When I agreed to take on an upper level management role in my father’s company, there was the desire to jump right in and get started, being a TOTAL boss at 22; but there was also an anxiousness in taking on a role I was completely inexperienced with. I quickly went from a newly graduated college student, to an upper level management position. I went from being a college student, to training and teaching college students all within a matter of 2 years. I also struggled to find my voice, not coming off as too much of a b*tch, but standing firm and getting my point across. I never had that chance to “dip my toes in the water” as some might say. I cannonballed straight into that water, and started swimming without anytime to catch my breath!!
Relying on my own instincts and skills, as well as trusting that my dad knew what he was doing in hiring me, I took the job and started working almost immediately. Who knew that this job I was pretty anxious of going into, would result in me growing into the inspired, hardworking, self motivated and confident boss I am today. I couldn’t possibly list everything I’ve learned throughout the past nearly 7 years, but there are 5 essential things I’ve learned that have helped develop me into the successful businesswoman I am today…
If you’re gonna cannonball, don’t hesitate…
One of the most difficult things to overcome from moving so quickly from college student to boss, is the confidence to hold true to your convictions. This doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs, or upper level management, but any sector of your business. No matter what department you are in, or what role you have, you are always going to be faced with people who do not think you know as much as they do. It is your responsibility to stand up for your ideas, your intelligence and make them listen. At 22 this was immensely difficult as I didn’t trust myself as much as I should have and felt the need to over compensate by making myself sound tougher, which in turn made me sound rude, condescending, and b*tchy.
You will never feel like a worthy contributor, and they will never see you as one, unless you show them you are. No matter how scared you might be to be wrong, slap on your best poker face, look them in the eye, and give them your opinion. If you’re going to do the job, do it to the best of your abilities.
Take the advice and learn from it
No matter what tier of the business you are in, mistakes are inevitable, and learning from them is the only way you will grow. Although you do need to have confidence in your ideas and intelligence, you need to make the decision that is best for the company.
No matter how hard it might be to admit to the new coworker that he or she is right and you think their idea is better, doing so will not only help your company, but make you a better business person. Keeping track of and reminding yourself of your main purpose and motivation in working for that business will increase your value to the company, even if it does mean you don’t move forward with your suggestion. Learning how to best manage people and communicate with customers is something my father and I still work on to this day, taking his advice & constructive criticism on best ways to communicate isn’t always easy though. I have definitely fallen on my face several times, and absolutely stuck my foot in my mouth, but those lessons are the ones I’ve learned the most from.
Know your limits
Approaching any new job, it’s exciting, scary and anxiety provoking all at the same time. Starting my career as a top level manager, I wanted to do the best I could possibly do, and I soon realized it is extremely easy to get ahead of yourself, especially when you are 22 and think you can do it all. Doing higher quality work is better than doing increased quantity of work. Everyone has their limits, and as you continue your job, you will gradually progress and become more accustomed and comfortable with your responsibilities.
Knowing your limits and knowing when and how to remind yourself to slow down is essential in maintaining high quality work and improving in your job. Make a list of the needed tasks each day of work, complete those accurately and thoroughly, and as you start to have more and more extra time, you can begin to add in those extra tasks. Burning out, when you are an integral part of running your company’s daily activities isn’t an option, so it’s important to stay organized and know when to ask for help.
It takes time
Going into my job, I wanted to automatically be an amazing boss and impress my dad and my other coworkers. I came into work ready to learn, and eager to improve. I have undoubtedly improved by leaps and bounds from where I was when I first began at this company, but I am STILL learning and growing. I could never have imagined I would be where I am today and accomplish all I have accomplished this quickly. Looking back to the first year I started however, I did have doubts as to how much and how quickly I would grow to be able to manage on my own, without my dad holding my hand every step of the way.
Day to day, it can be hard to see the bigger picture, especially when you’re focused in the trenches, but every experience helps you become a stronger leader. Getting to that point where you can look back at all of the progress you’ve made, takes time. No one walks into a new job and is automatically great at it. Even when you get great at one job, you maybe get promoted to a higher level job, and have to start all over again learning that position. Accepting the time that it takes to slowly improve and grow in your job is essential to succeeding in it.
Never lose sight of the person you intended to be
This is might be the most important suggestion I can give you. If you strive to grow, accomplish great things, increase your knowledge and become a true boss, you cannot lose sight of yourself, or who you are working to be. Its taken me nearly 7 years to get to a point where I am truly comfortable in my skin as a “Boss Babe”, but I am nowhere near the finish line. I still have so much to learn, and I continue to be thrown curve balls as my position evolves, but what I do know is who I am and that I am absolutely where I am meant to be.
Life Experiences & Dictation by Aly Grushkin
Copy written by Alli Burns
Why do you get up every morning?
Why do you do the job that you do? Have the friends that you have? Wear the clothes that you wear, drive the car you drive?
Why do we do anything? What motivates us? A lot of times people will ask, in a way of facilitating deeper thought, “what is your why?”
Your why is what motivates and drives your every decision throughout the day, week, month or year.
One of my fellow boss babes and long time friend started TWO home businesses (while her husband owns his own company too….) on top of taking care of a newborn & a 4 year old. Her “why” is so that she can stay home with her young daughters while still bringing in an income and allowing herself to do what she loves so she and her husband can support their growing family together… and be present at the same time.
Figuring out your why, may not be as clear or definitive at first though, my why has taken me some time to identify and figure out.
Fresh out of school, 7 years ago *gulp*, I knew I wanted to work with my father to and build a family business… But I truly didn’t know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.
Initially my role in our company, was low-key event coordinator and basic customer service. Much of my duties my father had to hold my hand through since I had no confidence to even type an email. In the past seven years, I’ve grown into someone he trusts to run much of his company, alongside the rest of the management team he has assembled.
Working with your family can be one of the most challenging and frustrating, yet rewarding jobs there is, because while you don’t have the traditional “9-5”, (which lets be honest, doesn’t exist anymore) you get a whole lot of freedom, experience and roles to play that may not have initially been within your skillset. It becomes less of a J-O-B and more of a lifestyle when you LOVE what you do, and it fuels your why.
After a lot of stress, confusion and overwhelming sense of failure, my why has finally been identified based on what gives me joy every day and makes me want to get up, get dressed and drive to work every morning.
Why do I check my calendar right before bed, add “appointments” for things I need to remember to do, and then check it first thing in the morning?
My why is our customers: Our customers and their desire to increase their social exposure and learn ways to improve and grow their business.
Which is ALSO why I get up in the middle of the night to make notes… because sometimes I do some of my best creative thinking in the middle of the night while I sleep and wake up to jot down notes before I forget.
This J-O-B isn’t just a job… Its my entire life. Part of figuring out my why is realizing I live to work, not work to live. I truly love my job and doing what I do… Every single bit of it… Even the tough stuff.
My why is my employees: We currently employ young men and women as interns who are incredibly hard working, creative 19 – 21 year olds, these “young college students” give me hope for the second half of the millennial generation, which doesn’t have the greatest rep. I absolutely adore all of our interns both past and present and feel an incredible sense of accomplishment when they succeed.
Currently, my longest running intern, B, has grown so seamlessly into her role as Customer Service Representative and now can handle customer calls and questions on her own. I get such joy from that, because I know I’ve taught her well.
Showing my interns, especially my girls, that you can have MORE than your typical “9-5”, have fun with your job and like what you do, gives me hope that they too will find their why someday and end up with a job that not only pays the bills but makes them happy.
My why is my passion to improve and grow: Taking on new projects and learning new skills fuels my why. I LOVE to learn, but need to learn by doing. New customer needs arise, or have a situation that needs to be handled? I will learn how to handle it. Need a new website? I’ll figure out a way to make it. We need to improve our website? I’ll enhance my skills to make it better. A customer needs some cool ideas to grow their exposure / run a promotion? I’ll put on my creative hat and work something up!
My why is building: Building a business, not only with my father, but with my soon-to-be husband is something truly remarkable. My why comes from the fact that we’re in this together, and each of us have skills that we bring to the table and are important to succeeding.
My why is our future: I want to be that KICK ASS Boss Babe Mama. I want to be the mom running from a conference call to ballet, and then to soccer, and then home to do bath and bed time. While I don’t cook, I want to be able to sit down to dinner with my family every night, put the littles to bed and finish work after they’re asleep.
I want to be present as much as possible and being able to work from home or bring my children with me to my office when I choose is something I won’t take for granted. I want to be able to have an office where my kids will grow up playing and “pretend working” like I did growing up in my dads office.
I want to be able to be with my kids while they’re small (possibly having some help) but being able to run my section of the business with a team that I know and can trust to help run my department that I’ve worked so hard to build.
My why is working my butt off now, in all my various jobs, so I have the income and freedom in the future.
Tips on how to figure out your why!
- Identify what motivates you… You may need to try different fields or roles until you figure that out.
- Identify what parts of your day bring you the most joy? Even if it’s the smallest part.
- Incorporate those identified aspects into your daily life… Even if it’s stopping for that morning coffee and croissant… (just hit the gym after :))
- Remember the core reasons behind your why. Is it your family? Personal or professional goals? Financial? Awards?
- Act. Take action to pursue your why… whether that means a career change, a position change, or an all together life change. Everyone deserves to be happy and pursuing your why will help with that!
Sitting here in my office, sipping my coffee, waiting for my employees (interns) to come in for the day, I have some moments of quiet to reflect on how much I THRIVE and love being a #BossBabe.
A Boss Babe, by my own definition, is a kick ass, multi-tasking, entrepreneur, lady who is balancing work, life & family – and doing it with extreme passion. She gives 100% to every single thing she does, and won’t rest until the job is done. She often finds herself up WAY past bed-time working on a project or up WAY too early to give those extra cuddles to her hubby or fur children. She LOVES to work and is passionate & driven and thrives off being successful. She definitely takes on WAY more than she can at any one moment, but doesn’t know how to live any other way than a constant chaotic state of twirling.
I. Am. A. Boss. Babe. and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I aid in running the company my Father, Fiancé and I started together 6 years ago. I manage 3 interns, I am starting a side business of helping other achieve health and wellness through dōTERRA Essential Oils , I bartend part-time because I love meeting people from all walks of life, I (somewhat) keep my house clean, laundry done and cats cared for. I spend time with my man, I see my friends, I exercise and I enjoy a cocktail every evening.
Oh… I’ve also taken on the role as our company website designer and I’m planning my wedding..
Always on the Go!
I find I am constantly running from one thing to the next… Even if it’s just phone calls, I strive to be on time, but some days I end up running on a 10 minute lag. I run from appointment to appointment, constantly over scheduled to try to get EVERY little thing done… and then there are the days I get absolutely nothing done.
I am fairly certain my interns think I am superwoman… (which is freaking sweet, because she is gorgeous, can pull off wearing a full spandex suit, wears a sweet crown / head band AND gets to wear a cape.) It boggles their mind how I work all day, then bartend, or work all day, then work out and then go home to work more. I hope I am showing these college kids that you can juggle more than just a day job if you really set your mind to it (and juggling looks good if you do it in heels with a cocktail in hand).
What DO You DO All Day?
I definitely don’t want you to think I’m whining, or complaining about my workload. However strenuous my job may get, I truly love doing what I do, and when I think about the alternative I don’t know how I would operate if I wasn’t going 1000 miles per hour.
It’s interesting being a Boss Babe or mini entrepreneur at 28, especially when I’ve been working this way since I graduated college and was a baby boss at 21. When all your friends are going into Corporate America and you’re working from home, on your own schedule, with the ability to work wherever, whenever, it makes for an interesting dynamic and some confusion as to “what you do all day” or “how do you get anything done working from home.”
People think being an entrepreneur is scary, and while I’m not bank rolling my own major company (I am starting the dōTERRA business on my own), working for a family business gives you had a lot of freedom, but you also have a lot of responsibility, more than most jobs and the work day doesn’t end at 5pm. If you truly put your mind to something and love what you’re doing, you can make anything possible.
How Does She Do It?
Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way to Boss Babedom:
- Remember Monday – Friday you ARE working. Just because you work from home and don’t have a clock to punch, you ARE at work… that means your time is just as important as someone who goes to an office every day and you aren’t always available to babysit, pick someone up at the airport or meet for lunch. (However, you can if you want to, as you are your own boss!)
- If you LOVE what you do you make things happen! I truly love every single one of my roles. Which is what gets me through even the most stressful of days where all I want to do is curl up into a ball.
- Only take on WHAT you can handle… and delegate when possible! If you have a full plate and someone asks you to work on something or take something on… Ask if it needs to get done NOW, or if it can wait and if it isn’t something that has to be done by YOU, delegate!
So my fellow Boss Babes & Boss Dudes, you CAN do it. Take on the extra project, start that side biz you’ve been dreaming about, coach your kids softball team or anything else that brings you passion. Even though “working” is an odd thing to be passionate about, thats ok! Love what you do & do what you love!
Aly here! As the Director of Client Services and Communications, I usually don’t get the chance very often to contribute content on the MaxExposure Blog, however I recently took a short vacation and learned what a little relaxation can to for a person!
When it comes to relaxing, I don’t know too much about the word. I try to employ what I think the meaning of the word is, but I can never truly grasp the concept.
- Watching TV with your Laptop, while answering emails or working on a project… NOT Relaxation
- Adding a glass of wine to the mix, while watching TV and working on a project… NOT Relaxation
- Checking your email while watching a movie with your family… NOT Relaxation
- Going out to dinner with friends or family, but checking emails & work texts and responding… NOT Relaxation
When you are an integral part of running a company, manage a staff, support customers, oversee Accounting & HR departments and manage the website, it can be difficult to un-plug and relax a little. Especially in todays world of instant & constant communication.
While I am permanently glued to my iPhone and thank the technology gods daily that I can pretty much do every job I have from it, it can be difficult to put it down especially when your goal is to provide the absolute highest customer service physically possible.
While on vacation, in Florida, this past week, I took some time to partially un-plug and even that little bit did absolute wonders. To help out my fellow Boss Babes (and Boss Dudes) out there who also want to keep up with work and be the best at their job but want to keep their sanity intact; I made note of the things I did, and will be repeating ONE day each month, to recharge that battery I too often use to the last drop before charging back up!
- I found my SMILE – Working non-stop, even doing something you love can wear you out. Its crucial to both your mental & physical health, as well as the health of your company, to take some time for yourself and find your smile if you feel you’ve lost it!
- I stayed connected but…One thing I’ve always struggled with is the need to get things done IMMEDIATELY which I know my clients are very grateful for that. However once in a while its important to remember that you can take an afternoon here and there to yourself. Still answer your phone, but let your customers know it will be taken care of ASAP, but might be tomorrow.
- I tried to NOT talk as much business – Working in a family business, like I do, this one is VERY tricky. As family vacations often double as business planing sessions and executive meeting time. Its important to make it clear to your family (& business partners) which times during the day you are “working” and which times you are “on vacation”. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is you can do BOTH in the same day!
- I enjoyed happy hour... Every day
- I Laughed… A LOT
- I shut down EVERY evening –not taking my work with me to watch TV with my family. I often find myself working most evenings as its a time when I can get other work done, that I didn’t have time to do during the day. But I’ve learned that working from your couch with a glass of wine, may LOOK like relaxing, but its still working!
- I was PRESENT – I often keep my phone on silent vibrate and have it on me at all times, but while on vacation I left it on ringer, inside the house and more often than not I lost track of it. This meant I wasn’t checking my email 85 times a minute, I wasn’t on Facebook or Instagram constantly refreshing or reading the news and I wasn’t texting with clients or friends. I was truly present, in the moment, and enjoyed EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE of it!
By implementing these 7 things into my vacation, for the first time in YEARS, I was actually able to relax while on vacation. I hope these tips can help you too find some relaxation this holiday season and let you begin the New Year fully recharged and focused on your company goals!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year FULL of RELAXING vacations!
Director of Client Services & Communications