Celebrating 18 Months of Piper Creative
“You can go fast alone, but you can go far together.”
What do you do when a client no-call, no-shows? When they recently encountered this frustrating situation, co-founders Aaron Watson and Hannah Phillips chose to make the best of it by recording a podcast in celebration of the 18-month anniversary of Piper Creative.
In the podcast, they spoke about how amazing our team is, the lessons that they’ve learned, and shined a light on the least enjoyable aspects of what they do. Why? Because it’s very easy to gloss over the gritty details of being a newer business. Here at Piper, we are all about transparency.
As Aaron put it, “There have been some very good days and there have been some very frustrating, bad days.”
Aaron detailed his worst day at Piper so far, which was when they had over $20,000 outstanding invoices due and multiple clients had gone past when they were supposed to pay, and there was a point where they didn’t even make payroll. Aaron forwent his pay and in order to compensate Tori and Hannah, but even then, they were scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Hannah couldn’t remember any specific bad days, but admitted that there were times where she felt extremely overwhelmed by client work and content that she was supposed to produce for in-house projects. She expressed that when her work for clients got backed up, it stressed her out in a big way.
Aaron and Hannah shifted gears and began talking about the trust that they have in each other. Hannah described how weird it was that trust was never an issue with them, even though her and Aaron barely knew each other when they first started Piper. Aaron said that there was an ease to working with Hannah that was apparent from the very beginning. The fact that she immediately understood the concept of what Piper was when he first explained it to her really showed Aaron that she was someone he wanted in his corner.
You don’t need to have every single thing in common or have the same personality as someone in order to have a good relationship, professionally or romantically. What matters is that you share the same core values and sensibilities of how the world works.
One big thing that started their relationship early on, before Piper, was when Hannah had an art show at a yogurt shop and Aaron came and told her his idea for the Going Deep Summit, which was just that: an idea. He had already used her services before to create the logo and photography, but he wanted to pitch the idea to her and see what she thought. Even then, Aaron already had a sense that he wanted Hannah to be his co-founder.
“It goes to show, for me, that showing up actually matters. You [Aaron] had no reason, besides the ones you just articulated, to come to some 19-year-old’s art show that was in a yogurt shop. It was the most bizarre thing to me…” ~Hannah
Aaron expressed how excited he was for a trip he was going on in two weeks, and how cool it was that Piper finally had a team that was big enough to allow him to take time off. Having your business grow and pick up speed is scary yet exciting. Having a bigger team means that more people will be affected if things go wrong, but at the same time, you can go so far when you have that team.
Hannah talked about how before Piper, she was running her own business, HP Media, all by herself and had gotten to the point where she wanted to make something bigger but couldn’t see herself doing it on her own. She began thinking about what her next steps were going to be and how she was going to grow from there, and that is when Aaron came to her and asked her to be his business partner.
“The stars really aligned in some way that I can’t explain, but the timing was absolutely perfect,” Hannah said. “Your strengths are my weaknesses and my strengths are your weaknesses. We just complete each other in a very good way.”
18 months into this exciting adventure and hopefully many more to go, Hannah expressed that she feels more fulfilled by her work than she has ever been, and Aaron announced that we are bringing back “Piper Answers”, a segment where they answer listeners’ and clients’ questions about life in a start-up.
One thing that will never change at Piper is our dedication to transparency.
Written by @Annie__Volk