What’s your support system?
I have at different times in the life of Manic Trout, hired all sorts of people to help grow the business grow. From holiday help to assistants to interns to publicists, I have delegated on many levels. When I still was in the day job phase, a great deal of help was necessary as my own time to give was limited, although the last “day” job I had only took up one and half week days, it still took me out of the studio an average of 40 hours a week. So you it was necessary to have help. When I moved to Texas I obviously was not physically near all of my help from New York and as I went full time with Manic Trout, I had to get used to not having the income from my day job to help pay for it anyway. I have however, grown in the last year and a half enough to hire a PR firm again and have begun adding other professionals to my arsenal of help as well. I have so far though, avoided an assistant.
Am I crazy for not wanting an assistant again? I loved having one for many aspects of the business and I actually miss my intern who was an amazing help with jewelry production more than I can ever express, but I am avoiding having someone in the studio with me everyday. I am one of those people who is leaps and bounds more productive when alone. If you’ve ever been with me in person, you would know that I am a TALKER. I will talk to the checkout lady at the grocery store for 20 minutes about the weather. It’s just part of who I am BUT, it means I get nothing done when someone is in the studio with me. So I just keep delegating everything else.
As I said, I have someone who does the PR for Manic Trout, a CPA who does my taxes (last year was the first year I have ever had someone else do my taxes….ummm, why the heck did I wait so long to do THAT??), a Chief Marketing Officer and a team of reps for the Sorority Collection, a cleaning woman (anyone who argues that this is not helpful for work, imagine never having tho think about cleaning your bathroom again!) and as of yesterday, I finally let a pro take my product photographs. This last one was hard to do. I have always taken my own product shots, but I realized that I was just not doing the best possible job, so it was time to pass the torch. I also eased my way into this by working with the photographer on a bunch of photo shoots over the last year so I know we work well together and he knows Manic Trout. The next addition to my arsenal will be someone to do piece work in their own home to assist with production. I am just about to the point where even doing this full time, I can’t keep up with it.
It’s like in You’ve Got Mail (my favorite movie to watch when I’m sick, so I’ve seen it a ridiculous amount of times) when Dave Chappelle (and how random is it that he’s in this movie?) is talking about dating and he says “I always take a relationship to the next level. If that works out, I take it to the next level after that, until I finally reach that level when it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.” Well besides the leaving bit, it’s spot on…when I get to the next level I’ll begin considering how to muzzle myself.
Who do you have in your arsenal of help?