PEOPLE BE TRIPPIN’
On the heels of a successful beta, I had a lot of work to do. I got tons of great feedback from friends and family. But, it left me with a long list of upgrades and additions to make to the site including: 1. Enhance the What’s Blooming page to allow clients to select their own featured flower box; 2. Develop Petal Forward, a chain of giving challenge to encourage people to send flowers to a friend who could use a reason to smile (a friend suggested it and I loved it); and finally 3. Create a social media toolkit for the website, complete with digital photo frames for people to use when posting photos of their flower arrangements on their social media accounts. That last one was a big deal and a major sticking point for me. I’d seen them around social media once or twice and was obsessed with having them for Postal Petals. Beta went a few weeks longer than planned, which meant that I had to work hard to implement these items quickly so that we could ready the site for the soft launch.
IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE
None of these things were simple tasks, yet I was putting an incredible amount of pressure on myself to soft launch the company by a certain date. I was stressing myself out staying up all through the night working; and I’m sure passing that energy on to my team who has been consistently productive and even better than I could have ever hoped for. I’d found a guy in Atlanta who had the exact technology I needed for the digital frames but after saying he’d deliver the project within 72hrs, he quickly evaporated never to be heard from again. My developer was struggling on the coding for the e-gift cards that were to be an essential component of the Petal Forward campaign. Plus there were several little things on the site that likely no one else would notice but were driving me crazy and, at least in my mind, needed to be fixed ASAP so that I could soft launch the site on schedule. I was stressed and I was stressing out the people around me. And then the heat turned up!
It was at this point I realized that “people” be tripping and the only “people” being a problem was me.
IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE!
This is not a metaphor, people. Shit legit got hot…like real hot. A brutal heat wave hit the west coast and it started to affect the way that the flowers were coming in from the field. After much back and forth with my team, we made the decision to pause shipments for at least a week until after the severe heat had subsided. As much as I hated to do it, I had no choice. The quality of the flowers is the entire business. If we start sending people bogus flowers, our reputation is trash. As you may imagine, I was upset because I had a deadline and needed to get this site up STAT. The people were waiting! The people were demanding an updated site! Except, they weren’t. You see, literally no one was expecting the site to soft launch when it did except for me. I had set this deadline and was holding myself hard to it for no other reason than I wanted it done by that date. I’d fully leaned into the belief that the people were demanding it and the people deserved to have it on time. It was at this point I realized that “people” be tripping and the only “people” being a problem was me. Bottom line, “everybody” needed to fall back!
THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP…EVERYBODY THINKS SO
Let’s pull over quickly for a little get-to-know-you background here. I do this thing where I tend to refer to the “people” or “everybody” when talking about one specific person. It’s a going joke among some of my friends. For example, I’ll say something like: “The people are saying that my dance moves look just like Beyoncé.”; Them: “Who are the people?” (*note* sometimes it be the ones closest to you…hatin’); Me: “Well, me, but I know how the people are feeling out there.” Or, in the midst of a two-person conversation and the other person says something I don’t agree with or don’t have a good comeback for, I’ll say something like: “Everybody just needs to calm down!”; Them (*looking around perplexed because it’s literally just them and me in the whole room): “Who’s everybody?” Me: “I’m actually talking about you, but I didn’t want you to feel singled out.” You see, I’m a woman of the “people” and I’m always thinking about what’s best for “everybody”.
And when I finally decided to give myself permission to slow down, things got peaceful. All of a sudden, I was grateful for the extra time to breathe and better pace the progress on the site.
EVERYBODY NEEDS TO CHILL TF OUT!
The reality is that this is my company and I make the decisions. It’s only in beta. Only close friends and family even know it exists. Why am I putting all this pressure on myself about soft launching this company, especially if it’s not ready? The short answer is that sometimes I can be really unkind to myself by setting unrealistic, self-imposed expectations and then twisting myself up into knots to get it done. And for what? Who was really waiting for the site to launch? Who was really going to judge me for pausing shipments for a week as a necessary quality control measure? Me! Myself! I! My equivalent of everybody and “everybody” needed to chill TF out because they were starting to make this hella lame. I had to for real sit “everybody” down and have a full on meeting about taking the intensity down several notches. And when I finally decided to give myself permission to slow down, things got peaceful. All of a sudden, I was grateful for the extra time to breathe and better pace the progress on the site. I had the task tracker revised to spread out the massive to-do list over 7 days instead of 24hrs. I found myself thinking more clearly and making more rational decisions when I had the time to consider all the options before me, instead of just the quickest solution.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but just chill and trust the process.
TRUST THE PROCESS
In the end, there were some unexpected rewards. We got just about everything on the list done, the team didn’t feel the weight of the time constraints and it all turned out even better than expected. And remember that digital frame that I’d been obsessing over for weeks but dude in ATL bailed? Well, once the pace of the work slowed, my developer had time to figure it out on his own without me even having to ask and surprised me with the news during one of our morning meetings. Turns out I didn’t need ol’ boy after all. I honestly could have cried. Not because my developer just saved me all the money I was planning to pay homeboy for the same work. And not even because I finally got the frames that I wanted. It moved me because I immediately acknowledged and appreciated the blessing of patience. The covenant with the universe that when you release your death grip on the specific path that you have in mind and instead decide to just let go of your control and trust the process, it almost always works out in your favor. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but just chill and trust the process. All things are working in your favor.