Not long after the shutdown began, I was having a virtual lunch with my girl Alex Suchman, of AIS Collaborations. We were talking about all the little things falling through the cracks of business. Alex is a whiz at organizing businesses and non-profits. No joke, she takes all of these different tasks that have my ADHD mind all over the place and brings some calm to chaos. She told me that it was the little steps her clients were missing – a proposal template here, a checklist there, centrally located email lists. All the things that when you’re in the office you tell someone to do – and they just grab something they’ve done before, copy it, and start anew.
Now, before this pandemic I thought I had a pretty good workflow, or at least a good understanding, of Alejo’s workflow. All the front-facing development was done by me, Anna, the owner. My team worked well. I honestly thought everything was going along swimmingly. But then Covid-19 happened and all the processes I “thought” were in place were exposed. I was just like Alex’s client!!
In my last blog I wrote how my 2 Girls Talking podcast partner Ashley Bernardi and I created media training workshops. We also pivoted our podcast to focus on the pandemic, our families, and our business. We booked guests who were experts on these matters. We had to reschedule the guests we had already interviewed. And I was trying to do it all. I was also reaching out to clients, keeping them in the loop, trying to let them know what was happening and how we can still work together.
My focus was on doing. It should have been on getting the word out to everyone involved. That didn’t happen. Working separately, I took on more of the tasks and completely forgot about utilizing my team. I had lost my business mindset. And in the process, was losing my mental health.
I was working IN my company when I needed, now more than ever, to work ON it. No one knew about the changes because I hadn’t set up processes to let my team know. I remembered my conversation with Alex. “Small things”. So I got to work with my assistant. We set up calendars, worked up templates, refined our mailing list, set up automatic reminders and rescheduled social media posts. We have checklists for each project.
Weeks later, now that we are reopening, Alejo is doing well. Workshops and podcasts going strong. Editing projects on track. But even as we move further into reopening we now have systems and templates and processes to keep the trains on track. Systems that don’t rely solely on me remembering to tell people things. Which is better for the company and my sanity.