For those of you who read my first blog, “Reward Outweighing Risk – My first year at a Start –Up” you all know that this whole new company/start up world is rather new for me! That is why I thought it would be appropriate to write my next blog about Time Management and how I handle everything comes with a role in a new Company or Start Up.
One thing I really struggled with early on, and to be honest, still do, is wanting to do everything, and wanting everything to be done immediately…(for those who know me, you know patience is not a quality I have). I was hired on at Talavant, to handle both the Sales and Marketing aspect of things. Traditionally, only being in Sales roles, I did what I know best, and hit the ground, essentially “knocking on doors,” and trying to find customers. LinkedIn became my best friend, and I spent countless hours prospecting and trying to open up doors, to companies who were interested in Business Intelligence Consulting services. While we were successful at gaining some customer traction and opening up doors, we still lacked the branding and marketing aspect of things that myself, and the owners knew our company needed long term. This was where my, what I thought were great time management skills, proved me wrong.
It was so difficult for me to step away from the prospecting and client relationship side of things, to start building our brand. Realize, that I have my MBA with an emphasis in Marketing, so I know how crucial the Marketing side is to the business, and how it really does go hand in hand with sales. But I constantly struggled, with wanting to put any effort towards it, because we are a brand new company, and of course we need business to stay afloat. The year 2015 came and went, and as we started 2016, I told myself, I was really going to put better efforts towards Marketing and branding, especially since those were part of our overall Organizational goals. Every day, I would put a task in my calendar to complete something off my “Marketing Backlog” and every day it would somehow get buried away with other work I was doing.
Our President, Dave DuVarney, talks a lot about time management, and has read articles and books on the best way to go about it. I have always been one to plan out my calendar, and pride myself on being fairly organized, but I was not always one to stick to the schedule. Stuff comes up, clients needs trump all, you blink and suddenly Monday turned into Friday. But even with the hectic busy life that we all live, I think the biggest thing I learned from Dave, was to tackle your “Big Rocks” or largest priorities for that day, week, month, whatever it may be.
I want to pause for a second and reference an amazing Weekly Planning card that a lot of the team uses here at Talavant. I would encourage you all to look at it and you will understand what I mean by "Big Rocks"- tlvnt.co/plancard
Anyways...Every day, I would make a check list of things I want to and need to get accomplished. Some days I complete it all, and other days not even close. The biggest advice I would give, which I wish I would have figured out earlier, is that, it is okay to not accomplish all tasks every day. Start-Up or not, a lot of companies run leaner teams, and are all pushing it to the max. We are not going to be able to get everything accomplished on every given day. While it may be just a saying, the idea of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is so true… especially when you are working for a Start-Up. Remember that is takes time to develop great things, and it is worth your time to put the effort and more detailed time into things now, then have to re-do them later on.
Overall, the morale of the story, is my Time Management got much better, once I really determined what my “Big Rocks” were and where it is most important to spend your time. Pre-plan your days, figure out what your “Big Rocks” are, and always remember, Rome was not built in a day!