2017 Year in Review

At its peak, my dad’s company, Total Performance, had 22 employees, 8,000 square feet, $5M in revenue.

Looking back on 2017, it’s crazy and exciting to realize, we have surpassed that high water mark. We are at 22 employees, 16,000 square feet and more than $5M in annual revenue.

Getting here hasn’t been easy, but it was a destination I could see – one where I had been a tourist for much of my childhood. But how do we get to where we are going next? How do we change the publishing industry to empower authors to fully exploit their own rights and to create permanent change, hope and healing.

I remembered, my dad’s mantra to his employees: “I don’t pay you to think.” I know why he said it. It can be hard to trust employees with your dreams. My dad is a visionary and a genius, but like me when it comes to managing people, he has a lot of flaws. One of those flaws is the temptation to see people as tools to get the job done.

Maybe you have felt that way in a job. That your boss wasn’t “paying you to think,” she was just paying you to do exactly what she said and not question it. Not a lot of fun, is it?

Clearly, my dad proved you can get to $5,000,000 in revenue that way – which is pretty impressive, but I also think it’s the ceiling. I want to go further… and to do that, I am committed to practicing the fine art of paying people to think.

My dad always said – “I don’t pay you to think.” But the truth is – it’s all he really wanted – he wanted to pay people to think. He just didn’t want to admit that to himself because it opened him up to feeling disappointed (and a bunch of other negative feelings).

I got some proof of that recently from one of his former employees who reach out to me on Facebook. I shared his incredible story with my whole team (barely heading off a full-on ugly cry) because I know, in my dad’s heart-of-hearts, he WANTED to pay people to think, he just didn’t know HOW to trust.

The good news for me is, I’ve had access to the world’s best life coaches and I’ve got the tools to manage those negative feelings. This year my business is transitioning to a shared leadership model – one where I do indeed pay people to think. And I’m willing to be disappointed because I know that willingness is required for us to go where we are going… to the moon!

I shot a quick (11 minute) video of that story I mentioned. And yes, if you watch it you will see me cry. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I also put together a slidedeck for our team meeting with our look back on the year. If you wonder what it takes to have a team of rockstars supporting your mission to change the world, or if you just want to get a sense of who our #incubatedauthors get to work with when they join our mission to reshape the publishing industry, check out these links:

The video is here: https://www.facebook.com/authorincubator/videos/10104611010285274

The SlideDeck is here: https://www.slideshare.net/secret/gDHROkvU1CeBKS

And hey, if you are thinking about joining our team, we have a few positions open. Currently, we are looking for:

  • A Director of Social Justice
  • An Author Concierge
  • A Project Manager
  • A Process/ Workflow Manager
  • A Digital Program Manager
  • An Online Marketing Manager

If any of these roles seem interesting to you, shoot me a video and tell me why I should pay you to think. We are partial to folks in the Washington DC area and to people with experience with InfusionSoft, Basecamp, and Slack. But there is always room for another Rockstar on this mission to the moon!

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