Death, taxes, and a 9:30 a.m. Uberconference call with Ilene every Monday through Friday--these are the certainties in my life.
I requested this call about three years ago. We had started to get busy enough where she was handling one end of the company and I was handling the other. A bad habit of skimping on communication meant, at best, gaps between the two of us. At worst, it meant holes is client interactions. So, this became our morning huddle and our time to find out what was on each other’s dockets.
If It Ain’t Broke...
“There’s no better place for our biggest, wildest ideas to be talked out.”
We’ve since grown our team to include a fabulous project manager, so we have a pretty good idea what’s going on in both of our worlds at all times. Still, I resist giving up this meeting. It sets a good tone for my day (did I mention Ilene is my boss but she’s also one of my best friends?). And, there’s no better place for our biggest, wildest ideas to be talked out.
The primary topic of late is the repositioning of our company and executing it tactically with a new website. Long story short, Ilene and I were pretty well into the design storyboards when Adrianne came back from maternity leave. When we showed them to her, she asked “where we were” and we knew it was a deeper project than a website redesign. We had to show ourselves--and our value--to the people who were potentially hiring us.
So, Who Are We?
The most obvious about us is that we are all women--and we tirelessly support each other, as women do. When Shina recently got engaged, there were a LOT of exclamation points in our Slack channels (!!!!)
“We really embrace our unique roles at our small, spunky company.”
Look closer, and you’ll see we are all different women. Some of us have families, some of us have side gigs, some of us work during the week to fund interests on the weekend.
What we all have in common, though, is that we are all intently serious about our work.
We really embrace our unique roles at our small, spunky company. There’s a lot of talent and a lot of experience around here, the very best of breadth and depth, and we all share the same goal of having it all--and having it all well.
The Value of Shared Goals
Some might say we’ve put in our dues building this team, but I also believe there’s a bit of serendipity involved. It struck us when we were speaking to a reference on a recent hire and she said, “You can sleep at night with her on your team.”
We. Were. Sold.
It also made me think, if that’s what we want for ourselves, why shouldn’t we take the approach of “that’s what our clients want for themselves”? If our goal is to be able to make our families dinner, or give piano lessons in the evening, or go to a weaving convention in Portland, then most likely our clients want to be able to do that too. There's value in working with other people who inherently want to kill it at work, be a super mom, and crush three black diamond courses in two states in one weekend.
We still have work to do. I’ve been looking at the same sentence around our value prop for days, and here’s what I have: The best collaborations are a mutual investment of time and resources, based on the shared the goal of wanting everything.
I’ll let you know where we land.