I was psyched to write this piece, and have been a fan of SalesHacker and their community for a while. They have superb, actionable content and I always come away with a very clear tip or two from their articles.
Plus, I really respected the folks at SalesHacker who I collaborated with on this piece. They're focused and have strong preferences for "how-tos" and actionable takeaways over "thought pieces" and faux-stirring prose. Respect for having a style, knowing it, and sticking to it.
A Personal Reflection on What (Who) Made Those Learnings Possible
The first few paragraphs of that post tell a story of my failure, followed by deep misery and chaos, then ultimately redemption. (Your call on if I'd share so widely if the story didn't end in redemption!)
That progression was my professional life for about 4 months, at the very beginning of my tenure as HubSpot's Director of Support in 2012/2013. Without a doubt, the darkest times of my professional career.
HubSpot's Support team circa 2011. Happy days!
Readers out there, I bet some of you were a part of those times.
Maybe you even call them the "Dark Times".
Maybe you pushed ticket boulders up never-ending mountains.
Maybe you spent your nights and weekends building our knowledgebase, because our days were maddeningly busy.
Maybe you took a patient moment to solve a truly gnarly issue with customers who had imperfect English.
Maybe you picked up a piece of customer feedback and as the "supervisor" for the person to your left or your right.
Maybe you drank from the margarita bucket we made when the building A/C went out on a hot summer day, but the calls kept coming, so we just sweated through it.
Maybe you interviewed with me in early 2013 while I -- dim move, by the way -- spent a few weeks in Dublin to set up our first international support presence during the worst of the worst times for our customers.
There are many more stories I never heard. Maybe you'll tell me sometime.
Truth be told, the tequila was on the side. But it was HOT on the floor that day. So we made margaritas.
If you were part of this experience, or if these stories pluck at your heartstrings in a familiar way: thank you. Teams like HubSpot Support of The Dark Days are what make memories stick for me, and are what make hyper-growth possible for companies like HubSpot. Personally and professionally, I owe a debt to everyone who was a part of this story.
TFW you explain to your company that you're screwed. "Really screwed, too!"
Time has a funny way of shaping memory. Reflecting 5 years on, it's harder to recall the misery of the queue and depth of customer pain. It's easier to remember the sweaty margaritas, late nights of breakthroughs, and how we cared for the person to our left and our right, regardless of what our "job" was on paper.
We helped our customers and helped each other. That was special. That's what I remember.
Giving Thanks in 2017
Thank you to those who were there, those of you who joined the HubSpot Customer Success Team later on, and those who can relate to this story. It's too often that people in management take the glory (you know, like guest posting on SalesHacker) but don't reflect and say a simple thank you.
Following this Thanksgiving 2017, I'm thankful for a lot. Family, friends, health...and all of the remarkable colleagues I've had over the years. You all make the impossible, possible.