Multi-task. Mul·ti·task (verb) Definition: (of a person) deal with more than one task at the same time…sound familiar?
It is something every working professional confronts — this idea of maintaining a “work/life balance.” The expression had practically become a cliched trope. These days I would submit that now more than ever, the expectation is beyond ‘seeking balance,’ the new norm is obtaining and retaining superhero status or, more explicitly, the new superhero “Super Parents” the part-time teachers, perfect professionals, and more – the concept of “work/life balance” should just be tossed out the window. Simply put, “multi-tasking” is the replacement for “work/life balance,” And frankly, there is no better multitasker than the female entrepreneur.
The Vertical Collective, the company I co-founded with Morgaine McGee, is a global manufacturing firm working with key brands, retailers, and subscription boxes to deliver products quickly and effectively. I wear several hats in this role; I am responsible for oversight of our business development and financing, in addition to collaborating with my partner on product design and client services.
As if our day-to-day was not enough when we watched the U.S. and countries across the globe fall short of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we added another critical component to our business. We quickly integrated the manufacturing of quality PPE to fill the emergency need for hospitals, health organizations, and the government sector throughout the United States. (To date, we have delivered more than 20M units of PPE worldwide.)
So while it is business, “as usual,” there is a new global PPE manufacturing and distribution arm, and then, in addition to the regular duties I take on at home, I am helping my children navigate online learning. It’s a daunting feat to conquer, but multitasking comes naturally to me.
The Vertical Collective has grown significantly, quarter over quarter, then year over year. It has been an incredible experience for us. Along with business growth has also come immense personal growth, confidence in our process, and resilience beyond all else. That energy drives us onward and forward. Especially now, when things can seem more intimidating, we try not to forget what we have achieved. Even the small wins are meritorious.
I have also realized how important it is to not bring unneeded stresses into our home. My kids are very intuitive and at this age are still very tuned in to how I act; if they sense anything is wrong, they get fearful. Alternatively, I try to seize moments like this as an opportunity to show them that even during uncertain times, you do have a choice to rise above your fears by doing good, by helping. It is important to remain strong and positive for them during times of stress and uncertainty. Ultimately, their response to my reformed attitude motivates me, and it becomes easier and easier to behave more positively. It is times like these when you start to learn more about yourself and the people you surround yourself with both personally and at work. It allows you to more easily prioritize and, really, let your conscience be your guide. As a result, cumulatively, there is now a greater appreciation for how my family spends time together, learning to listen to each other and be more considerate, and have more appreciation for the people and things in our lives.
It’s not unlike how I lead my business. The leadership tools we, as women, manifest at home translate easily to a corporate setting. It is a huge advantage.
And though the world at times feels unstable, it does not mean you cannot enjoy yourself. Sometimes you just need to drop everything, have some ice cream, and make a rad pillow fort with your kids.