Have you ever had a moment that just sent you over the edge you were so desperately clinging to?
As a small business owner, I find that moment, more often than not, is provoked by something so small it often seems silly in retrospect.
‘Your latte fell on the floor because your hands we full and you tripped over the rug.’
‘Your kids forgot their lunch at home and you’re already late for an important meeting.’
‘Your dog got sick on the brand new throw rug you spent hours making, before you got to photograph it for your blog.’
For me, as the Creative Director (and Co-Founder) of Deco & Grace, a company that works on at least 12 different projects all in a given day, little details that might not make a big difference to other people tend to build up over the course of the day and leave me clinging to my glass of Moscato in a fetal position by the end of the night.
The Straw the broke the overworked camels back this time? The letter L.
Our Big Pull Project (the project that is getting most of our attention) right now is Deco & Bloom.
Deco & Bloom is my baby. It’s my heart. It’s a Home Decor enthusiasts fantasy.
It’s Decor, it’s interviews with Brands, it’s How to articles, and behind the scenes looks at amazing bloggers.
It’s Roomspiration, and Decorating Tips, and cheeky commentary on everything home.
It’s my passion, It’s My Obsession, It’s got a HUGE GLARING MISTAKE RIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!!
The letter L is missing from Halloween and This article went live 2 days ago, that means that over 4,000 people have seen this mistake. Over 4,000 people have seen the sign off “with Love Emma Rae Thomas + The Deco & Bloom Team” sitting so unaware under this glaring neon symbol of incompetence.
How Could this Happen? How did this Happen? How did I let this Happen?
Now as I’m sure most of you are saying, it’s just an L, it’s funny, but it’s fixable, relax.
You’re right. It is fixable, heck, it’s probably going to even be funny once the shock wears off.
That being said, as any person who is in charge of overseeing a large amount of people or information knows, it’s not just about the missing “L.”
As the person who’s name is on the line, (ha, literally.) it always comes down to the fact that I am in charge of making sure that every detail in this company is taken care, though we are a team, at the end of the day this company lives and dies by my actions. Every failing that is allowed to be published, every employee that is hired and wasn’t right for the job, every fact that wasn’t fact checked twice, or deadline that isn’t met is on my hands.
As the person in charge of the finished product, even if a mistake is not your fault, it is always your responsibility to make sure the job gets done before sending it out to the world.
So how do we, as
women business people in a position of power, balance that responsibility of overseeing the work of others, while still completing our own work to its fullest, and maintaining a healthy level of stress?
♥ Emma Rae Thomas + The Pretty As Pie Team
Set Expectations. Everyone in your company plays a different and very specific role. Even if you only work with your spouse or a couple of friends, everyone serves an individual purpose that contributes to the greater goal. Figure out exactly what each persons function is in the company (for small companies that may very well be a long list) and write it down on paper. Even if you have an informal structure in place, this activity helps to let everyone know exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves on track on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. If you are super organized, you can even go into specific detail about each activities requirement. Start with yourself to get the ball rolling, and work your way down the company line. Mine would look a little like this:
Emma Rae Thomas: Co-Founder/Creative Director
Responsibilities: Overseeing Day to Day Operations, New Project Development, Initial Project Design, Project Management, Social Media Management, Hiring and Overseeing, Affiliate Management, Writer, Article Concept Creation for all internet based projects, overseeing bloggers, and P.R.
Learn to delegate. Now that you and your employees (or partners) all have a complete and detailed understanding of exactly what is expected of everyone on a day to day, weekly, monthly, and annual basis; take a look at the tasks that you are currently completing and really think about if it is the best use of your time to personally complete that task, or if the company would be better served having someone else do it instead. For me, While it is vital that I oversee the bloggers, maybe I can delegate the task of Article concept creation by having everyone in the company submit 4 or 5 ideas a week.
Take a moment for yourself. It’s hard to find time for yourself when you are so focused on building a company but it is absolutely essential to your success. You can’t build a strong brand without being a strong person and sometimes you need to take a moment to replenish that inner strength. Light a candle, drink some chai, read a magazine. Do one small thing for yourself every day and it will make you a better manager for your employees.