This was the largest Elite Program run of the past four years. The run required an open mind, something that sometimes eludes me.
What did I observe during all of these runs ... all of these companies ... all of these challenges?
It takes a lot of courage to face great uncertainty, and then have to make significant decisions that could well jeopardize your future. You ... yes, you reading this ... you made important decisions. You could have been wrong, so wrong. Some of you were wrong!! But you made your choices, and you lived with your choices. Nobody ... not a soul ... has the right to judge you for making difficult decisions under such challenging circumstances.
You might feel comforted to learn that (by and large) your decisions were right. If you cut back on your marketing budget and you observed that you made a mistake, you corrected your course. If you saw that business was +40%, you reacted and harvested as many new customers as possible. If you were spending $100,000 with Google and the data said you should spend $200,000, you spent $200,000 ... and you made the decision from home knowing you didn't have the inventory to support every customer and you were willing to disappoint some customers for the opportunity to please many, many more customers.
You closed distribution centers and offices. You opened Zoom and Skype.
Some among you exceeded 2019 sales by between 50% and 120% during April and May. Yes, you were blessed, but you took the blessings given to you and you amplified your opportunity. You did that. Nobody else did. You did. You turned +35% into +85%.
If somebody told you on Thanksgiving Day 2019 that, from home, via video, you'd transform your business and grow sales by 50% in April/May and you'd be in quarantine ... you probably couldn't have imagined HOW that was possible. And yet, so many of you pulled your brands through this mess. Yes, you. You did it.
Some of you faced demand catastrophes ... -30%. You also dealt with this from home, and you didn't get any of the benefits your peers enjoyed. They'll be paid bonuses for amplifying good luck, you'll take home a 20% pay cut for mitigating a disaster. Congrats! In many ways, your work was more important. You kept a brand alive when it flat-lined. That kind of effort doesn't get covered in trade journals, but it matters.
Whether you were -30% or +120%, you changed how business will operate ... forever. You had to change it.
I must say, I am so proud of all of you.
We focus on our differences. We lambast our peers because 3% of their belief system is in direct opposition to our belief system.
But since March 11 (what I call "Tom Hanks Day"), alone, we all worked together, each of us trying to solve a complex puzzle with highly incomplete information. Regardless of the "results", all earned an "A" for the processes put in place ... a process you couldn't have fathomed on Thanksgiving Day 2019.
Imagine what you are truly capable of ... given what you accomplished in the past 3-4 months?