Written by: Jessica East, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “surround yourself with good people.” It’s absolutely true. In business, this is even more important because owners and managers constantly face challenges from within their organizations and external clients and vendors.
Sometimes these “good people” are friends that you’ve picked up along the way. A good friend can encourage you and let you vent when you need to. Many times, though, these “good people” are trusted colleagues and other professionals paid for their services. I know it’s tempting, especially for those of us (myself included) used to wearing many hats, to try and do everything yourself. Hear me when I say: IT’S NOT WORTH IT. You may convince yourself that not paying someone for their expertise helps your bottom line, but in the long run, it doesn’t.
My company recently moved offices. It seems simple, right? I’ve moved a million times on my own; I moved the business into its first office just fine…but let me tell you how I benefitted from asking experts for their expertise.
When it became clear that we should consider a move when our lease was up, instead of looking around myself, I immediately asked my commercial realtor for help. Literally, the next day, she found the perfect spot for us. We looked at it and signed an intent the following day. (Her fees were paid by the building owner, so technically, we didn’t pay anything for her expertise.) Not only was this a beautiful space well within our budget, the build-out perks saved us thousands of dollars.
Never one to be overly trusting, I sent the lease documents to my business attorney to review before signing. My eyes had been specifically drawn to a section about fire suppression systems on the floor and the appearance that I’d be responsible for upkeep. If you have any experience with commercial-grade fire suppression systems, you know that’s a bill you DON’T want to pay. Yikes!
Because she’s an expert in contract law, she read all 20 pages in the lease (moment of truth: I skimmed the subheads.) Guess what? She re-worded the fire suppression clause to be beneficial to me. She found out that there’s underground parking and got me on the waiting list for one of those coveted parking spots. Yes, she sent me a bill, but in the long run, it’s worth it.
Don’t even get me started on my insurance lady! She’s got our assets covered so good they’re impenetrable.
Bottom line: spend your time focusing on your strengths. Surround yourself with experts who can focus on those “other” things, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions! You never know what you don’t know, many times, until it’s too late.
Jessica East, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Jessica East entered the creative scene in 2001 when she started her design career at MeadWestvaco. From her initial position as a junior graphic designer, Jessica advanced to a small marketing firm, picking up marketing, social media and event planning skills, and then on to a position as creative services manager for Five Rivers MetroParks. At MetroParks, she took on the challenging role of utilizing and policing new brand standards for an organization that previously lacked any formal marketing department. During her watch, the parks were pulled out of their staid ’70s look and blossomed into a new, energetic brand that matched the organization’s values of making the community healthy and vibrant. Jessica started her own agency, Noir Marketing and PR, in 2012.
Ms. East obtained her degree in graphic design at Bowling Green State University, where she joined the Phi Mu sorority and remained an active alumna in her local chapter. In addition to making dazzling designs, this marketing maven has collected enough ADDYs to back U.S. currency. Other awards and recognition include a laundry list of local and national design and professional awards, including several Mercury Awards and nominations, ADDYs of all metals, OPRA and NRPA awards, recognition in Print and GDUSA magazines as well as Teen magazine’s “50 Hot Picks for School.”