- Mark Olivito
PAVERART 2021: Superheroes Emerge
I've come to look forward to December. I've always used it as an opportunity to look at the year just completed, what worked, what didn't and what's in store for the future.
I'll do the classic stuff most businesses evaluate:
* What did the numbers look like? Up, down?
* How did we do with customers? New products?
* How did the team work together?
* Did we have more FUN this year as compared to LAST year?
Flipping through our database of completed PAVERART designs, I certainly was impressed by the body of work, from Compass Roses, School Medallions to Corporate PAVER logos, we produced a broad array of work for all types of markets and clients.
But to be honest, I got REALLY distracted. With........wait for it......
Let me explain...
Brian asked a couple of times this year:
"Hey, when are we going to get PAVERART T-shirts?"
It got me thinking to my favorite selfie, the crew in hoodies. Every time I find myself frustrated this picture lifts me up. All entrepreneurs value freedom, and creating the type of environment that matters to them and their teams. Clothes, in particular dress codes, tend to put up unnecessary barriers.
At PAVERART, it's the ART that matters. And the team.
Choice of clothes is not dictated, as long as something gets worn!
At PAVERART, we don't care about your credentials/sheep's skin/pedigree. We care about who you are. And what your capable of growing into.
So back to the shirts, why did they distract me?
One day I started thinking about all of the challenges the country is facing with Labor. & "WORK."
"Can't find anyone!"
"Nobody wants to work anymore"
"What do you expect, they got paid to stay home!"
It's all pretty defeatist, exhausting and I engaged in my fair share of bitching and moaning.
Meanwhile, the crew at PAVERART was busting it, coming together and doing great work.
Negativity can spiral out of control when you start focus on what's WRONG vs what's RIGHT.
Summer rolled around and and 3 young guns enter PAVERART: Matthew, Ray & Dominic. They started to get dirty, sweat and learn our business.
The whiteboard started to fill up with what Ray and Matthew had to get done, and John and Brian mentored both of them, while Nick mentored Dominic in the engraving department. Mike pulled the entire crew together to review multiple topics.
In other words, a TEAM was starting to gel. Sometimes, people (myself included) keep looking to the outside world for solutions, when often times the answers are in your own house.
Simple tasks: Get these 3 things done and that's a job well done. It works. It creates a simple feeling of accomplishment. But it takes discipline.
There is nothing more fun in business than watching people grow. Check that, watching individuals grow AND form a TEAM.
So an ideas comes into the old brain:
Let's make the TEAM the HERO of the hoodies. So my wife and I start searching for Artists on FIVERR, talent that can turn our team into superhero cartoons. We couldn't be more thrilled with the results.
The Superheroes found their way onto PAVERART hoodies. And popcorn. Maybe a few other things.
And we penciled out a Mantra for the back of the shirt that captures the PAVERART spirit.
All organizations have core values, or behaviors that are valued and define the team. Cultures are about what matters and what does NOT matter.
Last week we handed-out the hoodies and we had some fun laughing at each of the cartoons, taking pictures (below) in the shop.
Dominic and Ray had the inconvenient obligation of high school, but we sent them plenty of texts to let them know we were thinking of them and their hoodies were waiting for them.
That day I left early for my daughter's 17th birthday party. I got home, started the fire pit and cracked open a Francis Coppola Red vino while waiting for the pizza to arrive. I couldn't keep the smile off my face thinking about the crew we have at PAVERART and the journey we have all taken together.
All companies, especially small businesses have a story to tell.
Superheroes tend to be compelling, at least in my mind.
For PAVERART, 2021 was the year of the Superhero. They embodied the words on the back of their hoodies.
I'm excited to see them create their future.