Notes Along the Journey: Part 4

Lessons Learned From A Musical Instrument Start-Up Company.

This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts reflecting on the beginning years of INNOVA Music, the parent company which produces the WalkaBout Drum. Our CEO, Andrew Kilpatrick, reflects on the last two years and also look to the future. Click the links to read Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of Notes Along The Journey.

Lesson 4  Step By Step (Three Things That Kept Us Going). 

There are tough days when you’re starting any business, but when you’re inventing a new product, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. Everything is outbound. The phone rings one time for every hundred calls out. You can trace the origin of every sale. There’s no roadmap, which sounds like fun until you realize that without a map you have no idea where you’re headed or if the things you’re doing are going to get you there, wherever there is.

Regardless of how difficult things got, we did three things that helped fill the tank when we were on empty.

  1. First, we always had our weekly team meeting. Even if there wasn’t a lot to discuss we had the discipline to meet. This allowed us to stay connected as a team as well as keeping us focused on just doing the next thing, which is the second thing that kept us going.
  2. We focused on the next step. No matter how large our ambitions or how discouraging our current circumstances, we would define the next step that had to be taken and we did that thing.
  3. Finally, we continually looked back at our progress. It’s easy to look at where you want to go and how far away it is from where you are, but it’s important to look back at how far you’ve come. When it felt like we were straining against the oars but staying still, it helped to look back at where we started from and realize how fortunate we were to be doing what we were doing.