A few weeks ago, the comedian Rob Beckett posted a screenshot of an email he received 10 years prior, from his promotor.
It was some words of encouragement after they had sold some more tickets to their show, ‘Work In Progress
Knowing who they are now, how many tickets do you think they sold? Well, he shares that as well:
They sold 9 tickets.
“I love the comment he posted with it, ‘Me and @romeshranga did a show together nearly 10 years ago. Swipe right to see how many tickets we sold. Spoiler alert it was 9.”
But here’s the bit I love….
“Keep pushing they said. We haven’t ******* stopped. To the next 10 years”
When I’m speaking with people about starting a business, I stress that this isn’t going to become successful overnight. Any successful business is going to take years of graft in the background.
I went to see Rob Beckett at The Hammersmith Apollo in 2017, and it was sold out.
At the time I didn’t really think about his journey getting to that point, the empty gig’s he’d have performed at, the failed jokes, and even failed projects.
How easy would it have been for him to quit it all in 2012. Point the finger a promoters not doing enough. Venues being in the wrong location.
It would be fair to say, in some ways quitting could’ve been the least embarrassing of the options available to him. It must be hard as a performer of any kind to put on a show, put untold hours of work into writing and preparing only for it to flop.
But thankfully Rob loves what he does and he persevered. I expect over the years he’s performed at a number of small, empty gigs, but knew that it was all worth it, because he believed in what he was doing.
So, at the sold-out Hammersmith Apollo, I saw someone on stage, full of confidence and really making the most of all the hard work he had put in over the years. Not an empty seat in the place.
Certainly, no sign of flopped projects of the past. If anything, I’d say that those projects make him a better performer than he would’ve been had everything was easy.
When you’re starting any business, there are going to be hours of work. When we started The Holiday Franchise Company, I knew that we had the business model to help people start and own a successful online travel agency.
Jo and I spent over a year refining what was already there, adding to and improving every process and system we had. Timelining future projects and building the image of the business to the outside.
In those days it was tough to get people to understand the quality that we wanted to bring to the field. Like Rob, I was speaking with a small number of people telling them about a business that had no proven travel record in franchising. We were the underdogs and I expect our ‘competitors’ didn’t really take much notice of us to begin with.
But Jo and I, and our two directors Charles and Richard believed in what we are doing. We put years of hard work in to get us in the position we’re in today. From the very start, we’ve been adamant that we wouldn’t be a pressure sales company, which could work against us, but we know it’s the right thing to do.
It’s the same for every franchise business that joins us. They’ll need to speak with confidence to their first customers, and they might lose a few sales. The business owner that knows that this is all part of the process, and can continue to drive their business forward with a smile on their face, is the business owner that’s going to be successful.
Four years later we have over 45 travel businesses doing amazing things. We’ve grown the head office team in line with our business growth with each member bringing a unique skill to the table. Our franchisees will never be left short of support, we’ll never change our stance of ethical franchising.
It has taken years to build and too much hard work has gone in to throw that away.
As Rob says, ‘To the next 10 years.’