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This Isn’t Our First Rodeo
- Wednesday, May. 20, 2020
When the last recession struck, we opened. Armed with almost nothing, we entered the world of business ownership. What we had going for us, is that I have always preferred the hardest road possible. If we had the option of taking the easy way out, or going down the road of impossible challenges, without hesitation I would pick the most difficult road.
But this time is different. It isn’t a choice. We are all being placed into this hard road and we must adapt and adjust to every new day. Instead of being a parent and invested in our careers, we are adding the responsibilities of being teachers for homeschool. Instead of going to a studio or office every day and collaborating with our co-workers, we are jockeying for space in our homes, trying to conduct video chats and calls amongst our kids zooms and our spouses calls. We are physically in our homes so the kids think we are fair game, and the stress of trying to get them to understand that we are here and not here can be too much and make you feel like you are constantly failing to some degree.
It’s challenging to say the least. And this is not the hard road I would have chosen.
While we entered this world during a recession and without much, this time it’s very different. We have a 10,000 sq. ft. studio in LA. We had just started building another 5,500 sq. ft. studio in NY when construction was deemed an unessential business and we were shut down. We have a staff of 17 people plus freelancers and reps and I don’t want to lose one person, or have one staff member take a salary cut. So how do we do it?
Here are things we believe, energy creates energy. Creativity and purpose bring inspiration and hope. We have made it a point to have our staff creating. No matter what it is. We are finding out so much about what their secret passions are and who they are as people. While this world is scary and unpredictable, there is so much to discover. Our tradition in LA is to have a BBQ every Friday. We keep it up virtually with NY and LA staff. We don’t talk about work. We chill and have lunch and hang out. It’s really fun and it brings you all together in a deeper way.
We have been posting bits of content, from the staff. Things that they are doing that are really fun and engaging. We were initially posting on the company page for our own entertainment, and internal morale, but then it caught on. People started thanking us for our content. Clients were trying to license the songs and arrangements we were making. It made a difference. We got opportunities for jobs that were about creating content from beginning to end. People were moved by what we were creating and it brought work and opportunities.
You must empower your staff. Give them the room to make and create. You will quickly see who becomes involved. Who sinks and who swims. We have learned that we have a company of swimmers. I have always believed that, but when things got hard, they really stepped up. I am proud of the team we have put together, and I will do anything and everything in my power to keep us all together.
Kelly Bayett is the founder and creative director at music/sound company Barking Owl.