Episode IV: The Slow Roll [2001-2002]
This next post will give you a little background on the early days of OneMethod. Some of the things I ended up doing here are not exactly kosher (you’ll see what I mean in a minute) and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this path to most people (especially for any budding entrepreneurs working for me today). So take this with a grain of salt.
I kinda screwed over the last company I worked for… kinda.
Much to my dismay, when we opened the proverbial ‘doors’ at OneMethod, there wasn’t a line-up of clients waiting with open arms and bags filled with dead prime ministers. At the time, my partners and I still had day jobs and a stupid surplus of bills, so there was no way I could’ve jumped in without ANY income. But what I did do was change jobs to better set myself up to get OneMethod off the ground. I packed my things up at EquityEngine.com and took on a marketing job at an office at 1 Mount Pleasant Ave (for the sake of argument, why don’t we just call them BigCo). I hate to say it (or maybe I don’t), but on this particular job hunt, I wasn’t looking for a challenge, I wasn’t looking for a raise, I wasn’t looking for a good fit… I was simply looking for a stop-gap. My sole strategic approach was to find something/anything at a large, bloated company (and there are a lot of them out there), where the return was reasonable ($$$’s in my pocket) and the expectations were low (output vs. time).
As you can imagine, starting a business is a big commitment. Working 60hr weeks at your day job then another 60 on evenings and weekends for your own gig is just not ideal (it’s safe to say Brampton’s party scene took a big hit that year as my decks collected dust). My solution – find a job that would pay me for 5 days a week; get the job done in 2 (ya…. I’m that good) and now I’ve got the time I need to get OneMethod rolling. On one hand, I kinda feel bad (even today) for taking advantage, but on the other hand I don’t, because I delivered on whatever it was they expected of the role – I just didn’t deliver one iota more than the minimum requirement. I obviously wasn’t gunnin for employee of the month.
On the flip side, we were getting a little traction with OneMethod. Picked-up a couple of clients here and there – not making a ton of money (whatever little we were making was just going to the bank), but at least we were getting jobs and building up some clients and a portfolio, which was good.
Back to BigCo, where I had a one year plan with a personal objective that as soon as I had three months of float ($$$) in the bank (from OneMethod business), I’d end the farce at BigCo and give OneMethod my full-time commitment. Ten months and two partners later (I’ll explain in a second), I packed my things up from my shitty cubicle, said bye to a bunch of nameless, single-serving co-workers (the cool ones, I still talk to – you know who you are) and tossed my metro pass out the window on the bus ride home. That was a damn good feeling!
Back on the OneMethod front, the relationship I had with my two partners got a little rocky along the way in that first year. We all had day jobs on top of all the OneMethod work we had coming in (for no extra money in our pockets), and admittedly, it was a little tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. By the end of that first year, I bought each of my original partners out for a dollar (yes, a shiny loonie) and OneMethod was now a company of 1 – me.
Now running semi-solo, all I had to do was make sure I didn’t have to go crawling back to BigCo after three months ;-)
Moral of the story: Respect the hustle – sometimes it’s best to walk before you run.