I2D Episode 6: #StrongProcess
- January 5, 2018
- Posted by: Guest Blogger
- Category: Ideas to Done
Dr. Rachele Pojednic wrote the following guest post to accompany her Ideas to Done™ Conversation with Sarah on December 15, 2017. View the recorded conversation here.
Learning to manage a business from the ground up takes some serious SELF REFLECTION and LETTING GO of control.
As a super Type A personality, creating a wellness conference was a great channel for my personal attention and my professional focus. But, while my family is full of entrepreneurs, I had taken a different path in academia. Coming back to running a business has been a really interesting challenge because it means I have to let people help me. In academia, you are constantly working long hours, often alone, and always on a deadline. If you don’t sit there and get things done, it doesn’t get done. But, when you run a business, you have to learn to manage a team, because you literally cannot do everything yourself. And managing that team means you need to figure out how to get other people to get things done!
My first piece of advice
Choose the right team. Make sure you have people around you that are not only enthusiastic, but that know what they are doing. I was lucky enough to have Sarah Hawkins in my world to help me literally brain dump and organize The Strong Process Forum from the start. (Click here to see what our initial brain dump looked like)
While I had an idea and a visual of what I was looking for, I didn’t know how to put it into play. Having a killer project management consultant (that would be Sarah) was key for figuring out the initial steps and then laying the groundwork throughout the entire project. I also had key mentorship from the ladies over at She Geeks Out as I built out my infrastructure and offer their expertise as I have been planning. I was lucky enough to have a small army of students that were super savvy in social media and marketing, and have an outstanding network of vendors and partners. Lastly, finding the right financial team – lawyers, accountants, bookkeepers – was critical. I can talk you through intricate physiologic pathways, but figuring out tax code is totally beyond me!
My second piece of advice
Know what you can do and what you need other people to do…and then let them do it. I had the content covered. I knew what I wanted the day to look like, I knew what I wanted people to talk about, and I even knew most of the people that I wanted to speak. I also knew I needed a solid PR and marketing strategy, a visually powerful social media reach, people to handle my books and advise me on not breaking the law inadvertently, and I needed connections to partners and vendors. These were things that were totally out of my wheelhouse. But, as a person that tends to operate solo, it was actually really hard for me to even ask for help. When I did, however, I was blown away by the enthusiasm of everyone I asked! But once I had that team in place, I had to figure out how to get this revved up group to do the things I needed to get done. While Sarah was key in helping me find the right tools to manage this energetic bunch, it is still very much trial and error in figuring out how to make tasks happen. I often just want to resort to doing things myself, which is absurd because there is absolutely no way I have the bandwidth to do ALL the things. But, day-by-day and task-by-task we are figuring out a process that works for us.
So, while things are still still evolving, I think it truly speaks to the ethos of Strong Process. An effective process is strong enough to stand up in a complex world, yet flexible enough to allow different styles and personalities to succeed within in. It is said that creating a strong process is probably the most difficult endeavor anyone will be involved in. It takes time, expertise and collaboration to work. The payoff is the ability to consistently and predictably perform at a high level.
Rachele Pojednic, PhD, EdM is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Simmons College and a former research fellow at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pojednic’s work has a specific focus on physical activity and nutrition interventions for the prevention and treatment of non-communicable chronic disease. She is also the founder of the Strong Process Forum, a one day Boston-based wellness conference that includes three curated panels of scientists, farmers, journalists, athletes, clinicians and innovators designed to integrate evidence based knowledge into the health and wellness space.
Join the conversation!
Friday, December 15, 2017 – Rachele Pojednic and Sarah chat about #StrongProcess. Register today to join the conversation!
See more of Sarah’s Ideas To Done™ conversations.