Employee Feature: Aly Grushkin Carter – Director of Client Services

What do you do for MaxExposure? fullsizeoutput_6344

I am responsible for the communications department at MaxExposure. I handle the customer service, website design as well as much of the administrative responsibilities. My main priority is to ensure our customers are well taken care of and happy! 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is when my clients start to see results, its my absolutely favorite when they call up and say “I am getting all these calls from new customers and I’m not sure why!!” I feel a sense of pride in our work, and also very excited for our customer seeing results! I truly love my job, because I get to help so many people increase their online presence and gain an understanding on how to help their company grow online.

((Click here to check out more of our MaxExposure blogs and get tips on how to improve your company’s marketing!))

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

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When you work with a family business, you’re not just a customer, we take the time to get to know our customers. We connect with you on social media, we learn about your life and we share our life with you and when you call up, we greet you by name more often then not! We also reach out multiple times a year to just say “hi” to our customers, because customer service, and connecting with our customers matters to us!

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite products are our Website Design & Instagram Products! A lot of small businesses have outdated or nonfunctional websites so being able to see the transformation of their online company image has been amazing! 

If you need us to boost your social media following and engagement, check out our MaxExposure Social Posting products today!

Are you networking with the right people?!

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Do you go to networking events regularly? Networking events allow you to show your support for the local community and establish yourself as the local expert. As you establish more relationships in the community you will start to see awesome things happen. People want to do business with people they have a good relationship with.

What is your WHY?

Why…?

Why do you get up every morning?

Why do you do the job that you do? Have the friends that you have? Wear the clothes that you wear, drive the car you drive?

Why do we do anything? What motivates us? A lot of times people will ask, in a way of facilitating deeper thought, “what is your why?”

Your why is what motivates and drives your every decision throughout the day, week, month or year.

One of my fellow boss babes and long time friend started TWO home businesses (while her husband owns his own company too….) on top of taking care of a newborn & a 4 year old.  Her “why” is so that she can stay home with her young daughters while still bringing in an income and allowing herself to do what she loves so she and her husband can support their growing family together… and be present at the same time.

Figuring out your why, may not be as clear or definitive at first though, my why has taken me some time to identify and figure out.

Fresh out of school, 7 years ago *gulp*, I knew I wanted to work with my father to and build a family business… But I truly didn’t know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.

Initially my role in our company, was low-key event coordinator and basic customer service. Much of my duties my father had to hold my hand through since I had no confidence to even type an email. In the past seven years, I’ve grown into someone he trusts to run much of his company, alongside the rest of the management team he has assembled.

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Working with your family can be one of the most challenging and frustrating, yet rewarding jobs there is, because while you don’t have the traditional “9-5”, (which lets be honest, doesn’t exist anymore) you get a whole lot of freedom, experience and roles to play that may not have initially been within your skillset. It becomes less of a J-O-B and more of a lifestyle when you LOVE what you do, and it fuels your why.

After a lot of stress, confusion and overwhelming sense of failure, my why has finally been identified based on what gives me joy every day and makes me want to get up, get dressed and drive to work every morning.

Why do I check my calendar right before bed, add “appointments” for things I need to remember to do, and then check it first thing in the morning?

My why is our customers: Our customers and their desire to increase their social exposure and learn ways to improve and grow their business.

Which is ALSO why I get up in the middle of the night to make notes… because sometimes I do some of my best creative thinking in the middle of the night while I sleep and wake up to jot down notes before I forget.

This J-O-B isn’t just a job… Its my entire life. Part of figuring out my why is realizing I live to work, not work to live. I truly love my job and doing what I do… Every single bit of it… Even the tough stuff. 

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My why is my employees: We currently employ young men and women as interns who are incredibly hard working, creative 19 – 21 year olds, these “young college students” give me hope for the second half of the millennial generation, which doesn’t have the greatest rep. I absolutely adore all of our interns both past and present and feel an incredible sense of accomplishment when they succeed.

Currently, my longest running intern, B, has grown so seamlessly into her role as Customer Service Representative and now can handle customer calls and questions on her own. I get such joy from that, because I know I’ve taught her well.

Showing my interns, especially my girls, that you can have MORE than your typical “9-5”, have fun with your job and like what you do, gives me hope that they too will find their why someday and end up with a job that not only pays the bills but makes them happy.

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My why is my passion to improve and grow: Taking on new projects and learning new skills fuels my why. I LOVE to learn, but need to learn by doing. New customer needs arise, or have a situation that needs to be handled? I will learn how to handle it. Need a new website? I’ll figure out a way to make it. We need to improve our website? I’ll enhance my skills to make it better.  A customer needs some cool ideas to grow their exposure / run a promotion? I’ll put on my creative hat and work something up!

My why is building: Building a business, not only with my father, but with my soon-to-be husband is something truly remarkable. My why comes from the fact that we’re in this together, and each of us have skills that we bring to the table and are important to succeeding.

My why is our future: I want to be that KICK ASS Boss Babe Mama. I want to be the mom running from a conference call to ballet, and then to soccer, and then home to do bath and bed time. While I don’t cook, I want to be able to sit down to dinner with my family every night, put the littles to bed and finish work after they’re asleep.

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I want to be present as much as possible and being able to work from home or bring my children with me to my office when I choose is something I won’t take for granted. I want to be able to have an office where my kids will grow up playing and “pretend working” like I did growing up in my dads office.

I want to be able to be with my kids while they’re small (possibly having some help) but being able to run my section of the business with a team that I know and can trust to help run my department that I’ve worked so hard to build.

My why is working my butt off now, in all my various jobs, so I have the income and freedom in the future.

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Tips on how to figure out your why!

  1. Identify what motivates you… You may need to try different fields or roles until you figure that out.
  2. Identify what parts of your day bring you the most joy? Even if it’s the smallest part.
  3. Incorporate those identified aspects into your daily life… Even if it’s stopping for that morning coffee and croissant… (just hit the gym after :))
  4. Remember the core reasons behind your why. Is it your family? Personal or professional goals? Financial? Awards?
  5. Act. Take action to pursue your why… whether that means a career change, a position change, or an all together life change. Everyone deserves to be happy and pursuing your why will help with that!

 

 

Boss. Babe.

yOKGqsorS%yik+Cz3uMglASitting here in my office, sipping my coffee, waiting for my employees (interns) to come in for the day, I have some moments of quiet to reflect on how much I THRIVE and love being a #BossBabe.

A Boss Babe, by my own definition, is a kick ass, multi-tasking, entrepreneur, lady who is balancing work, life & family – and doing it with extreme passion. She gives 100% to every single thing she does, and won’t rest until the job is done. She often finds herself up WAY past bed-time working on a project or up WAY too early to give those extra cuddles to her hubby or fur children. She LOVES to work and is passionate & driven and thrives off being successful. She definitely takes on WAY more than she can at any one moment, but doesn’t know how to live any other way than a constant chaotic state of twirling.

I. Am. A. Boss. Babe. and I wouldn’t change it for the world. IMG_6192

I aid in running the company my Father, Fiancé and I started together 6 years ago. I manage 3 interns, I am starting a side business of helping other achieve health and wellness through dōTERRA Essential Oils , I bartend part-time because I love meeting people from all walks of life, I (somewhat) keep my house clean, laundry done and cats cared for. I spend time with my man, I see my friends, I exercise and I enjoy a cocktail every evening.

Oh… I’ve also taken on the role as our company website designer and I’m planning my wedding..

Always on the Go!

I find I am constantly running from one thing to the next… Even if it’s just phone calls, I strive to be on time, but some days I end up running on a 10 minute lag. I run from appointment to appointment, constantly over scheduled to try to get EVERY little thing done… and then there are the days I get absolutely nothing done.

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I am fairly certain my interns think I am superwoman… (which is freaking sweet, because she is gorgeous, can pull off wearing a full spandex suit, wears a sweet crown / head band AND gets to wear a cape.) It boggles their mind how I work all day, then bartend, or work all day, then work out and then go home to work more. I hope I am showing these college kids that you can juggle more than just a day job if you really set your mind to it (and juggling looks good if you do it in heels with a cocktail in hand).

What DO You DO All Day?

I definitely don’t want you to think I’m whining, or complaining about my workload. However strenuous my job may get, I truly love doing what I do, and when I think about the alternative I don’t know how I would operate if I wasn’t going 1000 miles per hour.

It’s interesting being a Boss Babe or mini entrepreneur at 28, especially when I’ve been working this way since I graduated college and was a baby boss at 21. When all your friends are going into Corporate America and you’re working from home, on your own schedule, with the ability to work wherever, whenever, it makes for an interesting dynamic and some confusion as to “what you do all day” or “how do you get anything done working from home.”

People think being an entrepreneur is scary, and while I’m not bank rolling my own major company (I am starting the dōTERRA business on my own), working for a family business gives you had a lot of freedom, but you also have a lot of responsibility, more than most jobs and the work day doesn’t end at 5pm. If you truly put your mind to something and love what you’re doing, you can make anything possible.

How Does She Do It?

Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way to Boss Babedom:

  1. Remember Monday – Friday you ARE working. Just because you work from home and don’t have a clock to punch, you ARE at work… that means your time is just as important as someone who goes to an office every day and you aren’t always available to babysit, pick someone up at the airport or meet for lunch. (However, you can if you want to, as you are your own boss!)
  2. If you LOVE what you do you make things happen! I truly love every single one of my roles. Which is what gets me through even the most stressful of days where all I want to do is curl up into a ball.
  3. Only take on WHAT you can handle… and delegate when possible! If you have a full plate and someone asks you to work on something or take something on… Ask if it needs to get done NOW, or if it can wait and if it isn’t something that has to be done by YOU, delegate!

So my fellow Boss Babes & Boss Dudes, you CAN do it. Take on the extra project, start that side biz you’ve been dreaming about, coach your kids softball team or anything else that brings you passion. Even though “working” is an odd thing to be passionate about, thats ok! Love what you do & do what you love!

 

Entrepreneurs, what is your exit strategy?

As a Serial entrepreneur, for over 35 years, I have been involved in many different products, services and businesses; with one common factor, ”if it was meant to be successful, it was up to me”.

Being the driving force in sales, business development, product deployment and organizational structure is an all-consuming endeavor, however doing it with dedicated people makes it somewhat easier and more rewarding. Having the right people in your business will provide your customers with better (more accessible) service and attention, provide you with time & freedom while running your business and potentially an “exit strategy”.

Many entrepreneurs fail to see the “forest through the trees” when it comes to an exit strategy, thinking they need to do it all themselves. Then one day they wake up and realize that their business isn’t as “valuable” on resale, or there isn’t anyone qualified to take it over; leaving them nothing to show, for a lifetime of work.

My experience has been a fortunate one, in which I had family who chose to join my business, offering me a “built in” exit strategy. Even if you don’t have family involvement in your business, you can achieve this by focusing on your exit strategy and making it a priority. Hiring experienced industry personnel, recruiting from colleges and or developing leaders from “scratch” are great starting points to be able to develop the right person to take over your company. Additionally, letting family friends know about your desire to create an exit strategy and that you are looking for a “protégée”, puts it out to your network.

There are always ways to find people looking for advancement and opportunity. Be willing to pay well to start, then when earned, even better as they evolve into a leadership role. It’s not an overnight process, be committed to the long haul for your benefit and theirs!

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What follows are 5 simple ways entrepreneurs can develop an exit strategy:

Offer equity to key staff

Equity can be given in many forms, some of which including common stock, preferred stock, phantom stock or simple profit sharing. It can be earned over 5 years (e.g. 1% a year over 5 years and only vested after 5 years.) Check with your accounting professional to determine the best route for you. Keep in mind, it’s not just about money, it’s about how people feel and how they see themselves in the future.

Talk about your future plans with your key staff often

Make them aware of your exit strategy, set obtainable and achievable goals to initiate the plan. The vision has to be clear, exciting and lead to a viable business. The people you are developing are probably not “entrepreneurs” like you, therefore, it up to you to show them what the future holds in your business or industry for them.

Develop a culture, with guidelines that can run without you engaged

Operation manuals, policies, procedures and philosophical understanding needs to be part of your future development plan. By letting your staff learn by doing, over time they will know it as well as you do, and handle situations the same way you would.

Take more time off, over time

Allow your people to “take the helm” while you are away. It’s been said that “nothing grows in the shadow of the mighty oak”. Let the sun shine on your team, trust their decisions and accept that they will make mistakes, they can always be corrected (if not, that is a very are powerful learning experience.)

Let your staff know, when you do eventually leave, you will still be collecting a check and their first job each week is to “deposit that check into your account”.

When you want to “retire” you don’t have to sell the business, which of course you can do, if thats your strategy. Some businesses provide for the owner, by keeping them on the payroll, and the future growth income/profits go to the new management team. Your exit strategy can share in that growth or just keep your income for your life or as part of your estate.

The key is to have a plan, it can be 2 years, 5 years, 10 year or even 20 years away, but the plan needs to be in place. Running a race without a finish line can be exhausting, especially as we get older. When you are 30, you might think you will work forever, when you turn 50, that view point changes fast!

Again, I am fortunate to have trusted, dedicated and very capable family (and some very strong, trusted “key people” who have earned their way to the top) by engaging in my business. Once my “exit strategy” was set, it all came together.

 

About the Author:

JGJoe Grushkin is a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. Currently, as the CEO, President and Founder of MaxExposure Social Media, the premier Social Media & Reputation Management Firm on North America, he is growing the business with effective leadership skills and developing a management team to lead in the future. MaxExposure assists small and media sized local businesses in over 80 industries. More information is available at www.MaxExposureSocialMedia.com

 

 

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