I want to fill you in on something I have been going through over the past few months.
One of the things I put on my daily schedule is to simply build better relationships with our clients.
I put it on my calendar as “gym”.
During this time (usually 30 minutes at a peak time) the only thing I think about is connecting with the clients in the gym at that time, asking about their training, family and anything else that may be going on in their life.
During one of these scheduled times I got to talking to one of our long time clients who owns a successful marketing company.
She told me about a program she was doing called the 10,000 small business initiative that is funded by Goldman Sachs.
She described the program as an opportunity to help you work on your business instead of in your business.
Since Goldman was funding it, the program was free but there was a lengthy process to get accepted into it.
The way she described it was its like an MBA but instead of learning business theory you all learn into your own business immediately.
She talked about the immense commitment it took if you were accepted: All sessions were mandatory, 8 hours a week of homework, weekly contact with your group, and a ton of very challenging work.
All the work that goes into it is working ON your business.
At first, I was like oh, I read the emyth a while ago and I work ON my business all the time.
She insisted I look into it.
I pulled up the info and checked it out and it looked good but I was not overly excited about it.
I had a lot of respect for the client who was going through the program and took her word for it and started an application for potential acceptance to the program.
I pulled up the application; it was the longest most detailed application I had ever completed.
You had to provide all of your financial information and it took me an entire week to complete it.
A few months later I got a call telling me I had advanced to the interview round.
I drove in to NYC to sit down with 4 executives from Goldman Sachs.
While in the waiting room I started to talk to some of the other candidates.
Most of them had much more established businesses than mine, I did not want them to know that only a few years ago I was training kids on fields out my truck.
In the waiting room they talked about how 200 people had applied for 30 spots. I was even more nervous after I heard that.
When I finally got into the interview room after an hour wait there were 4 people sitting at a big table.
They all looked like they were ready to eat me alive.
The questions were firing from all around the room.
The second I finished my answer there was another question from the other side of the room. It was a very intense environment.
I felt like I held my own during the interview but was not really sure if I had done well enough to earn one of the 30 spots.
A few weeks went by and I was beginning to doubt that I had made it into the program.
I started to look at the program more closely and realized that this would be a huge opportunity if I got accepted.
At first, I was kind of like whatever, now I really wanted it and they were making me wait.
I would check my inbox every morning hoping something would come.
I finally got an email and it said we are in the process of sorting through all the applicants and will get back to you in a week or so.
I was dying.
I received a phone call I was accepted to the program.
I was more than excited but actually pretty nervous about the commitment.
When I got there on day one they had an orientation planned for 12 hours.
12 hours just to go over all we were going to do over the next 4 months.
The commitment they communicated to us was every other Friday.
I figured I could drive the 2 hours each way 14 times over the next 4 months, no problem.
On day 1 they gave us our schedule it was NOT 14 times.
It was way more.
Financial workshops, meetings with your advisor, meetings with your team and all of it took place in Long Island City which is no picnic to get to.
I felt overwhelmed but then excited. Think of all I will learn in the next 4 months.
I will be checking back with you and sharing some of the learning I will be doing over the next few months.