This last year has definitely changed me. Mostly for good. But as I am sitting here about to take off on “maternity leave” – I wanted to reflect on a few things I’ve learned. I’m hoping this will help me navigate motherhood and businessowner-hood.
When I worked for Hertz and ABG, I was a hard ass. I was very strict, but efficient. I got things done and liked things ran a certain way.
Wash a car, rent a car, return a car, gas up a car, go on sales calls, work with insurance companies. Lots of hard work and manual labor. I have plenty of stories about washing cars in 10 inches of snow, customers yelling at me, delivering cars and picking up horrible customers. I had a lady yell at me because I called her at 7 am to discuss a pick up time. Don’t forget that we all got yelled at when a certain Wells Fargo employee couldn’t drive a silver, white, or grey vehicle because it was too close to the color of the road. NOT JOKING!
So, when I went to purchase Flutter, I had a few years of management under my belt. I knew that I had to tread lightly and not make too many changes at first. I’ll just say it was a rough transition. The girls didn’t know there was a new owner, so it came as a shock to them.
Let’s fast forward – Over the last few years, I’ve had a lot of employees come and go. It’s what happens when you have mostly part time staff in retail.
There have been times where I’ve really had to draw the line being friend and boss. When you run an appointment type business, you do need to be on time. When I make the schedule a month in advance, it’s not my problem you come to me two days before saying you can’t work. You need to complete the tasks given. There have been a few times I’ve been taken advantage of because the girls saw me more of a friend than a boss.
So, I really had to put the hammer down. I decided I’ll just be the boss. No more friend and boss. It worked for the few employees it needed to. And I started hiring differently.
But when you have an employee named Laura working for you, you can’t just be the boss. It took me a while but I got there. Laura is the type of employee that always puts Flutter first. She is the only employee “I acquired from the purchase” that is still with me and I’m so thankful. She was a consultant at Flutter (and actor at CDT) and one of the only ones who was up for expanding Flutter like I was. She was always accepting of me and excited about the new things to come. After a while, I realized that she was a keeper and quickly became a face of Flutter. I’m happy to have her by my side. And I’m also happy that we’ve become friends.
Then came Kirby, Karli, and Hannah – these girls were girls I started to trust and like. I tried so hard not to be friends with them and just let them be employees. That didn’t exactly work. Why? Because they are great girls and I love their friendship. We can all get the job done and have fun at the same time.
Kirby has also been a huge help with all the baby stuff. Seriously! She found us a great car seat for a great price. Hooked us up with a stroller. She also gives me tons of advice. It’s so nice having her experience help me with this crazy new time. She even brought a bassinet to work so Wilder can come to work with me. I have huge box of maternity clothes to help me get by! Thank you for always being on the look out for me and the babe.
I have a few other girls Missy, Sabrina, Annie, and Alex that are just as amazing. We all get along. We are all friends. And we all love what we do. Sabrina has gone above and beyond with marketing plans. Missy is so detailed and nice that everyone loves her. Alex and Annie are fitting in nicely and learning how we roll.
I’ve learned that there isn’t a straight line, but a very dotted and curved line. I’ve said before that I have some great girls – but this time – I have the BEST GIRLS. I could not be leaving the store in better hands.
I’m much more laid back than ever before. I feel stressed (brides and situations and owning a business) but not as much with staffing. I think the laid back atmosphere and energy has really changed Flutter and myself for the better.
I appreciate the girls so much. I will ALWAYS have their backs no matter what. Because I know they treat Flutter how I would. They care.
To my Flutter Girls:
I am so grateful to have you in my life. Not only for Flutter, but for my own good. You’ve taught me so much and I feel like I’ve grown as a person and as a boss. You put Flutter first and I can truly tell you care about our brides.
Thank you for putting up with me when I get crazy and stressed. Thank you for supporting me in my first journey with IVF.
I truly enjoy our friendship. I even get sad even when I work by myself and I don’t get to see any of you. You are all so fun to be around and make me a happier person.
I love that we all know about each other lives. I enjoy hearing stories about Maks . I enjoy helping with wedding planning. I enjoy hearing what you’re doing on your days off. I love that you know about me and my life as well. I feel comfortable and confident with you all.
I’m so excited to have helped and been a part of two Flutter girls weddings. Whether it was finding the perfect dress or helping pick out ribbon color for your invites. I so hope I can be at your wedding Hannah (14 days girl)!
I can go on and on and on, but just know that I love you all and you mean the world to me!
So – if you’re like me and having a hard time defining the line. I think it’s all dependent on you as a person, and your staff. Don’t be afraid to change. Sometimes, you will have to be the hard ass. And sometimes, you can have the best year, and the best staff, and the best friends.
And yes, I’m still pregnant! 39 weeks tomorrow 🙂
xoxo – Kolby