In my previous post I tried to provided an explanation for my involuntary online hiatus. But what did I learn from entering and escaping a black hole?
A. I made mistakes
B. See A
1. You can never prepare early enough for changes in personnel and/or workload.
If you are responsible for recruiting your own staff, get involved with appropriate universities and other places of education to keep ahead of the curve. Get good recruiters working for you – for free (that’s another post, though).
Engage and be present in the relevant professional communities. For instance, you are a graphic novel writer and are looking for the best comic book artist for hire, then you may want to reach out to professionals in that particular community and consider recommendations from them. Using the right assistance, you could then be able to outshine in that field.
You can never start too soon to look for your next rock star employee(s). Think of it as a mandatory continuous process. Commit to the appropriate time for getting involved and engaging.
2. Let your surroundings know you are experiencing an exceptional situation and how and when they can expect a response. It’s OK. It happens.
Post a disclaimer on your blog as soon as possible.
Add an auto responder on your mail, private and/or professional.
Call people personally to let them know in advance.
3. Do not let your personal life suffer unreasonably and over time.
This is hard. You’ve probably been there too. Be very conscientious of your personal life in times of professional duress. You are going to need that personal time with yourself and your loved ones more than ever. You will be stronger from it. Take two or three steps back and plan accordingly. Share with your close ones; chances are they can help you.
4. Don’t even try to catch up on every single piled up correspondence.
Write an honest apology response explaining the situation, making sure that the senders know that they will have to get back to you yet again if they still have open issues in need of your attention.
5. Fess up when you fuck up.
Admit to your mistakes personally, identify possible improvements and move on. This is not the time to be pointing fingers at others or to be playing the blame game. This is the time to be on the offense, taking responsibility.
Just one more thing.
6. DON’T TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY.
If you are like me, you might find this very hard too, but hey! It’s real life – not Hollywood fiction. Shit happens. You make mistakes too. It’s just business. Cheer up – you’re going to die anyway! :D
I probably failed on several accounts the last three months. Hindsight has 20/20 LOLCAT vision, but I hope I’m now stronger and more prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow by the experience.