We’re all looking to accomplish something in life. There’s so many different goals and objectives we aspire for as we grow. As babies, there’s nothing more important than a bottle and a good sleep. But as we grow older things get a little more complex. In school we want to get great grades and be at the top of our class. In college we want to graduate with a prestigious degree so we can get our dream job. And we even set goals on falling love and starting a family. All these things we learn to aspire for in life.
None of it mattered when we were small little babies. But it’s good to have goals in life. It gives us direction and helps keep us motivated for something. Things can get really depressing living for your next meal and a good sleep. So we need to have things to accomplish in life. They add complexity and flavor to what can sometimes be a very exhausting and repetitive life. But we have to keep track of the goals we have and what direction they are leading us in life. Even more importantly you need to keep track of the goals you have accomplished. So what was your last major accomplishment?
Here’s a short story on my last major accomplishment.
I walked into the room and immediately started scanning the seats. There weren’t a lot of chairs and many of them were already taken. I always hated being the kid with nowhere to sit and nobody to sit with. But I tried to stay calm because I wanted to look confident. This was a room full of some of the top entrepreneurs at my college, Kennesaw State University. When all else fails, just sit in the front to be perceived as a smart and attentive student. I started walking towards the front row of seats when I saw someone waving in my vision. It was Dwayne.
He was in the back of the room with an empty seat for me right beside him. I was glad to see his face in this room full of strangers. I totally forgot that he was supposed to be in this extracurricular program as well. I sat beside him and we started talking about what exactly to expect. KSU didn’t have a entrepreneurship program for the longest time including when we were both enrolled in classes. But for whatever reason they were inspired to start an entrepreneurship course which was super exciting. It was bitter sweet knowing they would finally have something to cater to people like me and Dwayne who admired the school but had a true love for business. So we were here to learn more about the business courses and just to connect with the new director of the entrepreneurship program.
We did a few formalities introducing ourselves. Then we received an inspiring presentation from the director, Chris Hanks. We were really impressed with everything he said and how sharp a lot of our peers in the room were. But Chris decided to take it further by making everyone explain their business idea and goals in entrepreneurship. This is the part that made Dwayne and I both nervous. We didn’t have the clearest goals in business at this point. It was only a year since we dropped out of KSU and launched Sparketh in Atlanta. We hadn’t made any amount of true progress but rather were just getting onto our feet at that point.
It was our turn to stand up and talk about our goals and progress in business. I didn’t know if Dwayne was going to speak or me. We have that problem sometimes. And we didn’t even have enough time to talk about what a realistic goal was for the business. We just had to go with the flow. We both stood up and talked a little about what Sparketh was. We teach creative subjects like art to kids and teens. We have homeschool families that pay monthly for unlimited access to all the courses on the platform. Then Dwayne jumped in to talk about what our goal was in the next year.
I had no idea what he was going to say. In my mind I was thinking how two hundred customers would be a reasonable goal by this time next year. We probably had less than fifty paid customers at the time we were in the room. And that took us a whole year to get to that point. It wasn’t easy either because parents cancelled all the time. We had to get better in so many different areas of the business to grow faster. Nonetheless, I look over and Dwayne confidently says we’ll have five hundred customers by this time next year. Chris was shocked. He thought five hundred was a big number. We spent the next five minutes bullshitting a plan on how we would accomplish it.
We went home that day thinking we had a big goal to accomplish. Whatever goals or milestones we had before didn’t matter. We wanted to hit this five hundred customers for our platform Sparketh. So we brainstormed lists and lists of different things we could do to get there. A year later and we were at about two hundred paying customers for the platform. We missed the goal. And we just forgot about it. But just last year, September 2018, we hit the number of five hundred customers. We were about two or three years late. And that’s fine. It wasn’t the timeline. It was the goal. And we hit it.
Congrats to hitting 500 customers Dwayne! What’s next?