We asked everyone at RevenueZen to look back on last year and be honest about what it meant to them. What changed? What skills did you learn? How many times a day did you pick up your cat? 2020 was a doozy for everyone, but with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, the RevenueZen team stayed afloat and shined bright than ever. Here’s what the team had to say.
Going into 2020, I thought to myself, “Well, we’re finally out of the woods”. I ended up being wrong, but not in the way I originally thought. 2019 saw the massive growth of one product, and the winding down of another, and we ended up back on our previous trajectory. Instead, as covid hit, I had no idea what would happen, and prepared for no fewer than several wildly different outcomes.
Oddly enough, while the pandemic consistently reminded me to play it safe with my health, it also gave me an even greater lust for growth when it came to RevenueZen. I remember thinking to myself in early April, “If not now, when?” My vision now is more expansive than before: we’ve begun directly investing in our clients, developing more proprietary technology products, and we’re about to build out a beautiful new office.
The future has never been exactly what I’d planned for, but I’m pushing in the “Ikigai” direction of: what’s working well in the market, what brings us joy, and what we’re really good at. Now, with 2020 just behind us, every day is just as intense but always more and more fulfilling.
Fitz, Chief Experience Officer
March 2020 knocked me on my ass. Not because that specific month was especially unkind to me (it wasn’t) or RevenueZen (it wasn’t) but because I forgot how quickly the world can change. We had such a rhythm, such optimism – then, out of nowhere, BAM. I vividly remember going out for drinks with Alex the night before Oregon shut down. We went to a jazz club in our neighborhood, because I hate jazz but love the pizza served at this specific jazz club. It was too loud for us to talk, so we just sat there, watching a bassist and drummer make lovey eyes at each other, thinking about what was ahead of us. The Unknown. Gosh, what a bitch The Unknown can be.
The next day, without jazz or pizza, we met as leaders and made a plan. We agreed, right then and there, that we’d do whatever we could to keep the momentum. Not just for ourselves, but for our team. We introduced the plan in our all-hands and vowed to get through this together.
Then 2020 show its colors. Business boomed. New clients came. Old clients expanded. Cancer showed up for a hot second and forced me to step back, to ask my team to step up, and to give them room to run farther and faster than ever. And, boy howdy, am I proud of this team. 2020 left me with a cool neck scar and so much faith in the people I work with. We adapt, overcome, and flourish. Let’s go, 2021. What u got?
Rocky, Partner & COO
2020 was a crazy year. From an internal business perspective we continued along our path of pivoting to providing more and more inbound services and moving away from the outsourced SDR model that RZ was founded on. This presented many challenges that the RZ team had to navigate in order to find success, including training into new roles, improving methods of internal and external communication, and building replicable processes.
As a team, we also collectively found a lot of success in specializing roles into specific skill sets. This proved to be a significant contribution to our team being able to manage more clients while also delivering better service. Those two byproducts had a significant impact on my key metric: maximizing revenue managed per person while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. To me, this was the total embodiment of our name: RevenueZen. As these roles became more and more clear over the course of 2020 it was obvious to us (the partners) that everybody on the team was growing into very knowledgeable professionals around outbound, SEO, and LinkedIn writing. As such, we have continued to build process around giving the team more responsibility around understanding our clients’ business and opportunities for upsell. We are further expanding this to include more responsibility on the front end of the relationship after a new deal is closed.
While we fully recognized in 2020 the need to create more structure to not only help facilitate closing new business, but perhaps more importantly, reduce churn, we found that it was equally important to not over impose this structure. As a team, we thrive when we are all allowed a voice and encouraged to use it. The only way I have found to live this model is by implementing ideas from members across the team. Indeed some of our greatest success came from these ideas that we were then able to build on.
Specifically we rolled out the use of ClickUp across our team to organize, track, and manage all of our client engagements as well as our own internal processes. While we are continuing to build out our operations in how we use ClickUp, it has become a key aspect of our success in terms of understanding who does what and when.
Given that 2020 was a year full of change and weird circumstances, I am incredibly proud of the work we accomplished. As I look to 2021, I suspect our game plan will be to hone in on what we built in 2020. In looking at our business, the pillars of our services seem to be as set as they ever have. Continuing to build process and efficiency will be top of mind for me. Rock n’ Roll!
Lisa, Editorial Manager
This last year at RevenueZen has been crazy, to say the least. Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty, we managed to have our best year yet as a team, and I personally saw the most professional growth in my 3 years here. What I love most about being part of the RevZen team is all the chances we’re given — the chance to speak up, the chance to try something new, the chance to fail, the chance to jump all in on whatever we’re good at. The way this is engrained in our culture is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at other companies. And this last year, in particular, I’ve been given lots of these chances. For that, I am so grateful.
Jake, Brand & Growth Manager
Oh yes, 2020. Bizarre. I learned how to sew my own clothes, made 800 pompoms for an art installation, wrote and recorded a bunch of new music, and spent way too much time shoving my face in my cats’ tummy saying “who’s perfect? Who’s perfect?”
Last year forced me to grow as a professional, and seriously, I’ve learned so much about SEO, marketing, what makes a compelling story, and how to tell it. At the beginning of the pandemic, I took time to study up on what search engines care about, what techniques I needed to brush up on, and how I could make myself a more indespensible part of this team.
Leadership gave me the reigns to tinker and experiment, and my mantra for the second half of the year became “to play.” I played with new software and ideas, learned that I have valuable insight and expertise, and finally ordered us some company garb that I’d proudly wear. My favorite quote of all time, “let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love” has really proven true this year, professionally and personally. I love words, marketing, telling stories, and tinkering, and it’s been a year full of that.
Love this team more than ever!
Hali, Brand Manager
As the most recent addition to the RevenueZen Brand Management team, I had the opportunity to end last year with a new beginning. With fresh starts come unexpected paths, so as I reflect on 2020, my goal is to craft lessons learned into intentions moving forward.
The dynamic challenges that communities across the world experienced over the last year made it clear that connection through shared understanding was the way forward. It didn’t matter what the topic was – global health, social injustice, or political processes – the matters that kept us apart were also unifying elements of necessary change.
One of the most powerful gifts one person can offer another is access to knowledge and perspective. Through compelling communication we are able to craft ideas into forms that are receivable by others, and that objective powers much of my work with RZ.
We serve as translators and guides to the clients we partner with, and together we are able to highlight opportunities for connection and exchange – narratives about innovation, exploration, vulnerability, creativity, pivots, outcries, challenges, and victories.
I am committing to the intention of building authentic understanding through powerful storytelling in my role as a Brand Manager, and look forward to growing alongside my fellow RevenueZen team members and clients in 2021.
Tom, Brand Manager
The RevenueZen team never fails to amaze me. Amid the worst health crisis in a Century, with other companies going under, the leadership at RevZen found a way to not only adjust to the situation but thrive despite it. I’m normally not the sentimental type, but I know love when I see it. So grateful to be a part of it all!
Steven, Campaign Manager
Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about myself as well as the company. Specifically, I learned a lot about capabilities. 2020 was a year of uncertainty but with that uncertainty came triumph and growth.
In 2020 I learned just exactly what I’m capable of, especially when I’m up against it. Truly I couldn’t have done most of the things I did last year – especially with the transition to a role with bigger responsibilities – if it wasn’t for RZ.
2020 was a tough year for most but I learned exactly what RZ is capable of. When our backs are against the wall and we were faced with adversity, we put our heads down and got to work. We didn’t just continue as business as usual either, nor pivot too hard. We made just the right moves at just the right times and did so with logic and creativity.
Reflecting on 2020, I’m extremely thankful and grateful to be working for such a resilient, driven, and truly talented group of creative individuals.
Rob, Senior Content Manager
This has obviously been an extremely unusual year, but I’m very proud of how RevenueZen adapted to all the chaos. We’ve got a strong team, but we are also very good about thinking about systems and sustainability, and about adapting when something isn’t working. It really felt like when the storm came, this team bent, but didn’t break — exactly how you want to respond to a crisis. After having worked at so many inflexible, unchanging firms, it feels really good to be a part of a company that is willing and able to make changes to weather bad times as well as good.