Will your business be ready post pandemic? My thoughts from my own personal lens and an online business lens.
There’s a lot to be said about life post [covid-19] pandemic outbreak. A lot of it is speculation and based on people’s life experiences- of course. Here are some of my thoughts about a post covid-19 pandemic world.
There’s not much silver lining to this when thousands are suffering.
For the rest of us, (and I apologize if I sound brash or detached- I, like many, am still processing the gravity of this), there is some hope to be had and economic opportunities (not in an opportunistic way, but in a ‘we’re going to survive this’ kind of way)
Pertaining to the our space of online business, here’s what I’m optimistic about.
You can stop putting off and hire help for your dream:
– systems (getting a CRM, sprucing up the way you invoice and collect money)
– processes (document and improve your client onboarding, team onboarding)
– team (get your people in place for when customers are ready to pour back in so you can do your marketing, fulfillment, and operations!)
– literally anything else you’ve been dreaming about doing that will move you forward that you will NEED when demand is high!)
Here’s some questions I leave you with:
Will your business solve problems that people will still have? If maybe not, how can you get a pulse on the market? How can you HELP people NOW (for cheap or free if you want)??
If your business will solve the problems or you’re pivoting in a way that will help many people, WILL YOU BE READY for the post pandemic INFLUX??
PS let me know your thoughts- shoot me a DM on insta or comment below if this resonates. Also, if you need recommendations for any of the services I mentioned above, I’ve got people!!
I’m going to share with you how I manage my visionary entrepreneur clients! Before I jump in, I’ve got some context to share with you. If you’re reading this, it may have heard that I do “ops” or that I’m a “project manager” or an “integrator” etc. While those definitions could describe what I do for my people, what can be tricky to understand about me (and why I don’t necessarily fall into any one category) is that I work in a way that’s more suited to my people– the visionaries!
Yep, the people that some of your traditional managers or ops people steer clear of! And it’s nothing personal to the visionaries, it’s just that their styles don’t align! The visionaries don’t work necessarily in super linear ways and quite frankly will try to break systems shit- which I’m not going to lie- can be challenging for some. And sometimes, visionaries have a trillion ideas at once that it’s so hard to keep up.
So in my years of being a person and entrepreneur, I’ve realized that my talent and passion are in helping these people get their shit together so they can actually see their ideas come to fruition and move them forward! And I do this essentially through listening and then finding the right processes (systems, SOPs, etc) and people to make the good shit happen. Also, I help them with the day-to-day management of their brains, and teach other people how to manage them. I’ve been referred to as the “visionary wrangler” and, as one of my client’s lovingly referred to me as, her “handler”.
So I’d like to tell you more about how I manage my visionary entrepreneur clients (so we can get their ideas happen IRL and move their businesses forward):
Before I reveal my magic, here’s my definition of a visionary entrepreneur from my experience:
Visionary Entrepreneurs (n.) :
AND here’s more or less a definition of, well, a Megan…
Meg Baker of Meg K Co, integrator/project manager/visionary wrangler (n.):
In my role as integrator/project manager/handler/wrangler/advisor, I usually work in 90 day sprints to help my clients
OKAY- without further ado, here’s how I manage my visionary people:
If you feel like you need some visionary wranglement/management, let’s talk! DM me on insta or comment below “Megan help me” and we’ll get the ball rolling!
This idea of “pain versus suffering” comes up in my weekly birth class.
There’s a difference. This often comes up around discussions of pain medication and birth. Honestly, there’s no one right way to do all that– it depends on the situation and the mom. I do like how the birth educator points out that there’s a difference between pain and suffering and while we can experience pain, we can prevent suffering (be it through comfort positions, laboring in the shower, having narcotics, or the epidural, etc).
This gets me to thinking about pain versus suffering in other life contexts. I am curious and wonder if there’s something culturally pervasive that encourages us to make martyrs of ourselves.
For example, pregnancy has offered some funny sensations. Some of which are truly par for the course (like trouble breathing because your lungs are pushed up so far and compressed). But some pregnancy pains have brought me suffering that isn’t necessary. I’ve had some low back pain (probably sciatic) and at first I thought, well, I just need to deal with it. It sucked though. I could barely move and it prevented me from the summer walks I love so much with Lucy and thwarted my ability to sit and work and do chores around the house. I mentioned this to one of the OBs at my practice and she recommended Physical Therapy.
I took her advice and a week later signed up for PT. Luckily, it’s covered by my insurance and the copay is relatively low. I realize that not everyone has the same resources, but if you have access and the resources, why the hell not? Since going to PT twice a week, I’m so much more mobile and not suffering nearly as much! We do some exercises and the therapist does some “manual work” (read: message) that feels so good. I later mentioned some rib pain that again, I thought I just had to deal with it and of course, they are able to message that part of my body and release some of that tension.
This instance I think is teaching me that while we’re going to experience pain, suffering is always necessary. Sometimes I feel the urge to be a martyr and sacrifice my well-being, and for what? (I don’t really know- not inconveniencing people? But that doesn’t make much sense either as I write it out) .
Another example of forgoing unnecessary suffering is my decision to treat my depression with medicine. I’m NOT saying that this is the solution for everyone, just like how epidurals arent for everyone. But for me, it’s released me from unnecessary suffering. When I’m experiencing a depressive episode, I’m in this weird spiral and I feel as if there’s no solution and that I’m so alone in my experiences. Last summer I was feeling some kind of way, and when I’ve opened up to my spouse and friends about my feelings, it became clear that the medicine I was on wasn’t working and I found a psychiatrist and we found a medicine that works really well for me (and I love it because Lucy the dog and I are on the same drug LOL). I think I bring up this other example too to highlight that despite whatever stigma for seeking treatment, we don’t always need to be martyrs and suffer unnecessarily. It’s not good for anyone really and seeking interventions aren’t burdening anyone!
Thanks for reading this musing that’s come up in my brain hole while on maternity leave (and being so pregnant- I’m writing this as the baby is punching me from my insides :))
Let me know if this resonates with you!
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big preacher and believer of “self-care” and creating space for oneself. Do I always practice what I preach? Kinda… In my tarot reading with Amy Kuretsky yesterday though, this message came up that it’s okay for me to prioritize myself for a minute. I so intellectually know this and I know that it came up in the cards for a reason and that there’s some shame and guilt around it for me. Well played, Universe– you got me.
As I’m transitioning to human mother, my role on this planet is shifting and while I will absolutely show up for my babe, I want to remember that it’s cool to ask for help and create space for myself. (Afterall, my kick-butt MIL just retired and has offered her child care services) But damn the guilt! I even feel weird about dropping my dog off at my in laws this week (per my partner’s suggestion) so I can do what I do. Lucy the dog loves having me at home and when I go out, I feel so bad for leaving her. Letting my in laws relieve me of Lucy care these past few days has allowed me to venture out and get into my flow.
Do I still feel a little guilty for living my best life? Hell yes? While I’m tempted to judge it, I’m going to try to get curious about it and notice it– no judgement. But for real, who the hell am I to get to do whatever the fek I want while my husband works and what not (ok ok, just going to notice- and get curious– thanks to my coach Nicole Jackson Miller for the reminder that when feelings come up that it’s cool to notice without judgement and get curious)
(Admittedly, I think I may be feeling a certain way because of codepency stuff– it can be damn addicting to feel needed by my dog and family– yet we know rationally that we show up as our best selves for our people when we ourselves are cared for. No judgement- just observing these patterns and practicing challenging them)
Here’s some evidence I’ve gathered that allowing support and help has been really awesome:
Wednesday (after dropping off Lucy at my in Laws)
I felt so in flow when I was writing, uncovered some really necessary truths that are getting me closer to healing and being a better partner. A lot of good shit happened.
I suppose ( needed to write some evidence and reflect why accepting help and sinking into space for yourself is so good– and we can be aware of the guilt or feelings and get curious about it. After these 2.5 days, I’m feeling more myself and doing things I haven’t done in ages (like writing and healing some shit).
Sometimes it’s about practicing what I preach 🙂
Somehow, I feel that there is a paralell between allowing space and support in your life AS WELL AS in business 😉
Thanks for reading. Let me know if any of this resonates with you!
I get it. You’re busy and you feel like you have no space to breathe, let alone get anything done. You talk to your biz friends about it and they suggest getting a VA and you see posts on facebook groups asking for VA recommendations. This can be such a tempting solution– just have someone on your team to pass off the tasks that you just don’t know what to do.
Here’s one scenario: Once you hire someone who seems nice and competent, you realize you are spending a lot of time answering questions and you get to a point where it just feels easier to do certain tasks yourself instead of passing them off and explaining them. And if you’re not reaching your retainer hours for a VA, you feel like you’re wasting money. Uhg.
Here’s another scenario: You have clear expectations and roles and responsibilities. You have SOPs in place and a dedicated few weeks for onboarding your support person. You have the space carved out to answer questions that come up and your new person pretty seamlessly integrates with your team.
I have people come to me inquiring about my instensives– which are all about getting a business set up with the necessary systems and processes or prioritizing necessary projects. These create space and advising for business owners to get everything they’re thinking out in the open and then make decisions about what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how to delegate these things– for example. I’ve found that often systems and such are not one size fits all and it’s so helpful for the CEO to make decisions and to have someone like me translate what that can look like from a systems perspective and WHO can help them.
After an intensive, I can then make recommendations of who to hire and what services I can offer. I usually don’t work for more than 90 days inside someone’s business. I’m not an implementor– and I’ve helped my people find the right ones! After an intensive, I’ve offered hiring manager for hire services as well as short term project management (usually around SOPs) and advising.
I’ve discovered after talking to many CEOs that some people just want to make that quick hire and forgo an intensive AND forgo a careful screening and hiring process. I’ve heard “Wait, you’re telling me you want to talk to me on the phone and then not necessarily work with me ongoing? Why not just hire a VA?” That’s a great question! A quick hire (and forgoing an intensive/getting things set up) can totally work for some– and I don’t recommend it for everybody.
– You know what you need/ you have some systems and SOPs in place
– You have your client process mapped out and have your system in place (like Dubsado for example) for onboarding, you have your methods for collecting money and accounting processes down. This doesn’t need to be perfect but you have made these decisions.
– If you haven’t made these decisions about processes and systems, you are OK with someone else figuring it out and you not having a say (if you truly want to quickly pass it off)
– You hire someone who can lead and tell you “no” and tell you what they need
– You don’t feel comfortable asking for what you need or you don’t know what you need- any hire needs training or if you’re getting a VA/implementor, they need to be explicitly told what to do in your business
– You don’t have your systems and processes down– like your client onboarding, your contract systems/CRM (think Dubsado or others)
– You still want to have your hand in the decision making about baseline processes/procedures in your business yet you’re desperate to just “hand it off”. Nothing is more frustrating than handing a project off and then having it not be right– but people can’t read your mind. If you don’t mind having it done a certain way, then great!
– You’re not ready for people to make decisions on your behalf or haven’t taught them how to make decisions on your behalf. You also don’t want to field a bunch of questions.
(What can happen too is that you hemmorage money for retainer hours that you don’t use or for support that is more expensive than what you actually need)
In my experience, the hiring process, though it can seem long and overly thorough, can really pay off (of course, along with processes in place and a mindset of being able to delegate and trust others).
These are my observations from what I’ve seen in my own business and in others’. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Codependency is a hot topic right now online in our space.
I have long considered myself an expert at codependency because I am an expert codependent. Often I feel like I’m a “recovered” codependent but I realize that it takes constant practice and checking of myself to make sure I’m not taking responsibility for others’ feelings. Though through years of therapy, I’ve gotten pretty good at this. It’s been a necessity for many reasons in my personal life. Of course, these codependency coping strategies are important in business as well.
Recently I’ve seen posts about codependent work relationships- especially in the coach/mentor-mentee realm. But this part of codependency is more about wanting to be needed and fix everything– instead of empowering the mentee to learn how to problem solve on their own without the coach/mentor eventually. It’s so easy for me to throw shade– of COURSE, coaches should WANT their charges to be able to grow and problem solve without them!
But here’s my realization: I’m guilty of this, too! I’ve had this satisfaction for being needed to put out fires for my clients. Of course, some roles are in business are necessary to put out the fires and it’s not necessarily an unhealthy thing. For me though, it’s not how I work best. I need space and to work in short-term bursts to teach my clients the systems and help them find the right people so that their businesses can in fact run WITHOUT me.
For me, it’s recognizing that this wanting to be needed and to “rescue” is a pattern of my long engrained codepency. I’ve often thought that it was merely my wanting to take responsibility for others’ feelings– and I’m realizing that another part of it (in my own brain hole) is the desire to be needed. Recognizing this (without judgement- well, trying to recognize without judgement) and calling it what it is feels oddly fine. It’s another aspect of codependency that I’ll practice grappling with! I think that’s what made it a little sad for me to step away for maternity leave– these businesses I’ve been working with are running so well withOUT me! But that was the point of my work– setting up my people for success to run without me 🙂
Does this resonate with you? Are there aspects of codependency that are recently coming to your awareness? Join the conversation on Instagram.
PS If you’re looking for a resource to deal with codependency, Codependent No More my Melanie Beatty really helped me in the beginning. (This is mainly aimed at people in relationships with people who abuse substances- this can be a huge source of codependent behavior)
It has been literal months since I’ve created static content.
I’m 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
I’m on leave now– and I miss writing and creating content.
With the help of my coaches and healing etc, I’m realizing that
– I’m allowed to talk.
– Showing up as my crazy ass self is very “on brand” for me- (this is literally why people have hired me- I yelled at one of my clients on the street because I recognized him from the ‘gram and consequently, we worked together for a few months!)
– I was so afraid of not being polished, perfect, or subscribing to the prescriptive/”correct” way of showing up for my brand and business
It turns out I have a lot to say and fuck it, I’m going to show up and say it. I love writing (and talking) and I’m going to use this space to reflect on the past year of entrepreneurship and show up. So for now, no more worrying about “how will I optimize the SEO of this in blog form” or worrying about curated the perfect accompanying photo. I’m just going to be– I’m allowed.
Perhaps we could coin this my “maternity leave diaries” or whatever– but here goes nothing! I’m excited to show up– and in doing so, I’m more aligned with my core value of “safety” (which is really about vulnerability and authenticity). So I’m gonna channel my inner Brene Brown and you know, choose that courage or comfort or whatever.
How are you choosing to show up? What’s been holding you back?
Whether you’re flying for your biz or as a personal perk/ for fun, I’ve jotted down a few of my favorite business travel hacks. Some of these I’ve learned from my husband who has traveled a lot for work. I’ve always been pretty savvy, and being out of my 9 to 5 grind, I’m finding myself traveling more. As I’m drafting this post on the airplane right now, here are the game-changers for me in both business travel and for fun travel.
Everyone in this woo, manifestation, law of attraction world has taught me that life can be easy. And sometimes let things be way harder than they need to be. If you’re a US citizen and have a clean record, it’s super easy. I decided before I went to Alt Summit in 2018, made an appointment for the next day, went in with my documents, did some fingerprints, and there we go. I don’t have to take out my liquids, I usually keep my shoes on, don’t take out my laptop, and typically just do the metal detector. And I just get my butt to the airport 1.5 to 1 hour before boarding and I’m good.
Download the airline app before you’re in the air for that online, free entertainment. United and American have primo free movies and such. But if you don’t have the app when you’re in the air, you’re SOL to watch on your phone.
Unless there’s a starbucks with the exact egg bites you want, bring food/snacks à la Ashley Pardo, private chef and nutritional therapist extraordinaire! She gives her tips on travel eating and dishes all about her hacks on her blog and frequently on Instagram! I even bought my own baby French Press per her advice and bring it with me if I’m going somewhere where the morning coffee isn’t easy accessible.
I packed mango and salad with a tsa approved size cold pack in my suitcase, I got extra search but in TSA pre, it wasn’t a big deal. Anyway, definitely follow Ashley for amazing tips and inspiration around food and life.
Work on the plane if you want, but the internet is slow. I prefer to watch the free entertainment and play my sudoku puzzles on the plane. And my philosophy goes back to the whole “whatever amount of time you have for work, that’s how long it will take you to do the work you need to do” (which I’ve learned from Mike, the Profit First guy referenced in his book, Clockwork, and my coach, Eryn), sometimes you get to relax. You need to chill and relax sometimes!. And if the internet is slow, it’s kind of a useless time to work anyway. Of course, if you feel like pulling up a word document to write a blog post, that’s cool too! Just wait to put it up when you’re internet is optimal. (BTW wrote the first draft of this in a word doc on the plane after some restful sudoku puzzle solving on the airplane just because I felt like it– it was a 2.5 hour flight afterall)
If you’re looking for a credit card, there are some credit cards (my husband just got one with United) with the airlines that give great perks, like access to their special rooms at the airport, like the fancy “Admiral clubs” and what not. Also, if you travel a lot, this is a nice perk. (Mind you, I’ve never been in one of these rooms and don’t hold the special credit card myself, but bae told me it was magical).
I’m obsessed with my away bag. The little carry on suitcase roller board and I love it. I’m typically a pretty light packer but the way I can shove my clothes in and pull on the straps, I usually have ample room for my things! And I feel cute AF with it. Not to mention, there’s the battery you can charge in advance to plug your phone into! (just be sure to remove it if you have to check your bag!)
Are you going anywhere fun soon? For work or for travel? Let me know!