Built To Last
The award-winning author of Good to Great, Jim Collins, wrote another great book in 2004 called Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. A friend gave mine that book when I founded Madison+Main in 2005 and I credit some of the key takeaways I received from that book to Madison+Main’s success. Last week we celebrated our 14th anniversary, which I consider an amazing feat, especially after spending half of that time in a recession.
This week, my beloved Texas Inn, celebrated its 84th Anniversary. The longtime Lynchburg eatery was founded in 1935, in the middle of The Great Depression. It was an instant hit, but it found itself struggling to survive in 1942. When most able-bodied men left Lynchburg and went off to fight in World War II, business suffered. At that point, the clientele of the 24-hour burger joint was mostly male. The owner knew he had to appeal to the fairer sex, so he laid down a set of rules for employees, such as, “No cursing, no cigar smoking behind the counter, and treat every lady as if she were your mother.” He put a large sign on the front door that said, “Ladies enjoy eating here.” Soon after, the place was packed with both men and women, enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs, and that famous chili.
Through the years, the T Room as locals call it, has survived and thrived. Through wars, recessions, and changing times, styles, attitudes, and tastes, the Texas Inn keeps on keeping on — serving 1,500 people 15 at a time. Last year they survived the biggest challenge in its long illustrious history…a new owner. Change doesn’t come easy for an 84-year-old diner — for the people who work there and for longtime patrons. But both of them have given me the benefit of the doubt and we’ve worked hard to return this great brand to its former glory.
One of the great takeaways from Good to Great is whether or not an organization has a bold vision or makes conservative choices. Collins employs his readers to formulate a B.H.A.G. — A Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. My big goal for the Texas Inn in its first year was to turn it around and make it profitable. I filed my taxes last week and my goal was achieved in only three short months in 2018. For the first time in seven years, the company turned a profit. It was four dollars. In 2019, we’re doing much better and I have big, hairy, audacious goals for 2020.
Monday, October 7 – Happy Anniversary Allison & Derek!
On Monday, Account Executive Allison “That’s My Real Name” Throckmorton and Copywriter Derek “Always There” Fair celebrated their first anniversaries with the company. At work, we call them the “Wonder Twins”, because they started on the same day and both love flannel. Seriously, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with both of these young professionals over the past year and see them grow into their respective roles. Allison is getting a new name next week as she gets married in Fredericksburg to Corey Nida and Derek is getting a new title — we’re dropping the word “junior” and he’s been promoted to Copywriter. Unless he doesn’t catch all of the spelling errors that I have made in the Weekly Report. Dunt count onn it,
Speaking of Built to Last, our client Green Top celebrated its 72nd year of business with a record-setting sales weekend. More than 22,500 people attended the Outdoor Expo at Green Top last weekend, topping their previous attendance by almost 7,000 folks.
Tuesday, October 8 – Happy Birthday Kent!
Communications Director Kent “Duck Dynasty” Brockwell celebrated the big 4-0 on Tuesday. We told him that we had a process software training session and we would be serving Panera, the one restaurant he really hates. Instead, we threw him a party, complete with spicy wings from his favorite restaurant Hooters. To celebrate the occasion I put on a tight white t-shirt and some really uncomfortable orange shorts.
In the morning, I dropped by NBC12 with my fellow Rotarian Andy Foldennaur, of RBC Wealth Management, and we were interviewed by the lovely, talented Candice Smith. We were there to tell folks in RVA about a great event this weekend, the 31st Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival presented by Wegmans and Bon Secours. There are a few tickets still available for the event at http://midlofoodfestival.com/. I am honored to be the emcee again for the event. Come early before I start slurring my words at the all you can eat and drink festival.
Wednesday, October 9 – Happy Birthday Texas Inn!
Thursday, October 10 – Happy Clients!
Fresh off the heels of a very bold ad we designed for the Virginia Diabetes Council, we created this new standardized diabetes training booklets which will be given to school teachers and administrators throughout Virginia. We are also seeking a few more survey respondents to help them combat diabetes and prediabetes in the Commonwealth. Take a couple of minutes and fill out the survey here. You may win a Target gift card. #BoldBrandsWin https://www.virginiadiabetes.org/
Friday, October 11 – Happy Home Show!
Listen up, people. I know it’s a busy weekend, and festival season is in full swing. The Magnificient Midlothian Food Festival is Saturday. The Richmond Folk Festival, with more a quarter-million attendees, is running all weekend. Gee wiz, there’s even a Mac & Cheese Festival going on. But the Richmond Home Show runs today, tomorrow, and Sunday at the Richmond Raceway Complex and if you only attend one event this weekend, this is the one. I have a dozen tickets left, so email me if you’d like a pair and I will leave them at will call for you. More info at https://richmondhomeshow.com/.
A Few of Our Favorite Events
Magnificient Midlothian Food Festival
Westchester Commons | Midlothian, VA
October 12, 2019 | 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Eat, Drink and Be Magnificent! It’s the 31st Annual Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival – Presented by Wegmans. Live Entertainment with performances by South of James and The Party Fins! Live music all day! Enjoy small plates from area restaurants, wine, beer (including Craft Beer), mixed drinks, complimentary soft drinks, and more. Proceeds benefit local charities. Get your tickets today!
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
“Boldness is the beginning of action. But fortune controls how it ends.”