Remember Where You Came From
This weekend Russ climbed Mount Shasta with a couple of his friends. When he reached the peak, he discovered a new sense of what’s possible in life. And it led him to reflect about first launching Design Pickle to growing it to earn over 600k in MRR per month, which is another mountain to climb on its own accord.
Russ unveils the curtain around the growth of Design Pickle and all the mountains he had to climb to grow it from a coffee shop in Scottsdale to a fully owned office (and all the steps in between).
Russ can now say he has climbed mountains, both literally and figuratively. Watch the episode below to learn about the difficulties and sacrifices involved in hiking Mount Shasta and growing Design Pickle.
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BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you!
Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode 29 of the Russ Perry Show. And if you haven’t already noticed, we are in a new set. I guess if this is your first episode you would never know that we’re in a new set.
But we are talking to you live We’re going back to roots here and actually this is the last show we’re going to be recording in our new old office. In the sense that we moved into a new place recently and we’re actually all packing up and getting ready to move back out of it this week. And so we can now actually remodel it and redesign it and then come back to you all later in the year with a whole new experience. A whole new design.
But, today for The Russ Perry Show we’re going old school. We’re gonna be talking about this concept of growth as well as appreciation and making sure that you balance that and knowing, kind of recognizing where you’ve come from and where you’re going.
I’m gonna be sharing that as well as my adventure that I had and the reason why I’m slightly sunburned during this Russ Perry show. Right in just a minute. So, as always sit back, relax and enjoy this episode of The Russ Perry Show.
Alright, so obviously I’m a bit red in the face. In fact, the other day I got back home from this trip I’ll tell you about in just a second and my two-year-old daughter Paige says “Dad, I like you red!” pointing at my face and my neck. But, hopefully, it’s not too distracting.
And the reason I have this sunburn is that I actually went out last weekend and tackled something I’d never thought I would ever do. And that was snow hiking AKA mountaineering up Mount Shasta.
Me and two of my friends, Jake Knight and Jonathan Ronzio, tackled that mountain. It was a two-day trip. We started in the morning on Friday. Got up to about ten thousand feet elevation. Camped in snow. Which, dude, I’m from Arizona. This was the craziest experience I’ve had. Sleeping in snow on snow! Although we had a tent and all that.
And then we set off on Saturday morning at three AM to drudge and hike and walk five hours. Yes, five hours. To go from 10 thousand feet to 14 thousand feet where we summited around 8 to 8:30 in the morning on Saturday.
So, why the heck would I do this? It obviously was something that was completely out of my element. I didn’t even look up any videos or anything about it. I just sort of agreed to it. And using the phrase ‘book the ticket’ which you can catch on a previous episode of The Russ Perry Show of what that phrase means to me. But it was an exact ‘book the ticket’ moment.
I got some text messages. “I wanna go try to tackle this mountain Mount Shasta, Whose in?” I’m like, okay sounds cool. Let’s do it.
So, we went up there and it was miserable. I’ll be honest. It was not enjoyable at all.
We’re carrying a heavy pack. We’re walking in snow. At a certain point, we had to put on crampons. I didn’t even know what crampons were. They’re like metal claws you put on the bottom shoes so that you can have more surface area for your foot and not fall into the snow.
And then you’re in cold like really cold weather! I think it got down to 20 degrees while we were up there! Well below freezing.
We couldn’t even bring all of our water. We had to boil water. And then the next day guess what my nice thermos, insulated thermos had when I was super thirsty and I needed to drink some water? Hot water! Warm water. It wasn’t even cold. My thermos worked too well in keeping the temperature isolated.
But, why did I do it? It was a question that was running through my mind a million times. And it is simply about the journey. That’s the answer that I came away with.
It’s about the journey. It’s about the story.
It’s about so many things we’ve talked here about on The Russ Perry Show on really what it means to go through this life and tackling expansion as a strategy for our everyday life.
The people that we admire the most are the people who are literally looking at the top of a mountain, whether it’s a literal or figurative mountain and saying “I don’t know why but, I wanna go to this mountain. I wanna go to the top of this mountain. And I’m gonna align my life in such a way to where I can get on top of that mountain.”
And so that’s what I did! And it sucked. It was cold. I was away from my family. I was super tired yesterday trying to get caught up on everything. I had to miss some work with my team and a critical part of our company’s growth right now as we’re heading into summer.
And yet it was more about who do I have to become to accomplish that and to go there.
And then standing on top of the mountain realizing that wow this nearly, seemingly impossible mountain. We’ll have footage probably in the upcoming Russ Perry Show when I looked up at this mountain it was nuts that we were even gonna climb up it.
And this isn’t even one of the tallest mountains in North America by any means. There are much taller ones.
But yet when we got to the top and we looked back down at the progress that we had made not only were we fine and we were safe but…
we had a new sense of what’s possible.
And so today the shows gonna be a bit shorter. But the reason is because it’s a simple conversation around this journey that you’re on. And The Russ Perry Show has literally been a week by week snapshot of my journey.
And I’m wrapping up, not the whole season we still have a few more things in store for you for season three of The Russ Perry Show. But I’m wrapping up with the last episode here today in an office that I never thought would be possible.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane real quick.
So, Design Pickle was founded in 2015. Can you see that okay on the camera, guys? Alright. 2015 in which I worked at a coffee shop.
You can see we’re also going back to our roots here in terms of our audio/visual techniques. I don’t even have a cool drawing board anymore.
But we started at a coffee shop in Scottsdale.
This coffee shop, Press Coffee at the Scottsdale Quarter was what I knew was possible, hustling with a laptop.
A little while later, we got a little bit of a traction and I was able to unwind some consulting contracts that I had. The same year we moved from a coffee shop to a coworking spot.
This coworking spot, it was called DeskHub it’s near old town Scottsdale or was I don’t know if it still is. This coworking spot had a little bit more space but to be honest, it wasn’t much better or worse than the coffee shop. There was coffee, there were people, there was noise, I shared a desk and that’s just kinda how it was.
We got really excited and in 2016 I was able to rent a room. And when I mean a room, I literally mean a room that was probably no bigger than this set that we have here. It was inside a warehouse, like a warehouse space that we kind of are in right now. It had no windows, it had one door which thankfully that door had a window. But there was no natural sunlight.
My wife called this room the prison. Because it literally was like solitary confinement when you were in there.
It was hot, my landlord, who is also my friend Matt Blanton, was a stickler with the electricity and we could never get the thermostat down below 80 degrees and then I’m in this room, and it’s me and Jim our marketing director at the time and we are just dudes that are sweating, and it’s summertime.
So this room, I mean, it made the coffee shop seem pretty posh, but at this place, it was finally something to call our own. We could have a call there, we could create there, we could brainstorm, we could leave our stuff there. Put stuff up on the walls, and we grew.
Then in late 2016, we made a move that really we felt was the biggest, craziest move ever. And this was to actually get our own office.
This was late 2016 and in late 2016 we got our own office. And this place was a mansion compared to everything else. We had two closed offices, and we had a common workspace.
Oh yeah, we even had our name on the glass of the door to our office and on the placard when you came inside the building. This I thought, we signed a two-year lease we would have well into 2018.
But then something came into my mind. It was this idea, looking up the mountain of where do I want to be, where do I want to go with this company.
Do we want to just be renting an office or do we actually want a place of creation of connection that we could call our own?
And so I looked up and I just started to investigate of what it would take. Of what it would take to actually conquer this next mountain which would be a place that we’re not leasing but that we actually own ourselves.
And so, in early 2018 we made the final move which is, we owned our office.
This progression here, from coffee shop to coworking, a room, an office we’re leasing and finally an office that we owned. This progression doesn’t necessarily seem crazy in the moment.
It’s just like as I’m getting up to the top of the mountain on Saturday morning. The sun has come up, we’re getting close to the peak. As I look ahead, I just see more snow and more climbing. It doesn’t feel like much.
But when I got to the final destination that I had set my sights on, and I actually look back. I could see from the peak, the parking lot where we started with over nine hours of hiking prior that we split up between the two days.
And it was that moment in which I recognize the distance that was traveled and the work that was required. And the commitment that was required.
So today, as I wrap up this episode here of the Russ Perry Show, in the office that we own. The office that will look like a transformational difference that in fact, kind of pan around here if you can like we just capture this.
It’s not a pretty place guys. We’ve got a lot of stuff, we got a lot of junk. You can just see Colden over there, get everything. Like this is going to be a completely different place by the time we get back here later this year.
But in the moment it doesn’t seem like much. But yet, when I go back and I look down the hill. and I look where we were from our office to the room at Matt’s, to the coworking space in Scottsdale. To the coffee shop. And then there was nothing before.
I’m grateful and I have appreciation.
And so I challenge you to do that today. I challenge you to take a trip down memory lane. But not in a nostalgic, “Oh isn’t that great” but with gratitude and appreciation so you can look back at how far you’ve come, and know and appreciate the work and the time and the sacrifice and the commitments that you’ve made.
And so where you go from here it may seem impossible. It may seem scary, it may seem challenging.
But just know, that the difference of what is preventing you from getting there is simply your mindset and your commitment.
So this wraps up episode number 29 of the Russ Perry Show, season three. We are excited and thank you for having us here. And as always, we’ll see you next week.