This year, Health and Fitness Activations is celebrating our 10-year anniversary! 10 years! We’ve gone from a one-person venture to a team of 9, and our company is the strongest it’s ever been.
During the last decade we’ve learned some things – some the easy way, and some the hard way! Today we’re sharing our favorite little nuggets of gold with you.
1. Growth comes in reaching for things you don’t know if you’re capable of.
There have been several times this has proven true. Probably the most notable is when our biggest client at the time told us their retailer would be requiring W-2 employees, not contractors. We’d already been looking into whether or not to make the W-2 conversion, but this definitely shoved us over the edge. We converted over two dozen brand ambassadors in multiple states from 1099 to W-2 employees in about 48 hours. Years later, we can see that this change led us to work with many large brands who seek out experiential marketing agencies with W-2 employees. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make the conversion in a couple of days, but I am glad we took the leap!
2. Finding the right people to work on your internal team is the most important predictor of success.
Like most businesses, we’ve had some really stellar hires, and some where we’ve missed the mark. Finding the right people for our internal team remains one of our key indicators of success. When our team is in sync and vibing, we can conquer mountains. When there’s someone out of step, we’re walking along a trail that ends the same place we started.
3. Staying in your genius zone works.
As you can probably infer from our name, we specialize in experiential marketing in the health and fitness space. We’ve been approached by about a dozen companies that don’t fit in that space. We’re not saying we don’t support wineries or banking apps, but if there’s no crossover with health and fitness, then we just aren’t the right agency for them. Staying in your genius zone doesn’t mean you can’t grow. For us, it meant we grew a little slower and more strategically, ultimately creating a name for ourselves in the natural products industry.
4. Clients aren’t always right
Let us start by saying we have had mostly really amazing clients. We’ve “grown up” with some of the brands we’ve worked alongside. We’ve created true partnerships and friendships with many of our customers. But…there have also been some real doozies. We’ve had clients who requested “All-American” staff, and when they asked us to remove the qualified person of color we’d staffed for their event, we learned they defined “All-American” as white. We’ve had clients try to go behind our backs and hire our staff directly. We’ve had clients that stopped returning our calls when they realized a member of our leadership team wasn’t interested in them romantically. Clients aren’t always right and there are certainly times that the best thing you can do is to let them go.
We’ve grown, struggled, learned, thrived, celebrated, laughed, cried, and some days just survived…with a lot of coffee. It’s been an amazing journey and we offer a deep thank you to everyone who’s joined us along the way.
It’s amazing how much you can grow with time. What lessons have you learned during the past decade?