Progress Report #3 on Nomad Manager (Part 1 of 2)
Okay, here we go.
I was talking to Karlo last night and reflecting on what I’ve accomplished with PdP and my life in the past year. And while I may have taken steps forward, I’ve also taken steps back, and I feel I am almost at the same point I was last year.
Resilience Test #1: The Need To Hire
This same period last year, I felt really exhausted from the business, as a result of doing all the legwork alone + manning the PdP booth for several bazaars in November and December 2010, as briefly expounded on here. I was in desperate need of change. I felt like I had put so much of myself in the business that I hardly had time to pursue things that I wanted for myself. Travel, painting, other rackets.
This was partly solved by the move to hire an operations manager, as Nica’s presence made the work more reasonable and made me feel less alone. However, I still always felt the need to be around all the time (though I managed a couple of trips abroad during major PdP events, and the relatively more frequent attendance to painting classes) because I don’t want Nica to ever feel like I was deserting her while I went and did my own thing.
We also decided to grow the PdP team in October last year by adding a marketing officer, and a creative/art director to assist in creating PdP collateral and doing graphics for Punchdrunk Inc., PdP’s design arm (which we just started in late November/December). But I soon realized that managing extra people was a luxury we couldn’t maintain, and at the same time, less efficient than I thought it would be, because I was inexperienced in how to properly manage a team. Suffice it to say, that didn’t pan out, and our team is now composed of just myself, Nica, and a Canada-based Gail.
Resilience Test #2: The Need To Sell
I’ve already mentioned here how we were experiencing really low sales in 2011, and even into the Christmas season, sales were underwhelming, considering the 4th quarter of the year has provided us with 50% of annual revenue in previous years.
The unexpected sales performance was a major setback in our hopes for business progress and development in 2011, but at the same time, it also helped us to become even more aggressive and resourceful in our efforts to pick ourselves up from that. So I really tried to look for ways to bounce back from this, getting consultancy from a renowned business guru, and looking for more outlets to sell our stuff.
I won’t deny that 2011 sales were discouraging, and that it seriously made me think about the longevity/sustainability of the business, or if it would make an impact to anyone at all if our business folded. And well, I don’t know if I’m just drowning in delusional self-importance, but I feel it does matter if Punchdrunk Panda closes.