• connect with us


by in +branding, +marketing


I was not a believer. I actually scoffed at “corporate mission” and “vision.” They seemed like hollow statements, written in a boardroom and did not authentically reflect the businesses we were working with at the time.

Then something devastating happened

After ten years in a partnership, my partner asked for a business divorce. I was stunned and terrified. However, one of the biggest disappointments of my business career has led to my greatest professional success.


The divorce forced me to think about my vision for my new business, as well as what was important to me as a leader. I had to admit, I never really shared the vision or value system of my former partner. So, I wrote my ten-year vision and it’s uncanny how it is coming true. I focused on my passions of building an exceptional culture and giving back to my community, while delivering amazing work. My vision was the new company’s roadmap and set the tone of our culture. Once I knew where I wanted to go, it was critical to share it with the rest of my team and get each person to buy-in to the plan. As my former company was unwinding, my team and I worked very hard to define the purpose, values and mission of the organization I had always dreamed of running.

Every Business has a Culture

For me, Small Giant Mojo, was love at first site. During the business divorce I met a group of companies that shared my values and six key qualities that are the core of my business culture. Small Giant companies champion the importance of the Return on Values business model. Simply put, you can have a great business culture and profitable bottom line.

Culture Does Count

Is there a link between culture and profit? Red Caffeine proves there is, every day. Employee satisfaction and hiring directly impact customer acquisition and retention. We devote a tremendous amount of time to constantly improve the Red Caffeine work experience.

Since opening day we’ve been playing the Great Game of Business (GGOB) – sometimes referred to as open book management. The transparency of the numbers is the core to building an environment of trust. We educate our entire team on what it takes to run a profitable business. Our bonus program creates skin in the game and we empower team members by sharing exactly how their actions affect the company’s financial health. We play together and win together. Massages, Culture Club Lunches, Thirsty Thursdays, lunch and learns and quarterly events are all team building exercises that help keep us connected and communicating.

Our team-based hiring practice ensures we look for a culture-match first, skills second. Our team is our special sauce and we want to make sure they feel rapport with each new hire. In our first year in business, Red Caffeine added five new members to the team and six clients to our roster. We continue to grow and expect to end 2015 with twenty team members.

On the financial side of our first year, Red Caffeine generated revenues exceeded only once in my 10 years as co-founder of Desert Rose Design. We project 2015 to be even better with an expected growth of 35%. Beyond fiscal success, the best part of this business venture comes from the mouths of our clients. I am constantly thrilled to hear wonderful comments about our team.

Our mojo is something special

When you focus on building a great culture the rest just falls into place.

See her interview here >

About The Author

Kathy Steele
Kathy Steele - View more articles

Kathy Steele is the President and CEO of Red Caffeine. She loves the crazy ride of being an entrepreneur, building brands, simple user experiences and happy employees. She is married to manufacturing, literally. Connect with Kathy on Twitter and LinkedIn.