Lucky #7 - Amy's top 7 lessons learned in 7 years of joy!
JoyRide's 7th anniversary is fast-approaching! We asked our co-founders Amy Hochhauser and Rhodie Lorenz: what have been the most important lessons you've learned since opening our doors? Read on for Amy's responses!
As a small business owner, you’re guaranteed to receive your fair share of feedback. Some will be glowing. Some, not so much. Though it is tempting to defend decisions you’ve made for the business, I’ve learned that 9 times out of 10 it’s better to just listen. And that’s not easy for this former litigator! But listening carefully and finding solutions that work for your customers and employees is the winning ticket.
We did everything ourselves when the business was smaller. As we’ve grown, it’s become harder and harder to manage everything personally. I used to be terrified by the idea of finding someone I trusted, taking the time to train them and relinquishing control of some aspects of the business. But working more hours and pushing myself harder wasn’t sustainable or scalable. Once I overcame that fear, I found more time to think creatively and strategically and lead the company instead of drowning in the details.
3. IT’S OK TO SIT ON THE FLOOR.
Rhodie and I always wanted JoyRide to be a inclusive, positive community for our customers and our staff. This attitude has to start at the top. Others shouldn’t cater to my needs just because I’m the boss. If I’m the last one to walk into a meeting and there are no more seats, the floor it is for the CEO! I’m lucky if I get to lean against a wall or garbage can ;) I have photo evidence if you want a laugh :)
4. PREPARE TO FAIL.
Being an entrepreneur in a fast-paced, competitive industry is a rollercoaster. Depending on the day, I’ll tell you that JoyRide is either doing AMAZING…or FAILING miserably. You have to become comfortable with failing to achieve enduring success. While throwing in the towel on one of the bad days has certainly crossed my mind, I always try to remember what instructors like Rhodie, Mackenzie and Mo say during class. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. You will sometimes fail if you take risks and live a big life. It’s the ability to get up and keep going that sets you apart from the pack.
5. HIRE PEOPLE SMARTER THAN YOU ARE.
I’m very aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. While I may be great at reading a legal document or coming up with a marketing campaign, doing an Excel analysis with pivot tables (I mean, really?!) is just not my thing. I always try to hire people who are “smarter” or “better” than I in an area of need for the company. Instead of being intimidated, I’m grateful to learn from others and for the contributions they can make to our success. The better the team, the better the company. JoyRide’s motto holds true... “we're stronger together".
6. MANAGEMENT IS HARD.
Managing employees and responding to customers doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve always been at my best when buried under a pile of work that I could complete independently. But as the company grew, I’ve had to consistently remind myself to get outside of my own experience and view things from others’ perspectives. I’ve learned the most when allowing my team’s experiences to inform decisions for the company. Also, there is more to life than work. So learning about my employees as people and understanding what motivates them and what makes them tick is truly the key to a strong work environment.
7. SAY THANK YOU.
Above all, I’ve learned to express gratitude for all the amazing people that have come into my life since I started JoyRide. The instructors, the staff and the incredible community of riders that have made JoyRide the journey of a lifetime. While studying for the bar exam in the summer of 1998, I never could have imagined that I would one day open indoor cycling studios. I don’t think such a thing even existed at that time! And although I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, it is incredibly gratifying when customers tell us how we’ve changed their lives, saved them from depression and unhealthy living, and provided them with a safe and positive community where they to feel like they belong. It’s the greatest gift imaginable. So to every single person who had been on this journey with us, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We’ll keep working our hearts out to give you the best experience possible as long as we have you by our side. Here’s to the next 7 years!