As many of us have, I’ve been thinking recently about the number of changes I can see between the start of last year and now. I’ve been trying to notice the less obvious changes, and those that will last beyond this pandemic.
One of the biggest changes for me this year, compared with last year, is that I’ve started to build a team around me. This is a really big change, and one that has a strong emotional resonance for me personally.
Throughout my time in the military, working as part of a team was something I took for granted. I’ve waxed lyrical several times about the support systems and relationships that I was privileged enough to form as a result of my service, but I really can’t overestimate their importance to me.
Since leaving the army, I’ve continued to pursue a life of service, but have been working solo for much of my time. I’ve had amazing clients and some fantastic collaborations, but at core I’ve been trying to do everything myself.
At the start of 2020, I made a decision to start building a team. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything myself and, if I’m honest, there were parts of it that I just didn’t want to do.
It might seem like the middle of a worldwide pandemic would be a spectacularly poor time to try to build a team, but I’ve been incredibly fortunate. As everyone’s getting more and more used to working remotely, I’ve been able to look around the globe for people who will not only be able to perform the tasks that I need done but who also believe in what I am trying to achieve here.
It’s hard to overstate the difference having a team has made to my daily life. Here are just a few of the advantages.
I have more time. I’ve been able to hand over a whole host of time-consuming tasks to someone who is happy to do them. Not having to spend my time on the basics has left me more time to spend with clients.
I don’t have to force myself to do the tasks that I don’t want to do. This is a big one for me. I love my job. I love working with my clients. I love knowing that I’m making a difference. I don’t love doing the accounts. I don’t love keeping the diary. I don’t love the host of mundane tasks that need to be done to keep everything running smoothly. Now, I really don’t have to. This doesn’t just give me more time. It also helps to keep me motivated and happy, which makes me happier and a better person to be around.
I don’t have to do things I’m not good at. There are lots of tasks that I used to do for myself that I can do, but I’m not actually particularly good at. I can do them, but my assistants can do them faster and better than I can.
I can help to build up the people I work with. Part of building a team is that we are all able to work together. We learn from each other and achieve our mission together.
Creating a team, much like working with clients, is all about collaboration. That’s what I love about the work I do, and one of the things I’m grateful for over the last year.