Here's an interview with a young Will Smith (side note: he looks exactly the same as he does now, doesn't he?).
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things: You're getting off first, or I'm going to die." - Will Smith
This morning was pretty rough. I went to bed obscenely early (8ish) last night so I could wake up at 4 in the morning and drive an hour and a half from San Francisco to Gilroy, where the UNFI Distribution Center is.
I'm in San Francisco at an all hands meeting for Mozilla, my contract job. Yep, I totally still have another job, even though we hired people and have a profitable business. The bottom line is that it's worth it for me to work for Mozilla and pay someone else to take care of things like packaging soaps.
So I have another job, which is Mozilla. And this week, I'm effectively working two full time jobs.
When I showed up at the UNFI DC (distribution center), I couldn't find a way in. I drove around, and finally I buzzed in to what appeared to be a very official entrance... which turned out to be my official entrance.
I was the only person who had ever brought a regular car in the loading dock.
They had absolutely no idea what to do with me.
And instead of smiling and figuring it out, me and my little seven boxes of soap caused a major meltdown in the system... which caused a major meltdown in me. I couldn't even comprehend how this could be such an ordeal for just a few boxes, in the scheme of them and their three billion truckloads per day.
It was a total nightmare. I wasn't able to unload, and once I unloaded, I wasn't able to get received for a long time. I sat there in the receiving area, watching time go by, knowing my meetings were starting back an hour and a half away in San Francisco, and here I was... stuck. Yeah, I might have cried a little.
But as soon as I left there, I picked myself up and figured out a new plan
It wasn't their problem that we were too small for their system, it was our problem. And our little company might be charming in concept, and Rocklin might even have more flexibility and humor around us and our little boxes, but we couldn't count on our charm to get us through these big huge ol' distribution walls anymore.
If we are going to work with distributors, we have to level up our game.
I left there with the resolution that we were going to have to commit to getting bigger, to the size where it made sense to work with UNFI on their terms, not trying to get our terms to work with their system.
We will not be outworked.
As I wrote about yesterday, we want to get in front of our right customers so we can enrich lives and make people happy. And that means getting into distribution, so we're going to do it, darn it all to heck.