What’s your least favorite part of your day at your job? I don’t like having to reprimand my employees when they make mistakes. It’s part of the job, though, and my employees deserve to get direct, honest feedback on their performance so that they can have the information they need to improve. When it comes to client work, I feel frustrated when I answer the same question repeatedly for different prospective clients. For example, one question we get all the time is “Do you edit essays for grammar only—or will you also provide advice on how it can be more persuasive?” (By the way, the answer is YES, we edit essays for grammar but also give you lots of comments and suggestions for improving the content to be more persuasive and memorable to the admissions committee.) The answer to the aforementioned question is in our FAQ, it’s on the sales page for our editing service, it’s in nearly every email I send out, but people keep on asking the same question! This is definitely a user experience challenge we must learn how to solve. We have to do a better job of making the answer to that question very clear. I also hate having to chase non-paying clients down for money. However, I have a long airtight client agreement that I drafted with the help of my lawyer (EPW Small Business Law) and I changed the company’s payment plan policy so that payment plans finish before clients finish working with us. With those changes, nonpayment has become much less of a problem. In fact, I just realized that we do not have ANY delinquent clients this year! This is a very happy realization.
What percent of your time is taken up by tasks you don’t enjoy?
Hmm…I’m not sure since I don’t track my time. Before I had employees to whom I could delegate, I probably spent at least 40% of my time every day on stuff I didn’t want to do (or perhaps the stuff just went undone). Now, out of a full work day, only 1 hour or so is spent on stuff I don’t really want to do. I still struggle with procrastinating on tasks I don’t want to do. For example, it took me 10 months to hire a new accountant after I parted ways with my old one. (I have one now.)
What would make your days more enjoyable?
I have a vibrant vision for how I want my business to grow. I hope to soon have five in-person employees. I would love for us to work out of our own beautifully decorated, sun-drenched workspace and to have a daily lunch cooked on-site during which we eat together and discuss what’s going on in the business and our lives. I also envision the company office having two napping/meditation rooms: one room just for me and one communal room, so that when my energy gets low, I could just go chill in there. Right now, when my energy gets low or I’m overstimulated by the excitement of chatting with people, I run away from the coworking space to my apartment. However, I really just need an hour or two of alone time or a quick nap to recharge. I also hope to teach clients in person as a group. I absolutely love running workshops. In fact, my team and I work with about 80+ clients a year, and I’ve met fewer than ten of my clients in person!