So June was a pretty incredible month for Kanahoma.
With a growing team and a growing roster of clients, we ended up billing more in 30 days than we did in our first 6 months of business.
Financially, it was a breakout month and for the first time I’m confident in our cash flow and resting a little bit easier at night knowing we have the nest egg we need to serve as a foundation for the next phase of our growth and development.
But what was the cost?
In May, my wife tragically lost her sister unexpectedly. In June, I found myself working 80-100 hour weeks to keep up with competing client priorities. And in July, my beautiful daughter turned 6 months old - and I turned 37 - and I realized that the old idiom “they grow up so fast” could not be more true.
With all the challenges and changes taking place, my wife and I have been talking a lot about what it is we’re trying to build and what we’re willing to sacrifice to achieve it.
We agreed that the sacrifices of the past six months have been worth it, as we needed to both scale and stabilize Kanahoma.
But we also agreed that keeping at this pace without change would be a decision driven by greed, not heartfelt assessment.
So what does that mean for Kanahoma?
For starters, we’ve begun implementing client minimums, increasing the scale required to onboard new partners. We’re still growing, but there is an opportunity cost that comes from taking on smaller, short-term work, so we’re raising the barrier to entry.
We’ve also stopped responding to public RFPs, instead only responding to sole source opportunities. This one has been bittersweet, as we’ve declined to bid on some exciting projects with some really great brands, but we just can’t justify the time when we’re receiving so much inbound, organic interest.
We’re also increasing our investment in the team, both exploring new full-time hires, as well as expanding our contractor base. It will come at a cost, but it will buy us time. And at this stage, time is what we need the most.
Perhaps the only good thing that comes out of loss is expanded perspective.
And the loss of a family member in May has only furthered my belief that time is no guarantee; that we must be unabashed about pursuing our passions with the time we do have to do it.
As crazy as it’s been to grow our family as we grow our business, I can honestly say I’ve yet to regret the path we’ve chosen to walk.
But what got us here won’t keep us here. And the time it’s taken to walk this path is time that can’t be gotten back.
So as we head into the back half of 2021, I am focused on staying focused on the matters that matter most.
I wouldn’t say we’re taking our foot off the gas, but I do think we’re learning to trust the process, to let the car coast once and awhile, to slow down, soak it in, and enjoy the ride.
About the Author
Seth is the founder and CEO of Kanahoma, a San Diego-based education marketing agency. Operating at the intersection of beautiful brand creative and effective direct response marketing, Kanahoma partners with colleges and universities, education technology and service providers, as well as K-12 organizations.
You can learn more about Kanahoma at www.Kanahoma.com.