I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” It’s really hard to believe I’ve been running my company for 20 years. I started B2B Interactive Marketing in 2001. As I look back, I have accumulated a lot of stuff, but a lot has changed over that time. Today, I want to talk about how life happens while you’re running your business. Since the early 2000s when I opened up this company, I’ve seen many technological changes in just the first seven years.
The Tech Explosion
In 2000, camera phones and flash drives were introduced. In 2001, music and the internet changed forever with the introduction of the iPod and Wikipedia. Then in 2002, Bluetooth headsets and all the other fun stuff we have nowadays entered into the technology stream. And then In 2003, Blackberry was introduced. That meant email was in the palm of your hand, finally. In 2004, Facebook hit the scene. 2005, it was YouTube. 2006, it was Twitter. We also got the Nintendo Wii in 2006. I love that bowling game. Then in 2007, we got our first e-reader and smartphone, the Kindle and the iPhone were introduced that year.
Man, that’s a lot of technology for only the first seven years of the new millennia. But one other not so technological marvel was introduced in 2001. That was B2B Interactive Marketing.
20 Years Of Tech & Switch
When I started the company, I wasn’t necessarily into business-to-business communications. I started it because my name is Brian Basilico and I thought B squared was cool, but I did happen to work with businesses. The biggest thing, though, is that most of the companies I worked with served consumers. Throughout the years, I started to narrow down and focus based on the books I was writing and the work I was doing.
Now, 20 years later, this company focuses 100% on business-to-business companies that serve other businesses. That niche and focus have really helped me get the kind of business that is scalable, movable, and flexible, and that’s been great. But the one thing that is not scalable, moveable, and flexible is my house. That’s where I’ve been running this business for 20 years. In the course of the last few years, while most people were hunkered down in their homes, I was feeling comfortable because I’ve done that for 20 years. But it was a natural progression of skills that I needed to learn to be able to promote, evolve, and change my business over that time.
Bringing Technology Home
As each new technological advancement came in, I adapted it, applied it, and then moved on when the next one came through. What that meant was, I accumulated a lot of crap. When we moved into this house back in 2001, we came in with two kids, two dogs, two cats, and two families’ worth of stuff that fit into the basement. I set up a bunch of shelves, and on these shelves, I had a ton of different things. Like, I had old 33 rpm and 45 rpm records, Betacam, and VHS tapes from my old business, which was Sound Decisions. I had reel-to-reel tapes. I had the equipment to play them. And I had tons of different things that I brought along with me with the thought that I would be able to take old media formats and convert them to something someday soon. That never happened.
Now I’m at a point where we’re going to downsize and that is the challenge that we’re facing. All this technology has led to tons and tons of stuff ending up in this house. Now it’s time to weed it out. So the second part of this post, I want to talk about the process of getting rid of junk. Maybe this will provide you some motivation to clean out your crawlspace or your basement.
The Tech Cleanse
As we’re getting ready to downsize, we’ve accumulated 20 years of stuff. The basement was filled with boxes from shipments from Amazon and other things we’ve accumulated. I also had sections of the basement just cordoned off with boxes for tech. I still had the boxes for gear that I hadn’t used in years or routers and switches that had died over that time. And I had boxes of cables and stuff I would never use. All of this stuff needed to get removed and recycled one way, shape or form.
The other thing that we had was all those boxes of paper. We had to decide what we were going to do with that. Since some of it was financially based, we just didn’t want to recycle it. We had to shred it. So we tried to figure out what to do with that.
Then all of that old technology came into play, too. We had old tube TVs. I had switchers and tuners and speakers and wires and cables and routers and just tons and tons of stuff that had to be either sold or recycled or something.
As I stood looking over the abyss of all this junk, I had to make a plan. I decided to make a plan around the game TAG.
T.A.G. stands for three different actions to take with everything we have to weed through..,
- Allocate (Donate or Sell)
- Garbage (Trash or Recycle)
From there, I was able to say, “This is the take pile.” This is the thing I would like to carry with me. Some old records and memorable stuff that I wanted to keep. The allocated side of things is things that we’re either going to donate or sell. Then finally, there is the garbage side of things, and that includes some recycling.
As I started to separate this out, I started with the garbage first and decided that’s the first thing we need to get out of here if we can. Now, obviously, I could go get a dumpster or I could do it incrementally. What I had found is there’s a local place that does electronic recycling. You can drop things off like old tuners. They charge a fee to take TVs because of the tubes. They’ll take cables and routers and old dead gear, even working gear. They take them and recycle them.
At that same location, I found a place to take chemicals and I had a handful of chemicals, not only for household stuff but for business stuff as well. Then we had all of those boxes of paper. I set up a recycling shredding station. We pulled out those boxes and started shredding all the financial documents. Then we put all that shredded paper in clear plastic bags so the recyclers could see what it was and take it.
There’s still a lot to do. But it’s amazing how much technology has changed over the years. The question is, is it time for you to start looking at your stuff and playing TAG, cleaning the house, and getting yourself ready for the next adventure in business that may be awaiting you? Look around and see what’s changed.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about running your business. Are you ready to play T.A.G.?