I know more than I did before. Hire a handyman. Embrace the cloud. Check the plumbing before leasing an old building. Focus on information flow and control. Smart people come in all forms, ages, and job descriptions. Lots of stuff is free or cheap if you look for it. Small is beautiful.
This learning has taken place because I’ve reset my career by leaving a big company and embracing the unknown. It is a rush and I recommend it.
I’ve been working with Grabit, Inc. for about a year. If you know me you would not be surprised that this is where I’ve landed. Grabit is a start-up company in Silicon Valley that is building a product. Yes, it is true. We are not an app company looking for followers and advertisers. Grabit, Inc. is designing, building and shipping a panel gripper for use in industrial automation. We have set out to revolutionize the multi-billion dollar material handling market with electroadhesion technology. Electroadhesion enables completely new solutions in robotic parts handling, parts fixturing, warehouse logistics and conveying systems. It is a flexible, low energy technology that enables new applications. We are selling to companies that build product and move product. We are not about bits or bytes or marketing schemes. We build products that help companies build and move product. I love the customers. I love the product. I love the notion of making something that helps make on-shore manufacturing more viable. In short, Grabit is a game-changing product company selling to manufacturers. “What is not to like”, says the Ops Girl!
I am the VP of Operations. I am responsible for facilities, desktop support, IT strategy, application strategy, manufacturing, logistics, customer service and program management. When I say responsible I mean soup to nuts responsible. There is no one else. I decide what to order, create the PO, scan it, attach it and email it. I pick the supplier, negotiate the deal, follow through to make sure it ships, call if it doesn’t. I reset the NAS, order the desktops, climb up to the attic to re-cable when necessary. And tomorrow is another day. I’m sure other things will be added to my plate. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a blast.
Why would I go from having my own administrator managing my calendar, jet-setting around the world while leading a global team of hundreds to leading a team of 2 in a company of twenty-five where I have to make my own flight reservations? There are a plethora of reasons and here are a few:
- I create my destiny.
- I love my co-workers.
- Culture is forming before my eyes.
- The learning curve is steep.
- I am part of the team building the company strategy.
- I enjoy each day.
- I have huge respect for those with whom I work…all of them.
- We make stuff.
- We have impromptu meetings and solve problems fast.
- We laugh a lot.
If you haven’t worked for a small company, I would highly recommend it. If you haven’t started over recently, I would highly recommend it. If you haven’t freaked out trying to figure something new out recently, go find something to tackle. There is something youthful and invigorating about starting something from the beginning.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt