Vivayic Makes “Inc. Magazine’s” 5000 Most Successful Companies List (and Celebrates for All of Two Minutes)

Written by Seth Derner
Today, “Inc. Magazine” released its 2016 Inc. 5000 list and Vivayic ranks No. 2934 on the list with three-year sales growth of 117.2%. Doug, my fellow co-founder, and I shared the news with our team on a bi-weekly call last Monday. We celebrated for all of two minutes and then went back to the work of helping our clients be really successful. Why only two minutes?
Number 1

Growth is a Lagging Indicator for Us.

Revenue increase of 117% in three years is a really big deal, especially because we’re not really a start-up anymore. We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary in October, so it’s not like we captured lighting in a bottle out of the box. This growth was the result of a lot of years toiling away at our craft and dutifully doing the right thing for our clients.

We’ve never set a goal for growth. Never. And, as long as Doug and I are running the company (and hopefully beyond), Vivayic never will. Growth (i.e., increased sales) is a result of doing all the right things. We knew two years ago that we were starting to get to a place where clients were trusting us with larger and larger projects, and they were referring us to others.

We didn’t predict this size of growth, but we’ve known for a while that we have a tremendous team, a phenomenal culture, and an approach that was increasing our reputation day-by-day. When we looked at the numbers last year, we knew we would make the list. We applied as a means to acknowledge the great work of our team. Team: This is all about you and what you do day in and day out to make us successful. Congratulations!

Number 2

We Celebrate How We Earned Our Growth — Not the Amount of It

Doug and I weren’t born into families of entrepreneurs and didn’t study business; we grew up on a ranch and farm, respectively, and are teachers by training. So, we’ve had to learn a lot about being and running a company in 10 years.

One lesson we learned early when networking with other entrepreneurs is that not all revenue growth is the same. Some have revenues without profits, which is okay as they are aiming to be acquired and enjoy the payout of selling their company. Others increase revenues by buying other companies with a strategy to get big enough to maintain a sustainable market position. We don’t have the stomach for that kind of debt and really don’t want to give any control of our company and our team to an external investor.

Our revenue is the old-fashioned kind: sales earned by bootstrapping on our own dime while working to earn the trust of clients. Our 117% increase isn’t driven by marketing (You’d laugh at how little we spend in that area.) or by adding someone else’s sales total to ours. We earned our revenue growth through trust and performance — time and time again. Old school? You bet. Tiring? Yes. But, much like the hard work of our childhood and the unsung efforts of teaching, there is a deep satisfaction with seeing the fruits of your labor.

Number 3

There Are Other Accolades We Are Striving to Earn.

One of our business mentors explained that they applied for company awards not out of ego, but because it reinforces to the employees that their contribution made the company as great as it was. That was a huge paradigm shift for us. If you know Doug and me, you know that we nearly run from any opportunity for self-promotion. Our mentor’s advice got us thinking about which awards and accolades would reflect the values and purpose of Vivayic. We’re just starting to put that list together and work to make it happen. We’d love to have our team recognized for the quality of work they do, for their compassion and generosity to others, and for the efforts they make to ensure Vivayic continues to be a wonderful place to hang out every day.

So, we’ll apply for the Inc. 5000 as long our numbers will likely qualify us for the list, but this growth won’t last more than a few years. And, hopefully, we’ll have other opportunities to acknowledge the great team of people who have chosen to join the adventure that is Vivayic.

Seth Derner
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