but if your product sucks, you’re dead.
  5. It’s easy to dream about it, but much harder to execute it. Work!

I love the enthusiasm that Gary projects and the #HustleMuscle he has to do big things. As I finished reading Crush It, something big happened. My company, Terminus, an account-based marketing firm based in Atlanta, hit $1 million in ARR, and we did it in just nine months! We are now in the works to make a 3x run (as they say in the startup world) to triple our revenue in 2016. Here’s how we did it and the story of our #HustleMuscle.

In any startup, it’s a given that you will work crazy hours pouring your life and soul into your company. You’ll wear more hats than you even knew you could wear. You love it and hate it at the same time. But no matter what, you have the greatest influence on the success or failure of your company, and that’s what keeps you going. Because you want to succeed, you’re thinking about your startup while you are drinking, eating, and even sleeping. This lifestyle now seems perfectly normal, but after the past year it begged a question…

Are you crushing it or crushing yourself building a startup?

As I reflect on 2015, it was a year some great teamwork and lots of hustle. Heck, we helped build an ABM category with G2Crowd, did three massive #FlipMyFunnel conferences with over 1,000 attendees, and probably the most important accomplishment is hiring 24 new rockstars on the Terminus team which really feels like a real family.

So, I tried my best to look at each and every team member of Terminus and came up with 10 reasons why I feel that we are simply #CrushingIt and thankfully not crushing ourselves in the process.

10 Ways to Know You ’re #CrushingIt Building a Startup

  1. It’s about doing something you’ve never done before. Amanda Faillo, employee #3 at Terminus, ran events for the state government and wanted to switch careers. Brad Wilkerson worked in financial accounting before coming to Terminus. They are now rocking our sales development team setting a record number of demos every week with big smiles on their faces as if they have been doing this for years.
  2. It’s about giving 2,000%. Sydney Smith and Karen Topham on our Customer Success team won’t go home until they have done everything to make sure each and every customer is happy. These ladies rock. We call them “Team Kydney” because we can’t live without them.
  3. It’s about coming in early. Lucas Ulloque, who left Salesforce Pardot to head up our sales development team, comes in before anyone else gets in the office to set an example, especially for our new hires Kirby Oscar and Geoffrey Hanan.
  4. It’s about building a community. Nikki Nixon on our marketing team is all about building a #FlipMyFunnel community to help innovative B2B sales and marketing professionals learn everything they can about account-based marketing. I joke that her title should be Director of Funnel Flipping.
  5. It’s about taking a step back to take 10 steps forward. Tonni Bennett, our sales leader, is so focused on building a kickass team to grow revenue. She took a step back and realized she needed help managing both the sales account executives and SDRs, which is why Lucas came on board. Now, her awesome team of AEs including Stuart Maron, Chris Reene, and Zach Patterson are laser-focused on driving the company forward to hit our 3X revenue goal.
  6. It’s about getting to the finish line then running another lap. Lauren Patrick is helping me write the first-ever book about ABM. We’re so excited Account-Based Marketing for Dummies will be out on April 18, and she’s already getting a plan together for building our content library for sales enablement in Q2.
  7. It’s about dedicating time to do the right things. Kipp Ramsey, our recruiter and culture evangelist, is finding new ways to make the onboarding process for new “Terminators” smoother and giving every employee an amazing first week and beyond.
  8. It’s about building a great culture. Stevie Vines and Brandon Cummings on the engineering team started a book club for our company! We have several people in our company who are reading the book, along with their spouses, and getting together each month. Talk about a #WorkFamily.
  9. It’s about helping build careers. Our interns – Josh Fowler, Adam Perlow, and Jeff Ronpirin – are so far beyond the stereotypical interns who just print pages and pickup lunch. They are doing real work helping our company grow and solving real problems at a fast-paced startup while shaping their futures forever.
  10. It’s about doing something you always wanted to do. Terminus CEO and co-founder, Eric Spett, always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Our CTO and co-founder, Eric Vass, knew he wanted to build an amazing product. And that’s just what we’re doing while  challenge the status quo of the B2B marketing and sales industry.

I’m curious to know what other startup founders think about building a business from the ground up. In my next post, I’d love to share more about how to not crush yourself and focus having a great time working and living your dream at a startup. How’s your startup experience? What does #Crushingit mean to you?

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