23 business tips that have lasted a decade

It was VroomVroomVroom’s birthday today. To celebrate, I stayed up until 3am pondering on the most important lessons I’ve learned in the last decade that still apply today. Here they are:
  • Save money by sharing a desk with your first employee. Yes, it also sets a good example for being thrifty wherever possible.
  • If there’s not enough room at your desk for two people, then borrow a hacksaw to cut out the draws to make room. Yes, it’s a true story and it’s still in use today by our accountant. (shhh, don’t tell Theresa)
  • Watch ted.com instead of that TV show where you watch people cook food or that show where people sing songs and clap.
  • Write an ideas list instead of watching ted.com
  • Don’t go to the movies with your friends on Friday night.
  • Fail at trying out lots of new things. Fail so often that failing feels like it must be your secret superpower. Some people don’t get this so I’ll elaborate: With each failure comes lessons and improvement for next time. So the theory is that the more often you fail, the more you learn and improve. Embrace failure while minimising the cost of failure.
  • Since failure is your secret superpower, persistence is the fuel to keep you going.
  • You need to source lots of fuel (persistence) from personal feelings. Mine have included love, hate, hunger, revenge, pride, curiosity, power, fame, laughs, accomplishment. When one feeling becomes satisfied, you’ll procrastinate until you find another.
  • Know that success doesn’t bring happiness.
  • Know that happiness increases the chances of success, so practice to be happier, my friend!
  • Enjoy what you are working on so much that sometimes you keep going until the sun comes up and not even care when your mum or partner says “wait, have you been to bed yet?”
  • No one wants to steal your idea. If someone needs to steal your idea, they won’t have the ability to make it happen. If someone has the ability to make it happen, they don’t need to steal your idea. Share your idea with as many people as possible. Ask for feedback. Ask for ideas. Ask for help on making it happen.
  • While you’re at the dinner table and pretending to be listening to what other people are saying, start day dreaming about ideas to improve your business.
  • Day dream about things you can stop spending time on. Stop doing these things so you can spend time on things you should.
  • Find a good way to day dream and have intense, deep thought.
  • Learn when to take easy street or the difficult mountain pass. I like to imagine I’m in a race across a busy city. Nearly always the best path to take will be the opposite of your competition. If they all take the easy option, choose the difficult option, if they all take the difficult option, choose the easy option.
  • If you’re going to give your customer a free muffin when you sell them a coffee, don’t tell them you’re going to give them a free muffin. Element of surprise priceless.
  • The 17th most difficult to type website name in the world is VroomVroomVroom. It is still a better name than it’s sister brand carhire.com.au due to far higher % of repeat customers. Moral of the story is to choose a memorable brand name or suffer from making your first mistake.
  • If an employee calls you their boss, remind them that they are also your boss regarding something important in the company.
  • You’ll probably have lots of great ideas. Tame that mind of yours. Each new idea needs to help one bigger idea. The worst enemy of your great idea is your different great idea.
  • Read “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. It’s an oldie that is timeless.
  • Read “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. Don’t let the title of the 2nd book turn you off. It’s more “good karma” than the title sounds. It’s even older and also timeless.
  • In employee performance reviews, insist that it is 2-way so that both parties feel comfortable giving feedback on how each other can improve.
  • If you are an employee who is reading this while you should be working, I want you to know that you are like family to me.

VroomVroomVroom 10 years ago

A website changes a lot in 10 years. I admit it once looked like a rabbit vomited on the screen (scroll the bottom) This was when  VroomVroomVroom’s head office was in my bedroom at my Mum and Dad’s house. I couldn’t afford my own place at the time. I would cut code in between answering the phone with “Welcome to VroomVroomVroom, this is Richard” and mum yelling out “Richard, dinner is ready!!!” I love you, Mum.  From there I used SEO and innovation to find my first million customers. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the crazy name or the brains behind the initial idea of online car rental. VroomVroomVroom was conceived by travel industry expert Steve Sherlock  and online business guru, Monte Huebsch before I did an “Angelina Jolie” and adopted VroomVroomVroom as my own with rocket scientist, Peter Thornton.

Happy birthday to the now 33 person family at VroomVroomVroom. I look forward to another 10 years of happy customers.

Richard Eastes
is a director of VroomVroomVroom

The easiest way to rent a car.

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