The following article was written by Kamran Popkin, creative director (and rebel-rousing instigator) at swagclub.
In which, we grilled a cow. Six sheep. And a goat.
And The Wall Street Journal came, spent a few days with us, and put us on the front page of their damn publication.
That’s NOT the story. The story was, and continues to be, the tightening our very different tribes. We started as friends, five equity partners and their best mates, doing the unthinkable. Roasting a whole cow. Et al.
The recipe was shockingly simple.
4 cords firewood
6 gallons chimichurra sauce.
The logistics very well coulda made enemies of us all, not better friends. Or worse, we coulda killed someone, or at least made them sick.
That didn’t happen, but when the third tent collapsed due to the unfriendly weather, and the bouncy house guy had to deflate them for fear of flying off with our children inside, we knew we had some adjustments to make for this year.
And so we did.
At our first partners meeting the laughter was unparalleled. Yes, the makers flowed, the eats were awesome, but the Money shot was a German word. Gemütlichkeit.
And we had that by the truckload. It inspired us to take this business to the next level by our sense of purpose, to try to give something back to our fellow warriors. The tracks were laid, elegantly, if a bit boisterously.
We stepped up our professionalism a bit for 2.0, with a shiny new website that I doubt you’ll like.
We are in planning for Bovinova 3.0. There will be an ark of animals, in which we shall grill two of everything. Cubits and cubits of wood. And critters! We’re also planning our five and 10 year strategy to make this an enduring legacy of giving back to our community while hosting the mother of all cook outs.
This is tribe building at the primal level, around a campfire, late into the night. Letting our hair down, doing the work, serving our bravest. And based on our experience from last year, this kinda tribe building is the best investment in time and energy a business can make.
I dunno how you see your place in the market, but the interwebs make the middleman order taker increasingly irrelevant. Everything you sell can be shopped out online and found cheaper—often below your costs. I’d be very concerned if I saw my value proposition as “a knowledge of the top-five suppliers in our industry and their imprint areas.”
The truth is, you need to be building out your tribes on something deeper than just discounts and catalogcarpertbombing. Praps its habitat houses, or meals on wheels, or no kill animal shelters, or homelessness, or something. Anything that YOU care about. Care enough about it to get sweaty, for no cash or accolades, but to make this a better place.
And you prolly got some clients that would love to swing hammers with you.
Go make a difference. Give something back. And tighten your tribes.
While you still can.