We recently had the great privilege of taking our team to Palm Springs to celebrate 15 years in business. For me, it was a dream come true. Yes, the trip was incredible. But it’s more than that. Building a business is hard and I sometimes can’t believe that after 15 years Tiller is actually growing and thriving. My teenage brain had always hoped this was possible but deep down I wondered if it really was. Wow.
There are grave statistics that suggest the majority of businesses fail within their first five years. I’m humbled and thrilled to celebrate 15. We are here today because of the many people who’ve given their time, talent, and energy to help build Tiller. Our list of supporters is long, including family, clients, partners, and more. And of course, there is our Tiller team (or Tiller-ites as some have started to say).
Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I simply can’t believe this team. Each person is uniquely them — wired differently with their own strengths, skills, experiences, and perspectives. It’s not lost on me that my vision would be nothing without the team to bring it to life.
In a post-COVID world, where fully remote teams are growing in popularity, we’ve often been challenged on our thinking about hybrid work. What’s the value of an office? Why does face-to-face time matter?
There are plenty of opinions on the matter and I realize it largely depends on the nature of the business. But at Tiller, we deeply believe that our team thrives best when we see each other and spend time together face to face. That’s when the magic happens.
That’s why I wanted to dream big when it came to celebrating our 15-year milestone. Over four days in Palm Springs, we enjoyed a curated experience designed specifically for our Tiller team. No meetings. No work. Just four days of building up and investing in our relationships with each other. Because not only do great relationships make coming to work more fun and fulfilling, but they also elevate the work itself and increase the value we deliver to our clients.
Our Palm Springs agenda was packed with fun. Our first two days included a visit to the art museum, a Mexican feast, outdoor movie night, aerial tram ride, and celebrity bus tour. And because we booked our very own boutique hotel, we had the hot tub and pool all to ourselves.
But the real highlight was on Day 3. After a relaxed day in the sun, we piled into our trusty 15-passenger vans and headed out to Joshua Tree National Park for an incredible desert hike, sunset picnic, and stargazing experience. The sun went down, the stars came out, and we celebrated 15 years in business with literally no ceilings.
This trip was about so much more than an epic itinerary. It was really about spending quality time together and getting to know each other on a deeper level.
I came home from Palm Springs with an even greater appreciation for each person on our team. What an incredibly diverse group of people. Yet each person is eager to embrace each other’s differences. I’m even more inspired to show up and get better each day for the team I have the privilege of serving. Weeks after the trip I continue to see the positive effects of our time together.
Success in any company begins with relationships. And in a world where relationships have become asynchronous and distant, I believe being together is more important than ever. It’s not about putting bodies in seats. It’s about designing a culture that attracts and retains people who will care for, support, and celebrate each other daily. Call me old school but there is no substitute for having your team in the same room.
We spent the latter part of the Fall setting ambitious goals for 2023-2025 and designing a strategic plan to get us there. After our Palm Springs adventure, I’m more confident than ever that we can hit those goals and more.
With this team, anything is possible.