Thinking about the bigger picture
I usually say that I am an optimistic guy. I always choose to take the risk and see potential in everything. Most of the time, it's working super well - sometimes, i have to learn from my mistakes. My story with Ridestore started more or less like this.
A random opportunity
At this time, I was working for a huge company and used to free my mind by checking a lot of Facebook/Instagram pages about travel, snow, mountains (which i enjoy a lot). In June 2017, i found the Ridestore application ad in my feed.
"Hey, are you looking for an extra job which allow you to work wherever you want ? Apply here and join our awesome crew"
I didn't know about Ridestore before - I thought it was a joke. Don't ask me why, but I took some time to answer to the application survey and totally forgot that I did. 2 weeks later, I was on board to help our online shop to conquer the French market.
From oppression to liberty
I never imagined to go back to the world of work as I do now. Although having worked on some freelance missions, I knew more the "classic companies" ecosystem than the one of start-ups. Fixed schedules and depressing offices with only one hour lunch break that you try to enjoy with colleagues you don't really want to see.
A new world opened to me. I changed my "mandatory hours" for "useful" ones (why should you work 40 hours a week if you're able to perform tasks in just 15?), my soulless office by trendy cafes, my lunch breaks with meals with my girl or picnics with my dog (or both), my "colleagues that I did not want to meet" by one of the teams in the world!
Always a pleasure to meet this crew!
Ok cool, but what's your job?
At the beginning, it was pretty quiet. The website received very little attention from our beloved homeland. It gave me the opportunity to work on the translation of the site, to adapt communication messages to the French market, to try to find the best delivery service and also give me some time to train myself on customer service tools. The customer experience occupied most of my time during all the high season (September - March).
Many brands/shops (as established French ones) used to not give any intentions to their customers and only promote an unidirectional communication (most of the time meaningless). At Ridestore, we work with the customers no matter what department you are in, and of course we want to make them happy. There is nothing more satisfying for me than receiving messages from happy customers after finding a solution with us.
From the spark to the flame
The word of mouth worked quite quickly. We launched the French website in September 2017, around mid-November everything started to become huge. I received more and more customer cases and was not able to do anything else. After over a month spent under the radar because I was busy with only work, it was time to look for a new member to build a true French team.
It was really fun to move on to the other side. I was no longer the rooky but some kind of referent, as which I had to teach the tricks of the trade to our new member Franck and to teach him the values of the company. I was really impressed to see his reactions about our way of working / thinking.
A "Non French Way of Working"
As "good French", we used to be scared of everything about companies. Will i receive my salary? Will i be fired? Why my boss is so wicked? Why my colleagues wants to take my job? So, it's true that the shock can be impressive when you arrive at Ridestore (and honestly, it takes some time to understand that it's not possible to compare our company to any other ones).
Even if a hierarchy is in place, a leaders role is to lead their team, rather than just controlling them.
There are two points that I think are essential in this relationship between our leaders and crew members.
The first is the motivation:
- We try to work with motivated people, but we understand that they will not become motivated by themselves. Leaders are giving the opportunity to shine to each crew member. For the record, I used to ping one of Ridestores CEO’s all the time at the beginning when i wanted something to go faster (i didn't understand he was not a regular crew member) - I don't think I need to say that it was well received by him (I'm always here !)
The second is perseverance:
- No matter what we do, we are all making mistakes. In France, it's possible to fire someone who did just a small mistake. At Ridestore, we prefer to encourage everybody to learn from our mistakes. If you break your face on something, just become a reference on this topic and take responsibility. You will help everybody to avoid this issue.
You can do whatever you want
As we are focusing on the snow market, the high season ended in late February in France. During the low season at Ridestore, we are more or less free to do what we want as it offers added value to the company.
I had heard that we were looking for someone to create a team in charge of improving the SEO of our website. Thanks to my studies in Digital Communication, I am quite comfortable with it. I just take some time to discuss about it with dedicated people. I am now in charge to find awesome people (such as Max and Janina) to work on it with me.
/David, Onboard since July 2017 (With Max support)