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April 19, 2023
I woke up at the crack of dawn, 4:30 AM, on a Monday morning; I wondered if my eyelids fully touched the past 6 hours.
I started to feel my heart speeding up and my fingers trembling; I had to take a few deep breaths before I grabbed my phone and opened my email. I crossed my fingers, hoping to see a confirmation of a $7,000 payment in our account. Nothing. I aggressively refreshed my email—still nothing.
I started going down the never-ending rabbit hole of what was going to happen to my business. Suddenly, the stability of my business seemed to be vanishing beneath me. Holding on by a string of $500 in our bank account on the day of payroll, doomsday was here.
A wave of cold sweat came over me as I tried to hold myself from shaking my entire house out of frustration. I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. I threw my left sweaty hand towards my nightstand and grabbed my phone. I started writing an email to our client, Dan.
“Hey Dan, I noticed your payment didn’t come through on Sunday, as you mentioned. Will you be sending it today? We want to make sure we continue with the project.”
After 15 minutes of debating whether to send it, I had no choice. Send.
I had a 7 hour deadline after I sent the email to Dan. I had to break the news to my team that I had to delay payroll and that we were running on fumes at this point. I can sense the worry within their words through their Slack messages as they trickled in one by one. Fortunately, this was the first time that this sort of madness happened.
After 43 hours of pure silence, Dan replied: “Sorry man, I was out of town with no internet. Sending it now”. A simple sentence, yet it held the power to bring back our sinking ship.
After being in business for 5 months, that Monday was one of the biggest growing pains. It was a reality check.
I retreated to my office, marker in hand, a whiteboard before me - my battlefield. I had to map out the survival strategy for similar battles in the future if I wanted this business to survive.
I started to think about the projects we’ve done and if there is anything that we did for client A that we also had to do for client B. I was searching for patterns. For the next few months, I closely watched...
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