I have had a lot of titles in my 12+ years working with NLOWE; Regional Facilitator, Business Development Coordinator, Business Start Up Advisor and of course now, Business Growth Advisor. And for the most part, you can still ask my family what I do for a living and they are unable to tell you exactly. In their defense, they know it has to do something with women in business but other than that, it’s still somewhat a mystery. You see, I don’t have an physical office location in town where clients can drop in, I don’t get to have colleague chats around the water cooler and I don’t get snow days (which is unfortunate because living here on the West Coast provides many!). But I do have an office, two as a matter of fact….one down the hall from my living room and the other, with 4 wheels, seat warmers (thankfully) and, depending on the day, a full tank of gas. Covering the entire West Coast and Labrador ensures that I spend as much time in the driver’s seat of my SUV as I do sitting at my desk.
So what does my typical day look like? Believe it or not, I get ready each morning like everyone else preparing for a day at the office. I grab a coffee, I check emails, make phone calls, review my ‘to do’ list, prioritize my ‘to do’ list and still leave the most undesirable task for last, no matter how hard I try. I arrange meetings, attend meetings, provide follow up from meetings, talk to clients, meet with clients, encourage clients, console clients. Prepare reports, review reports, swear on reports (shhh, please don’t tell!). Needless to say, days can be very busy, schedules can be very tight, but I have learned a few tips along the way that I would like to share.
- Don’t take work home with you…weird right? Since I work from home? But stick with office hours if at all possible.
- A ‘to do’ list is important, a ‘stop doing’ list is essential. Stop the tasks that you know are true time wasters. I mean do you really need to do that online survey to find out your ideal celebrity date?
- Educate your family on boundaries. Being down the hall can be very appealing to your family when they need you, whether it be for dinner plans or a lost TV remote.
- Take breaks…but beware of the refrigerator J…it can call you often and loudly!
- Pretend you’re not home! Don’t answer the home phone or doorbell during office hours.
- Take sick days! If you are too sick to go outside, you are too sick to work…period.
Regardless of where the work is completed, the priority is always the client. It’s fun guiding and assisting women in business; you get to work with some amazing entrepreneurs, helping them reach new markets, learn new skills, grow and expand…and in most cases they don’t need to know that we guide them enthusiastically but rarely have the courage for implementation ourselves. We provide answers and solutions, yet leave the enforcement to you. So it really doesn’t matter that each year before our awards gala, some of my family always asks if I will be getting an award, not realizing that the awards are for the amazing women entrepreneurs that I get to work with! Sure it’s embarrassing, always saying no, and I’m confident that they think, poor Marvella, going in for her award ceremony again to come home empty handed…but that’s not the case. I come home equipped with the sparkle from your eyes, the winners, the nominees, the business women. And it’s that sparkle that encourages and motivates me to continue to do what I do. I know that your success is not my success but in some small way, I like to believe that the meetings, the discussions, the emails, the 3 hour drives, somehow had an impact.
Marvella Wells is a NLOWE Business Growth Advisor for the Western and Labrador regions. Whether you are ready to hire your first employee or take your business in a whole new direction, Marvella can provide assistance to help you grow your business. If you are in the Western or Labrador regions and are interested in learning more about what NLOWE can do for you and your business, contact Marvella at 1.866.632.5069 or email@example.com.