It’s now been sixth months since I started my journey with eWN. Prior to eWomenNetwork I spent 10 years in Business Development at Barnes & Noble, where I focused heavily on live events for major authors, book festivals, and more. In addition to that, I also have backgrounds in theater, creative writing, visual arts, STEM, and Public Relations.
While I’m usually a little embarrassed by how bizarrely diversified my background is, one of the things Kym told me back in July was that it was a perfect fit for eWN. He assured me that every skill I’ve acquired as I trekked across the world could be put to good use here. And as it turns out, he was right.
I get up at the same time every morning. Even if I weren’t a creature of habit, which I am, my dog wouldn’t allow for anything else. I feed him, take him out, brush my teeth, then sit on the couch to do my makeup while watching Schitt’s Creek. When I collect my things to leave, Bailey sits on the couch with a look of resentment as I head out the door.
I’m very lucky I only live 4 miles from the office. Even without the tollway (like Sandra said at conference, I too hate taking the tollway when it’s not necessary), it only takes 11 minutes.
Our building is lovely and in a great part of town. I park in the underground parking garage and head up the elevator to eWN.
I settle in, catch up on email, and get into the groove for the day. Three days a week, we all have a slack call at 9am. The entire team from top to bottom goes over the main things they’re focusing on. It’s a nice change from other jobs I’ve had in that the team has excellent focus and does a pretty great job at staying on topic, so the meetings are quick, efficient, and informative.
LESSON: Quick and focused debriefs are the best.
I have an hour before our first zoom meeting and I take that time to confirm details for some upcoming Celebrity Science Photoshoots. By the time I reach out to the photographers, makeup and hair teams, stylists, and studios for each shoot, I’m pretty sure they all think I’m crazy because I have a tendency to over confirm, but better safe than sorry.
Our first zoom meeting of the day is an internal creative strategy session for a Break the Stale client. This is where the whole team (i.e. Kym, Briana, Graphic Designers, Copywriters, Web Designers, etc.) comes together after having read the client’s intake form and we have a deep dive strategy session on where we’re going with the project. These are always fun and it’s exciting to see how the before and afters turn out. These meetings last at least an hour, but often go much longer when the creative juices flowing.
LESSON: Don't put time constraints on brainstorming and creative, great things come from long sessions!
I hop straight into another zoom call to go over a Style Color Mood Narrative I created with Briana. Style Color Mood Narratives are kind of like a visual brand guide that outline your color palette, fonts, and the overall visual direction of your brand. Once we complete the SCMN, clients bring them to their designers and graphics people to implement that energy and style into their websites and other collateral for their businesses. All the years I spent painting in art classes means that I’m pretty good at creating these, but sometimes I get fixated on one image and Briana swoops in to yank me back into the bigger picture. It turns out pretty beautifully.
LESSON: Don't obsess over the details too soon, step back and look at the big picture for optimum results.
Despite a fun and productive morning, my eyes and brain are a little over zoom. I can tell Briana agrees when she comes down the hall and collapses dramatically on the floor in my office. Briana suggests we go get Thai food, which I am always on board with. While eWN is the ultimate fan of Chef Nikky’s Asian Mint restaurants, hitting up the closest location would take up half our lunch hour, so we opt for Thai Orchid a mere 0.2 miles away. I always order Pad Thai and a Diet Coke. I decide to be adventurous and get medium spice this time which is a mistake. While delicious, my mouth burns as we talk through our work checklist and still have time to chat about Tatis’ Halloween costume and how I recently embarrassed myself at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts when I thought the guy helping me was asking me on a date, but really was just asking for my phone number to look up the warranty for my car battery.
We return to the office, and Briana hops on a social media call. Kym has returned from a meeting at a potential event venue, so I sit down with him and we run down where we’re at on program deliverables and what meetings we have on the schedule for the week. I’m very lucky to have Kym as my boss, because we get along great and have a similar positive vibe.
He has a lot of creative energy about him (hence why he’s great at what he does), which also means sometimes I have to reign him in. And by reign him in, I mean we have a very specific method by which I put post-its on his door every time I need direction, confirmation, etc. from him and he knows that before he leaves for the day we have to get to the bottom of the post-it stack. I think Sandra finds this method hilarious, but it works!
LESSON: Buy stock in post-its.
We have an afternoon meeting with our BugHub team, a TV project we’re working on for the amazing Rochelle Forrest. I always love BugHub days, but I can’t say too much more about it because it’s still in beautiful progress, but we are all beyond excited to bring BugHub to the world.
Sandra brought in an impressive charcuterie spread as a surprise, so a portion of our afternoon is spent huddled around the table in the kitchen. I shouldn't be hungry after Thai food, but Sandra gets the good cheese, so I obviously eat too much of it, because what am I going to do? Not eat cheese? Ridiculous.
LESSON: Be good to your people and they'll root for your success. Especially when there is fancy cheese involved.
While Sandra and Kym step out for a meeting, Dash takes up residence in my office. Dash always misses his Mom like crazy, but we’ve learned that if you plop his bed on the floor next to me, he’s usually okay (albeit a little mopey). I snuggle him for a bit, get his white hair all over my shirt (ensuring my dog will be super jealous when I get home) and dive into the eWN blog. Dash chills peacefully while I write. A nice change from when he sprinted out the door a week earlier and I chased him just in time to keep him from boarding the elevator. I try to stay 1-2 months ahead of the blog so I never feel rushed, which means by the time you read this, it will probably be December.
LESSON: Plan ahead. Always.
I write for a good while until it’s time to go into the studio. Now that our office remodel is nearly complete, we have a client coming in to do some video content for their website and I want to test that the teleprompter is working post-move.
My phone buzzes with notifications from the security camera app alerting me that my dog is now awake and hyper. He does one of those puppy yoga stretches before running around the room and barking. Like me, my dog is also a creature of habit, so this usually means I’m less than an hour or so from clocking out for the day. When possible, I try to end each day by adding a quote to the pillar in my office. There’s a pillar in the corner that’s covered in chalkboard paint, so each day I do my best to add a quote that fosters creativity, motivation, and an overall positive attitude. I double check to make sure that Kym and I have gone through the complete stack of post-its before getting ready to head out.
I decide to end the day with a quote from a pioneering woman computer scientist.
“You don’t manage people; you manage things. You lead people.” -Grace Hopper