August 14, 2020
It's the end of March 2020.
Governments around the world are determined to decimate the economy through mandatory lockdowns.
Stores and restaurants are shutting their doors and boarding their windows.
Countless millions of people are being laid off everywhere.
I try to hide it, but I'm freaking out.
In fact, I'm terrified.
How do we survive?
Do people even need trademarks in times like these?
How do I save what I've spent the last 9 years building?
We're not one of those fake-cheap online trademarking services that file whatever garbage you throw at them for $69.
We offer the best trademarking services money can buy... but can people afford our services anymore?
How do I preserve our superstar team without customers?
There is only so much we can save by cutting expenses...
How much longer will people put up with fear-mongering bureaucrats pretending to be war heroes?
What should we do now?
So the Trademark Factory® leadership team holds a virtual quarterly meeting.
Normally, during these meetings, we look at the past quarter to see what worked well and what needs improvement. From there, we identify 3–5 priority projects for the upcoming quarter. And once we agree that these projects are worth pursuing, we break them down into tasks and to-dos...
That's how our Q2 meeting starts as well.
But it soon becomes clear that what seemed like a top priority just a few weeks ago isn't really a priority anymore.
And then, one of us says,
— Hey guys, actually, we only have one priority now...
— Which one is that?
— To not run out of money.
— And how do we do it?
— That's what we have to spend the rest of the meeting trying to figure out!
"Not running out of money" becomes the theme of our Q2.
As the meetings progresses, we run all ideas through a simple test.
We ask ourselves one question, "Will this help us not run out of money?"
If the answer is yes, we discuss further details of how we can implement the idea.
If the answer is no, we dump it.
Sounds overly simplistic?
Maybe it is.
But this approach is the main reason Q2 of 2020 was the best quarter in Trademark Factory®'s history.
Not only did we survive, not only did we not run out of money, not only did we preserve every single team member, we ended up having our best quarter ever.
Thanks to one simple rule: only do things that move the needle and ignore things that don't.
And the overarching theme is what instructs you about the direction in which you want the needle to move.
It's what allows you to focus.
Like a sculptor, you get rid of the unnecessary.
As a small business owner, there are a million things you can and want to do.
A crisis helps identify hobby projects masquerading as business activities.
Have you ever noticed that the stuff that takes most of your time is usually the stuff the nobody really cares about?
Nobody but you...
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with hobbies and pet projects.
We all need them from time to time.
But you need to see them for what they are—hobby projects.
I love educating people about trademarks and intellectual property.
That's why I started our YouTube channel https://trademarkfactory.com/youtube and posted over 700 videos https://trademarkfactory.com/youtube.
But when we asked ourselves whether adding 50 more videos would help us not run out of money, the answer was a clear no.
So we limited our video production to the bare minimum.
We were planning to launch a new version of our internal dashboard and client cabinet.
How would that help us not run out of money?
So we put it on hold.
Instead, we 10x'ed our marketing efforts.
We focused our efforts on trying to better understand why our best clients became our best clients... so we could find more entrepreneurs and companies just like them.
We tested dozens of new landing pages, target audiences, and marketing messages.
And our efforts have paid off.
Once again, it wasn't because of what we did.
But primarily because of what we did not.
And more importantly, WHY we did the things we did and why we chose to not do anything else.
We chose our quarterly priorities for Q3 in line with a new theme.
This time around it's "ensuring consistent growth."
We'll evaluate our results at the end of the quarter, but so far, we've had our best month ever in July.
As in the best month we've ever had since August 31, 2011 when I started this company.
I'm not sharing this to show off.
I'm sharing this because the idea of a "quarterly theme" is one of the biggest lessons I've learned since I launched Trademark Factory®.
I'm sharing this because I deeply care about your success.
Because whatever I do—whether it's helping you trademark your brand or sharing my entrepreneurial journey—I do it because I want to help you build your dream.