When you start a business you have a new line of thought that goes through your mind. Instead of ‘I hate my boss, I hate my boss’ ad infinitum, it’s more ‘When I have so much money I think I’ll buy a….’ . Of course, it doesn’t really work like that.
There are a lot of head-turning stories on social media such as Linkedin that would suggest that to be any type of success in business, you need to be a visionary, a natural leader, ruthless and then sell the business when it’s at the top of the game. My guess is some of that kind of thinking is put together by people who haven’t run a business. It’s hard work and actually doing things is what matters. People that do, make and sell, if happy in what they do are what will make the real value in your company. A room full of visionaries and leaders, though appearing very impressive will implode with their egos in a very short space of time.
My last attack on current business thinking (pre-Peloton misty eyed reminisce) is why should a business after a short life span (3 -5 years is the preferred investor bailout), sell out. Why not continue to grow, nurture its staff create bigger and better products, be a fantastic business and have the pride and the strength not to sell to the highest bidder? Personally, I really hope this wisdom fades, until of course someone comes along with a bucket full of cash for us.
We started ThePeloton 5 years ago with no clients, no kit, no money in the middle of a long recession (yep we had a great start), we did have a kernel of an idea though. We thought that online media businesses would start to produce video content and we knew a few of them. Our five year plan was that ‘we would see where we go from there’.
Our first client was a global and mammoth Technology media co. A filmed series of interviews with a chap that would refuse to do eye contact with both the camera and the interviewee. There followed a make-up shoot for a major cosmetics brand with a cast of millions and Matt from ThePeloton trying to make us look a lot bigger than we are (not sure how he managed it on his own, with one camera and a homemade fudge cake but we got there).
And slowly we kind of grew. We were reliant on the fact that the three of us founders all had a different role to play – one to get the work in, another to plan and write and the other to make them look good. Over time we have all got pretty good at all of that, but I can’t say we were to being with. As business and budgets grew we were able to bring in specialists and staff that could make the films even better and help us get new work and it kind of snowballs from there.
It was of course a far from smooth ride. We like a good argument, we hit a trough of despondency, we were skint. We were lucky though to bring in a great investor to the business who has backed us and occasionally slapped us. Without her help we would be back to hating our boss.
So what for the next 5 years? Well, we are doing bigger and better work month by month, we have more very talented people working for us on our projects. Video content is finally becoming a requirement for all business and we have a great piece of interactive video technology that we have developed that will make an enormous difference.
The plan for the next 5 years? – Let’s see where we go from here.
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