2017 Retrospective

As we approach each New Year, I enjoy taking a little time to reflect on the past.

Every year brings highs and lows, successes and failures, disappointments and celebrations. With the proper perspective, all these things can be positives. We can learn from it all and use those lessons to propel us forward, toward more growth and more success.

I’d like to take a little time to recap our 2017 at Website Muscle.

This has been an important year for us. It marks the last year before our 10-year anniversary as a company (woot!). A lot of significant changes and progress have taken place this year.

Integrating EOS

A crucial step in 2017 was integrating EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) into our business. I’d heard a lot about EOS through my Vistage Worldwide group and was interested in implementing it at Website Muscle, but until Chris took over our day-to-day operations, I didn’t have the time or resources (or, frankly, the organizational wherewithal) to implement it myself. (Shout out to Chris!)

The EOS model addresses the six key components of a business, which must be managed and strengthened in order for a business to grow and function at optimal levels:

  • Vision
  • People
  • Data
  • Issues
  • Process
  • Traction

Last January, Chris and I had our first annual Website Muscle leadership retreat, an intensive two days completely dedicated to setting goals for the coming year, as well as our three, five, and ten year projections. We decided to go all-in with EOS. We read Traction, the book that introduces and explains EOS.

Since it’s our first year using EOS, we’ve had some kinks to work out for sure, but overall it has been a really positive transition for the entire company. Here are a few of the benefits we’ve reaped from implementing EOS this year:

Core Values

We had dabbled in core values before EOS, but it forced us to nail them down once and for all. The process of solidifying and defining the essence of our company was very enlightening.

Now we reinforce our core values weekly with the team so they become second nature and part of our everyday vocabulary. (And it’s working! Our team is totally dedicated to Ownership, Balance, Teamwork, and Win-Win.)

Having our core values defined also makes decision-making a lot easier. If we’re faced with a decision either internally or with a client and it conflicts with one of our core values, it doesn’t happen.

Quarterly Books

Our team reads a book together each quarter. We select books that will benefit us as a company and also as individuals.

This year, we read Get a Grip, the companion book to Traction, which Chris and I read before implementing EOS; we chose The Ideal Team Player, Radical Candor, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for the other three quarters.


IDS stands for Identify, Discuss, Solve. Our company IDS spreadsheet is the first stop for all new ideas.

Everyone on the team is welcome to add ideas to the IDS sheet. Then, in our Level 10 meetings, Chris and I discuss these ideas together and, if necessary, get clarification from the owner of the idea.

Weekly “Level 10” Meetings

Chris and I meet weekly to go over the week behind, the week ahead, and stay on top of projects, sales, and our Issues list.

Our weekly kickoff meeting is a quick, ten-minute time for transparency with the team. We go over our Scorecard so everyone can see how many open projects we have, what level of capacity we’re at (versus where we want to be), and how well we’re doing at achieving wins with our clients.

We also had our first “Skip-Level Meeting” this year, in which the team met with an outside consultant to provide constructive feedback on the leadership.

New Team Member

Finally, we added Joe to the team this year. Joe’s a designer/developer and Customer Support Specialist, and one of the nicest people we know.

I didn’t discuss the challenges we faced in 2017, but there were plenty. Fortunately, we continue to press on, learn from our mistakes, learn from people smarter than us, improve ourselves and our company, and look forward to celebrating 10 years in 2018!

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