Year-End Review for Straightface

Posted by Luke McMeeken-Ruscoe on

Christmas time is fast approaching and I have been thinking back on the year of Straightface. The goal is to build the best razor subscription service in New Zealand. 

It is a pretty straightforward goal but the challenge with most things is in the execution. I have had to learn a lot about marketing, which I am still finding out how little I know. The aim is progression and one of the important things is how you frame up your progression.

The Good Stuff

If we look at the positive thing that has happened with Straightface over the year we can make an impressive list of achievements. 

  • Had double the number of orders than the previous year.
  • Doubled subscriber count
  • Changed over subscription provider for a better customer experience
  • Re-did the website for a faster, cleaner experience
  • Nearly tripled the email subscriber count
  • Created YouTube ad
  • Promoted Straightface in magazines and podcast

All things I am really proud of. For anyone to join the Straightface team, they need to hear about us. We have made many attempts to show who our brand is and what we stand for. It is a slow process, but I am happy with the progress.

The Bad Stuff

You can do the flip side of the positive things and frame everything in the negative.

  • We have had a record number of subscribers cancel their subscription
  • Wasted lots of money on advertising that didn't generate a return
  • PR push created no traction or impressions
  • Still haven't turned a profit
  • YouTube ad wasn't what I was hoping it would be
  • Haven't figured out marketing at all

All of these things look like we should just shut the business down because they are all failures. Losing money, not getting the results we wanted from our marketing spend. 

It's About Progression

The thing with life is that it's a long game. If you look at just one element it can appear terrible and you give up too soon on your ideas or relationships. Or you can look at only the positive and you will ignore all of the red flags telling you it might not be working.

The trick is that both the positive and negative are happening at the same time so you have to judge the progression. Our internal metrics at Straightface are going in the right direction. So we are happy about that, but also aware that we have a whole lot to learn and that we need to improve in many areas to get those metrics to where we want them to be. 

Moment of Gratitude

I am my own worst enemy. I get disappointed and annoyed with myself when I don't do things. I get to bed and think to myself, you useless bastard, you should have done so much more today. Here is a small list of things

  • I want to finish a script I am working on
  • I want to write more
  • I want to do more mobility work to help my broken body
  • I want to eat less food, and less sugary food (but it is so delicious)
  • I want to make more social media videos
  • I want to read more books
  • I want to be braver

I have failed at lots of those things, but as above it is about progression so my moment of gratitude is that I have been kinder to myself. I think we are all too harsh on ourselves. My negative self-talk has been less negative and less often. 

I finally launched my own personal website and it has been a struggle some weeks to write, but every attempt helps improve my writing. I am reading a bit, but the sugary food still calls to me.

Life isn't a war you win in one day, thinking of it as a war is unhelpful framing. It is a lesson we are constantly learning and so I try to give myself kindness and keep moving forward.

Shave well, Be awesome, Be kind to yourself and have an awesome holiday


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