On a personal and professional level, this was one of my toughest weeks since the company was launched in the autumn of 2005. It was made especially hard because this week saw the departure of an employee who’s been with us since the start. It was awful in many ways and I found myself physically affected by it to the point of nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and when I could sleep, I had nightmares. It was truly a shitty week.
Additionally, I had to pitch the board on something and it didn’t go over with showers of rose pedals and applause. C’est la vie – I get my 2nd swing at it in a couple of days.
On a broader level, not just isolated to this week, we’ve had a hard time finding qualified sales people and in a couple instances made offers to people who just decided to not show up on their first day. Nice huh? It seems, though, that the dust has settled now. We’ve a couple new people who started with us this week and they appear to be taking well to their jobs and to the company culture – two things I watch very closely in those first few days.
Yet, Tuesday we had our monthly company lunch and morale is good and healthy! At lunch we went around the table and told stories about our most embarrassing work moments, or most demeaning jobs. There were some good stories told!
We’ve got a marketing intern starting with us on Monday and I’m actively interviewing to fill the newly opened role. We’ve got two more sales people scheduled to start over the next few weeks.
Anyway, the point of all this is that my job, for the past couple of years at CitySquares, has been entirely about building a business and a company, and it still is. We’re in ‘build’ mode, there’s no two ways about it. I enjoy that work greatly. Now that our staff is in the double digits my job is becoming increasingly more about managing the organization. I also enjoy that work greatly. I think I’m good at both of these things, which is why, ultimately, I enjoy being an entrepreneur and CEO. My previous company saw about 12 full time staff at it’s peak, but dozens of contractors around the country, nearly all who reported directly to me. I also was the direct contact for most of our customers. I greatly enjoyed that work, the hustle of it all. It makes me wonder too though, about those entrepreneurs that aren’t able to make the transition from founder/builder to manager/CEO.
So back around to tie it all off – it was a tough week, the worst yet. Unfortunately, as a manager, tough decisions need to be made. Unfortunately as a CEO sometimes you gotta take a few jabs from your board. But at the end of the day, this is a business, that’s the bottom line. And at the end of the day I need to be able to look at the books, look at my board, and look at my staff confidently – knowing that I’ve done the best job they expect from me. I have to be accountable. It’s not easy, I didn’t sign up for easy. And I also need to be able to look at my own reflection and know that I’ve done the best job I expect of me. And the two are not separate – they are the same.
So to wrap it all up I thought I’d share a funny video that someone sent me on Monday – the timing was great. This person had no idea that I was entering a shitty week either, just really good timing on their part.