My absolute favourite part of doing what I do is the people who I work with. This includes my team, our customers, our suppliers and those random guys who kick the football across our street at lunchtime. They’re pretty rad too.
I wanted to write this blog because in 10 days time I’m going on maternity leave for a few months. The last time I left my business for a period of time was a year ago, and that was for two weeks, with a laptop in tow.
To put it frankly, I’m about as nervous as a frog in a biology class.
But also, feeling hot under the pregnancy collar with an extremely emotional sense of gratitude for my team. The fact that I can go on maternity leave and leave my business baby in their capable hands astounds me to no end.
Prepping for this extended period of leave has made me realise that Smack Bang is nothing without the people who make me get out of bed each day. They say your company is the team who work within it, and if that’s the case, then right now our company is a sparkly, magical, talented, smart, sassy, linen-clad unicorn, to say the least.
Yes, it’s clear that I love my team, I’m eternally grateful for them all and if my womb wasn’t already currently full I’d want to have their babies.
If you run a business, you know that it takes blood, sweat, tears and a dash of lucky leprechaun dust to get there. You also know that it takes a solid team (in-house or contracted) working towards a unified vision to get anything done. The fact is that even the smartest business strategy, most innovative idea or talented entrepreneur will struggle to succeed without a happy, healthy and engaged workforce. Without it, your business is as good as to Usain Bolt after 40 valiums – all the potential and zero momentum.
During seven or so years of running this biz, I’ve been lucky enough to build a work posse that is both a family and team. We get on like a house on fire. In bringing these people under the one roof, I’ve realised that when you choose the right people for your business, you change the entire business itself. If you look behind any success story, I guarantee you will find a people-powered backbone comprised of great minds, individual perspectives, a group effort, a collective vision and a bunch of happy people holding each other’s pom-poms.
The atmosphere and vision a team can uphold is unbelievable. Not to mention the impact you can have as a company. As I continue to build out my team I realise more and more that without them, Smack Bang is nothing but a shiny website and a very full inbox. I couldn’t do any of what I do without them, and over the years, they really have become my lifeline. A growing business reminds you daily that you can’t do it all yourself, and for me, at this point in my life, I’m ultra aware that soon I’ll just be scrambling to keep another human alive – my team are going to become both mine and my daughter’s lifeline!
Like many entrepreneurs, I feel so grateful to have a business that actually has impact on people’s lives – we give business owners the tools they need to make their dreams a reality – but I couldn’t fulfil this personal vision of mine without the support system of a team.
As an entrepreneur, your impact is only as great as your team.
The one thing that has surprised me in business is that leading a team is fun. Granted, it’s not fun like babysitting your best mate’s hamster, it’s fun like Skydiving with a parachute from the 1800s. And by that, I mean, it’s three parts terrifying, two parts risky and one part exciting. If something goes wrong, there are serious consequences. Which is why I don’t take the idea of having employees lightly.
I love my team and I have so much respect for them that I work my butt off – often at ungodly hours of the night or morning – to try to ensure they love where they spend their 9-5 and feel safe and secure in their jobs. Because on that never-ending lists of founder duties, making my team feel valued is my numero uno priority.
If you’re thinking about building a team yourself, then my recommendation is do it. I can’t imagine being as fulfilled as I am now that I have fifteen remarkable humans by my side, who also proudly fly the SBD flag. For more on growing a team, you can listen to my podcast with StartUp Creative, or hit up our ebook, I dedicate a whole chapter on the topic.
Yes, it’s scary as shit, but the rewards far outweigh the sleepless nights worrying about being able to make payroll. Trust me.
As I finish this blog, I am ticking off yet another task on my slowly dwindling list for the year. As I stare down the barrel of a few months away from my desk, I’m filled with love and admiration for my crew. I know they’ll be just fine, they’ll be more than fine.
So a big thank you to any of my team members who still read my blog (brownie points to those who do). Thank you for having my back, thank you for giving me the space and thank you for holding the fort. I am forever grateful for all that you do and all that you are.
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