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Sell what's on the truck.
Sell what's on the truck.

One of my favorite clients is known for saying “sell what’s on the truck” and when I heard it, at first I thought “that’s no fun”. But later, after a tough lesson, I took it to heart and it’s made our team better. Here’s what happened.

I am a futurist that loves new things. I like to change stuff, invent new things and have even been called “terminally original”. Meaning, if other people start doing what I’m doing, I get bored and restless to do something different again. To the point of being annoying. That used to drive my team crazy. And our channel partners too, because I was always changing and updating things.

I finally got wise to how this weird tendency of mine had a counterproductive influence on my team’s productivity. As founder, I am always thinking about how my behaviors affect what my team does because I want them to be the most productive they can be. At some point, I started realizing I had to make a change if I didn’t want to lose talented team members. I could no longer justify the problem my habit was creating for those around me. So, I made a half-hearted promise to making changes to our primary products no more than once a year after we’d looked at the research data. I’d still get to make changes after we’d analyzed a year of data, so that made me happy.  And everyone else breathed a sigh of relief. I also began to see that it had positive benefits for me as well. I started feeling less stress, less pressure, and being more patient really didn’t hurt the creative evolution of our product lines in any tangible way. It was going pretty good.

Then last year it happened again. My impulsivity got the best of me and I decided to post a workshop for sale on our website when we had not finished the design of the curriculum.

This time it was me that cracked under the pressure and had to live with my own consequences. We were under huge pressure to deliver and suddenly I learned that I had to have surgery. That cut a month of time out of our already crushing deadline. There was no margin and we had to go on. I still remember what it felt like to deliver something that did not come close to the quality our clients have come to expect and we had to let it happen. That’s when I decided to listen to my client’s words of wisdom that kept popping into my mind as I had to sit through the three days.

I’ve learned the hard way that being productive isn’t just about speed. It’s also about high-quality products shipped when they are ready. Now, I am the one who says “sell what’s on the truck”. And I mean it.