I hope you are doing well and reminiscing about everything that happened this year.
2023 was a beautiful year and will always be a very special year in our journey. More about what happened this year later in the newsletter so please keep reading :)
The last day of the year is a Sunday and the first day of the New Year will be a Monday. It seems that the universe is conspiring that in 2024, all of us are going to accomplish something great. I know this sounds a little superstitious but Monday is the perfect day for new beginnings and even better when it coincides with the 1st day of the new year.
Personally, I’m super excited for 2024 and I have already started penning down things that I want to do this year. And believe me, the to-do list is long but hopefully, I will be able to achieve some of it.
Now, coming back to 2023. It’s been a year filled with so many learnings, realizations, and experiences.
You will come across a lot of brands and entrepreneurs / CXOs sharing that this year was a phenomenal one and the brand has grown x times and achieved so much. This is all great but I want to talk about a few things that hardly anyone shares.
You know, life is really tough and I don’t think it is easy for anyone. Every single person is fighting their problems. The magnitude of the problems can differ but it isn’t easy. This is the biggest realization for me this year.
It doesn’t matter whether you are working in a company or studying or not employed or building a company, I have realized that it isn’t easy to accomplish anything.
I’m sharing some of the things that I have realized over the last 365 days. You might know most of it or would have read about it but for someone like me, I have experienced all the things mentioned first-hand while building Perfora.
Time: It takes time to build something large and of immense value. Great brands usually take multiple decades and compounding is real when it comes to brand building. There will always be a few outlier brands and one should always learn from their journey. But at the same time, it’s important to realize that every brand is different, every category is different and people building brands are different. For instance, we thought we would be able to build a very strong brand in the oral care category and reach millions of consumers in a short period though it is going to take some time for us to capture mindshare. I’m still optimistic that we will get there faster when compared to what the industry average might be.
Non Linear: The journey to building and growing a company is non-linear, implying that there will be days/weeks/months where everything will be great and the company continues to grow, however one also has to experience tough days when it might seem like nothing is working out. These tough days are really bad and can be quite demotivating as well though it is important to experience such difficult times to emerge stronger. For instance, the first half of this year was exceptionally good for us in terms of growth but the latter half hasn’t been great. I’m hoping that in 2024, we will do even better.
Discipline: Consistent efforts over months and years lead to an exceptional outcome. I’m not the most disciplined person however I have realized the hard way that there is no substitute for consistency. It is extremely important to show up every single day and put in your best effort. Small, small things like showing up on time, being responsive & available, strong attention to detail, and hunger to make a large impact, all these things play a very important role. I don’t think anyone can work 365 days a year or more than 10-12 hours a day though being disciplined is a lot more than putting in the hours. It is more about following a regime and sticking to it.
Validation is powerful: If the work that you are doing is not being appreciated or validated by the community, it becomes tough to keep building. In the case of building a consumer brand, love, and appreciation from customers and other people who are building brands act as a motivation to do more. It is important to recognize the hard work of everyone who is a part of the journey and playing an important role in building the company. We are very fortunate to have received so much love from our customers, and the overall ecosystem. We won multiple awards, got featured in the news, grew 400%, 40+ new people joined us, and made thousands of customers happy with our products.
Focus: I don’t think I can explain or quantify the negative impact that a person experiences due to lack of focus because focus is so underrated. Everyone wants to do more and in multiple directions and as a result, one ends up not digressing from the core objective. I have suffered from not being able to focus on the most important thing and this lack of focus has resulted in me not being able to achieve a few goals. For instance, I wanted to write a letter every Sunday for our community but I ended up doing so many things that this got missed.
The truth is that while building a company, a person experiences hundreds of learnings throughout the year and I have highlighted the ones that I feel are the most relevant.
As someone who is reading this letter, you might agree or disagree with my thoughts and if it is the latter, it will be great to hear from you why you disagree. It will help me with my perspective.
I wanted to share these thoughts so that I can hold myself accountable during the new year and at the end of 2024, when I look back, I want to make sure I have been able to move the needle forward.
As a brand, we are grateful to each and everyone who is, directly and indirectly, a part of our journey. All our team members, customers, investors, manufacturing partners, suppliers & service partners, thank you for working alongside us. Without you and your support, we would have not been in the place where we are.
I hope you have a great 2024 and all your wishes come true.
PS - If you are reading this letter and still haven’t tried our products, I would request that it’s about time you take oral health seriously and experience safe & effective oral care with Perfora. Trust me, you will love it 😀