Ten million beanbags sold.
I couldn’t believe it when it happened. I mean, we knew it was coming. In fact, we had time to put together a celebration with cake, confetti, T-shirts and activities for employees in April of last year when that beautiful blue Milano chair came off the line:
But it was still a lot to take in when it happened. It was a lot to absorb when we hit one million chairs in 2016. Now that I think about it, we couldn’t believe it when our first order of beanbags sold out at our local Meijer store right after we graduated college.
Milestones are a great opportunity to stop and take stock of everything. Some people call it “triangulating”: you take stock of where you were, where you are, and where you’re going.
When we started, we were just scrappy college kids with an idea – making extra money selling bean bag chairs out of our trunks. Things were simpler then – but we never would have been able to achieve what we have if we’d never changed. Becoming a larger and more complex organization has allowed us to grow our family, innovate in our product lines, and reach more customers. I think it’s important to remember our roots so that we can bring the best parts of that time with us – they keep us honest and remind us how important our people are (which makes our culture better).
Flash forward to today, and we’ve got two big manufacturing facilities – one in Grand Rapids and one in Tennessee. Tens of thousands of square feet of machines and offices, hundreds of SKUs, and we’ve even acquired other companies in the process. Taking stock of where we are now is important because it helps put our frustrations and challenges in perspective and motivate us to work through them.
Looking to the future with the past and present to guide us, we can ask better questions. Where is the market going? What kind of company do we want to be? What will our 100,000,000th product be? Who do we need to hire to help us get there? What will those employees need to do their best work?
That’s the value of taking time to mark your milestones. You give yourself the freedom to reflect, take stock, and dream – all of which are essential to being successful. Give it a try:
If you can answer those questions – you’re on your way to reaching it.