I was on the ground in Manila on Monday night ready to spring into action. Instead, for two long days I waited. Patience is one of my Three Entrepreneurial Essentials, and it’s the one I struggle with the most. At one point Joan had to take me to The Spa to get rid of me –
a kind of adult day care with massage, facials and a steam room. I was bouncing of the walls. The only place I wanted to be was at the office with the TaskUs team.
The reasons I waited are sealed, confidential, forever. But when I made my move I didn’t stop moving for three days straight. What the team has accomplished over the past four weeks is astounding. We have gone from 10 to 75 employees. We have gone from a single five day a week shift, to a 24/7 operation. What’s more is that our growth hasn’t stopped yet. We will be at 200 employees by June, maybe sooner (pausing to knock on wood).
Naturally there was a ton to get caught up on. From Wednesday through Saturday morning I worked. I met with agents learning what is working and what isn’t. I met with team leaders, QAs, trainers and managers structuring plans for the next four months. Every nine hours I went back to Trader’s for two hours of sleep, a work out and a meal and then I’d return for another stretch of work.
It was the hardest stretch I have worked since leaving investment banking. But it was easier than any work I ever did on Wall Street for a simple reason: my people. From the second I walked into the office the dedication, focus and determination of the team amazed me. Everyone recognizes the start up nature of the organization, and as a result are willing to work long, hard hours for little pay.
In particular I was wowed by the work of Jandric, Rommel, Charles, Naomi, Ehmy and Kim. Over the three days I spent at the office these people repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to go the extra mile for the operation. To challenge my ideas. To suggest innovative solutions. And most importantly, they demonstrated ownership – a feeling that they had a large stake in the operations success. Previously, I thought this attitude of ownership was reserved for the American start ups of Silicon Valley, but this trip proved to me that the Filipino people are as ambitious and dedicated as any of the young entrepreneurs found in the U.S.
I can’t wait to expand my operations in the country.