(Pic above: 2008. Now we have 85 employees.)
Yesterday was TakeLessons' six year anniversary. Here is the talk I gave to my team.
"Six years ago, I used a landline phone. Nutty didn’t lie around all day, and I didn’t have one speck of gray hair.
And six years ago we started on a journey. A journey and a dream of building a great company and a simple idea of making a positive, lasting impact on people.
Over this six-year journey, we’ve been up, and we’ve been down. We’ve won, and lost. We’ve laughed, cried, worried, celebrated, pondered, and partied. We even brewed beer in our old company bathroom.
In the words of Bob Marley, “Though the road’s been rocky, it sure feels good to me.” But through it all, we’ve continued to focus on building something that we can stand behind and that we’re proud to be a part of.
Today, we celebrate those who have been with us in the past and helped us get to where we are. And it’s a lot of fun looking back, feeling the wins, and remembering the struggles. We respect what’s been built and the people who built it.
But I know our best days are still ahead.
There will be more wins, and more struggles. There will be more things we get right, and things we get wrong. And we’ll continue to journey up this mountain. Because it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. It’s about the climb. Ernest Hemingway said, “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey itself that matters in the end.”
It’s about what you give. It’s about the bridges you build. It’s about what you learn along the way – about business, about your teammates, and most importantly, about yourself.
And hopefully what you’ve learned is that you have the ability and the responsibility to help carry this company to the next level. Each person that has worked here, or invested, or rooted for us is counting on you to build smarter, to serve the customer better, and to create something we’re all proud of. They are counting on you to evolve – to change – to make things better than how you found them.
I am honored and humbled to be sharing this day with you. Because when all is said and done, I believe that life is about having incredible experiences with incredible people. And there’s nothing more incredible than to be working with an incredible team and taking a shot at creating something great from the blackness of nothing.
I sincerely appreciate your work, your smartness, your dedication, and your ownership mentality. Always remember that you are important. Every line of code, every call, every ad buy, every project goes to creating a better tomorrow – for you, your teammates, our teachers, our customers, and our community.
It’s true – we’ve come a long way. In fact, we’ve now taught hudreds of thousands of lessons. But we’ve just begun.
So, I’d like to raise this toast to honor not only those who came before us, but to celebrate you. And whether you’ve been here, six years, six months, or six days, this is now YOUR story. YOUR company. YOUR journey. And the past won’t hold a pittance to where we’re going to go together."