Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Many Reasons to be Thankful

With Thanksgiving arriving tomorrow, I’d like to take a moment to send a "thank you" to everyone that has made 2010 an amazing year at Paperly:

To Paperly’s Consultants: Thank you for sharing Paperly with your friends and family members. You're the ones "out in the field". You're the ones doing the day-to-day to make Paperly successful. Without you, Paperly wouldn't exist. So thank you for being the best team I could have ever asked for.

To Paperly’s Staff: Thank you to Cindy, Jenny, Kristin, Susan, Jenna and the others who answer the phones, submit orders, manage our books, and do everything possible to make the Paperly experience a smooth (and hopefully, fun) one. I am very lucky to have such an amazing staff to work with.

To Paperly’s Customers: Your ideas, feedback and – of course – purchases, drive Paperly forward. Thank you for making Paperly better every single day.

To Paperly’s Hostesses: Thank you for inviting your friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues into your home so they too can fall in love with Paperly’s products. True, the free and discounted products you earn are a nice perk, but not a moment goes by without me wishing to thank you for your efforts.

And finally, thank you to all the printers, designers, software developers, service providers and others who have helped make Paperly’s future appear so bright.

I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely, Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No Salaries at Paperly

I am a big believer that pay should reflect performance. If you don’t succeed, then unfortunately, you don’t get paid, or at least, not as much as someone who has succeeded. Of course, it’s one thing to recite that mantra; it’s a whole other thing to live it. That said, I am proud to say that there is no such thing as a salary at Paperly. As CEO of Paperly, I currently do not receive a salary and neither does Cindy, my wife and Paperly’s co-founder.

Why is this important? Well, for a few reasons:

1. Like all direct selling businesses, Paperly’s Consultants earn commissions and bonuses. Their pay accurately reflects their hard work and effort. It’s the perfect meritocracy. Since their earnings are solely dependent on their output, I believe the same should hold true for my earnings. Which brings me to my second reason...

2. Paperly is ~3 years old and I am proud to say it has far exceeded my expectations. We have 100+ Consultants located in 30 states coast-to-coast who are selling a ton of personalized stationery and gifts. And yet, Paperly has a long way to go before it is where I want it to be. Thus, until it hits my lofty expectations, I don’t feel as if I've "earned" a salary.

3. Lastly, I’m a firm believer that pay drives behavior, and a committed salary – regardless of performance – can cause contentment to settle-in. With Paperly, I am far from content. I plan to continue to drive the business upward and onward. There are so many wonderful opportunities with Paperly, I’d hate for salary to become an obstacle.

I live, breath, eat and sleep for Paperly’s success. I know my Consultants do too. Thus, we are all in this together... where pay reflects success. Personally, I can’t wait to pay my successful Consultants beyond their wildest dreams!

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

P.S. For more on my philosophy on pay, read my blog entry from June 2010, "Money matters, but it’s not the only thing".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Broad and Deep

Paperly is very excited to announce that it now has Consultants located in 30 states coast-to-coast. Below is a map which highlights our expansive coverage across all 4 corners of the United States.

As the map above illustrates, I strive to grow Paperly both broad and deep. What does that mean? Broad means I want to build an organization that covers all 50 states, and ultimately, expands internationally. Deep means I want to build an organization deeply rooted in teams that serve local communities and are guided and mentored by Leaders.

To me, Paperly needs to be both broad and deep to succeed. If one falls out-of-balance, then Paperly will fall out-of-balance too. Why?

Let’s assume Paperly forgets about being broad. For example, let’s assume Paperly becomes too concentrated in one geographic area. Or perhaps the vast majority of Paperly’s sales occur from one Consultant and her team. If either scenario occurs, you can imagine what would happen if that geographical area became economically depressed, or if that star Consultant decides to leave Paperly… Paperly’s performance would suffer dramatically.

Oppositely, let’s assume Paperly forgets about being deep. For example, let’s assume Paperly has hundreds and hundreds of Consultants all reporting into Home Office – i.e. no teams, no downlines, no mentors, no leaders. Clearly, Corporate cannot play all these roles. It’s simply too taxing. There’s little doubt that leading and mentoring works better from like-minded Consultants out in the communities. If Paperly forgets about being deep, then it can also forget about being successful.

The examples above highlight the precarious balance Paperly must find between broad and deep. As the map above shows, I think we’re doing a good job at it. But to spur additional breadth (and ultimately depth), Paperly is offering a very limited time promotion, expiring this Sunday (11/07/10):

Be the first to enroll in 1 of the 20 states Paperly does not currently operate within
and Paperly will give you 50% off your own 2010 holiday card order!

I’m confident one day soon, Paperly will operate in all 50 states – even internationally – with hordes of Team Leaders in each state. I can’t wait.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly