This week (technically September 30) marks Velociteach’s 10th birthday. It was on a Monday morning ten years ago that I began working on a business model and pro forma for a new kind management training and services company.
When I founded Velociteach, I sensed an opportunity to bring together things I loved (project management, writing, and the classroom). I started writing my PMP book that same week, and I was blessed to have friends who encouraged me and sustained me through this time. I was surrounded by a community that helped keep me centered and sane during the long months where I had no income. Some gave encouragement, others regularly brought me lunch, and some gave great advice that shaped who we became.
In order to get Velociteach started, I went around asking for favors. One friend designed the V logo, which has grown with us over the years. Another, whom I would later hire, wrote the registration engine for our website. Yet another hosted us as his ISP. I have no idea whether we could have made this happen without this group of people. Although I never borrowed money to start the business, I could not have gotten it off the ground without the help of these and many others.
One of our challenges was that we had a mind-bending amount of information to convey in a short amount of time. I wrote down everything we needed to communicate on note cards, and my wife, Karen, arranged those on the dining room table and began deep research into accelerated learning techniques. Our lives and our home were chaotic for months.
Our first paying customer was another of that community of friends, Patsy Ramsey. She and her husband, John, had recently moved back to Atlanta, and I got to know them while I was writing my book. Patsy provided daily encouragement to me. She pushed me to finish writing, and then around Christmas of 2002 she surprised me by paying the tuition for her best friend to sit through my class. It was Velociteach’s first revenue, and as hard as it was, I invested that money right back into the business.
The first class was January 29-Feb 1, 2003 in Atlanta. I taught that class myself. We used a loose-leaf pre-published edition of my book. Karen sat in the back, observing and taking notes on things we needed to improve or change. We knew we were on the right track when people passed the exam right afterward.
Things are different today. We have a staff of outstanding instructors and support personnel, a slew of products, and what is objectively the most advanced and best eLearning platform in the industry. The PMP book has sold like wildfire ever since I published it in May of 2003. Someone recently pointed out to me that if everyone who had purchased my book gathered together, the largest stadium in the USA wouldn’t hold them all. That thought blows my mind.
We have won some great awards, including Small Business of the Year in a county with over 30,000 small businesses and the Pacesetter Award. We have another great award on the way, but more on that in a future blog.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our success. We love our customers and our community. We are on a wonderful growth trajectory, and we are delighted that you have made this possible. Happy birthday!