women working together on computer

Last month, I described the challenges of managing the growth of Rude Health and how similar they are to parenting teenage children. To meet these challenges, and to stay ahead of whatever’s coming next (I’m looking at you 8 June), Nick and I have taken on a managing director. This is probably the single biggest (and most significant) business decision we’ve made.

While it’s largely business as usual for the team, with some new focus and rigour, it’s a whole new world for me and Nick. And it’s quite weird. Mostly in a good way.

I am so used to having the bare minimum time to do anything and everything that I’m a master at doing things fast. However, given time, I have forgotten how best to use it. I was only saved from spending (or more accurately wasting) hours formatting a spreadsheet to make it more attractive by a technical fail. And in fact it’s the technical issue I ought to be spending time on, before it crashes my computer terminally.

I think that’s my challenge. Breathe, step back and look much more broadly at what I’m good at, what’s relevant and what’s helpful for Rude Health. This part is fun (and isn’t usually anything to do with IT), and only three weeks into our new world, I’m enjoying it. This week I’m helping to develop the café menu, establishing how to express our brand values and taking part in a discussion about the joys of dairy and non-dairy - all things I’d do for fun.

The trickier part is to let go of everything else. I haven’t had to live with anyone else’s decisions for ages, and I don’t think that people who start businesses like living with other people’s decisions, or we wouldn’t create a world where we never have to. On the other hand, we’ve chosen every single person in the business, because they are brilliant, so it would be nuts not to let them do it. Returning to my teenage analogy, I have to trust that if Rude Health decides to go to a party, it will not drink itself unconscious. Moreover, it will manage to find its way home, it may meet some interesting people out there, and they can help it find out what it needs to be a fully grown adult.

So in my new hands-off role you’ll find me waiting up at home, with a sick bucket, researching homeopathic alternatives to Nurofen - just in case.