I often become focused on my lists and calendars and living into the future so much so that I often do not notice what I have accomplished. Felicia is, amazingly, more guilty of this than I am. What she can accomplish in a set amount of time is mind boggling.
So when we decided to start a business, it should have been obvious that we would have a collective blindspot when it came to keeping track of, stopping to recognize, and celebrating our accomplishments.
We charge ahead with our lists and near daily check in calls, bemoaning what we haven’t accomplished all the while completely ignoring all the ways we have learned and grown over the past year. So here, just for a few minutes, I am stopping to make a list (it’s not a spreadsheet so that is progress) of a few of our more amazing accomplishments.
- We named our company. Felicia and I don’t really like naming things. My older son had to help name my younger son and her older kids helped name her third child. We sat together in a hotel room and didn’t leave until we came up with a name that said something about what we wanted to do and that someone hadn’t already taken.
- We regularly get together to work. We both have pretty busy schedules but we genuinely want to work on this business and so we carve out time to be in the same room and work. It helps that the room we work in is a block away from our favorite Thai restaurant and a frozen yogurt shop.
- When one of us has gone a bit off the deep end in one way or another, the other one is there to gently but firmly pull her back to solid ground. This happens less now than it used to. We have never come right out and said maybe we don’t know what we are doing and should just fold this whole thing up and place it gently into the dustbin marked ‘Stupidass Ideas Aileen and Felicia Have Had Over the Past Thirty-odd Years.’ But we never did and I don’t think we will.
- We still think the other person is very funny and want to talk to each other whenever possible. This is a huge deal because business can shrivel the soul of a friendship when not contained within pretty well defined boundaries. We are friends first and business partners second and that will be the bedrock of our success. It will also be the reason our corporate Holiday parties will be so fun because we won’t have them. We will go on a trip somewhere fun, write a blog post about it and write it off our taxes. And then we will give all our employees nice fat bonuses and they can go do something fun with someone they like rather than being forced to engage in organized, corporate fun which is never really fun. It can’t be. It isn’t in the nature of a corporation to be fun. It has no soul from which to draw the fun. Also, if you get out of hand you can get fired.
- We put together a website and stock it weekly with lots of content that we like. Neither of us thought that would go as smoothly as it did. You’re welcome.
- We hire people who know what they are doing and then we have Felicia manage them because I am rude. And easily distractible. I will waste business meeting time talking about TV or food or my kids.
- We think the other person is smart and has a point of view that should be listened to, and responded to, with respect. Felicia will never waste my time with dumb shit she thought up just because corporate culture says your name has to be on everything or it looks to the higher ups as if you’re just screwing around all day watching YouTube videos and playing dumb games on your phone. We are playing dumb games on our phones and watching YouTube videos and since there are only like four of us working on this thing (Hi Monique and Christine!) at any one time, everyone knows it.
- We believe we have a good idea.
- We believe we chose the right person to work on that idea with.
- We hired very good lawyers to handle all our paperwork.