94 is a start-up journey blog series that captures Jamie’s first weeks at Amplify during the summer of 2018. The summer of 2018 was the soft launch of Amplify Advisors & the blog captures the weekly journaling of a co-founder. 94 has been released one year later as a reflection of how far Amplify has come in one short year.
Week one - June 27, 2018
The top five “surprises” of my new entrepreneurial experience:
1. Change to routine - big difference, big impact.
Every job changes your routine. A new place to park, a new desk, a new team.... it all changes with new employment.
But this change is on steroids. I’m working from home and because we won't fully launch the business until the fall, my husband and I decided to reduce childcare costs and tag team with the kids some weeks while working from home. So, I’m working while parenting - it’s about as dangerous as driving while drinking! I don’t recommend it, but we thought the kids needed more independence, more boredom and less bookings (+ costs). Some days I’m at clients or out at meetings or doing business development but other days I’m home.
I’ve never been a fan of working from home so that drives me to a goal of affording office space -- hopefully in the next 18 months.
I’m also down to one phone.
De Ville suddenly knows my name but I found myself at the wrong one the other day (change of routine!!).
I haven’t figured out where to park at my clients.
It’s the little things.....
2. Organized and disciplined - I am, but how do you do this if you're not?
Throughout my career I was so organized and played by all the rules -- hitting every deadline, doing everything expected and on time. One day I had a light bulb moment with a coach who said to me “Jamie, let some things go. Look at Mr. X - he’s a top performer, making partner and hasn’t submitted his time sheets in six weeks. You don’t have to be perfect or stress out over it all.”
Being organized is something that is my Achilles heel - it is why I was hired, trusted, staffed and promoted. It’s at the core of why my clients have appreciated me and trusted me. It’s also what has made me put high expectations and pressure on myself and others - that sense of urgency, of being present, being dedicated and passionate. I took that coaching moment to heart and let a lot go over the years but I still wouldn't say I’m easy going.
As an entrepreneur you don’t have the external expectations and guidance so you need your time and efforts to be focused on priorities in an organized and disciplined way. Too many business owners present as neither organized nor disciplined. I find myself wondering how they do it?? I am grateful I am this way, but I will use every ounce of my experience to constantly question my time, my spend, and my efforts.
3. Productive vs chargeable - always important but literally can’t feed mouths if you get this wrong now!
Similar to being organized and disciplined, let me tell you 13+ years of time tracking and public practice strengthens you but it doesn’t prepare you for literally not earning a dollar when you are not chargeable.
This is why Amplify Advisors Inc. is a team and a business versus me becoming a solepreneur that rents out her time. There are many one-man shows that do admirable work but that pressure would be too much (& much less fun!).
4. Process for growth - investing upfront is strategic but its easy to get distracted and minimalistic on the back office.
Amplify Advisors Inc. had a stretch goal of being one of western Canada's big in eight years. It’s a WIG (I = impossible) but we need to build and develop with that end game in mind and that includes automation and technology, processes, people, training and a strong platform.
5. All the little things - wow there’s a lot to do and things I didn’t think of that pop up everyday!
It isn’t easy. It is exciting. I love it. The opportunity to be a proud Deloitte alumni, return to being an active (& always proud) PwC alumni and use what I learned there and at Alberta Central and Viterra, as well as in life is something to celebrate. Here I go!