Life on the Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Story of Survival during COVID-19
Life on the Edge is my story about surviving COVID-19 as an entrepreneur and small business owner outside of Philadelphia. I started documenting the happenings of each day about two weeks into lock down so that when I look back on this time I will be able to remember it for exactly what it is.
My goal with Life on the Edge is to provide an inside look into a small business struggling to survive, my first major crisis as a leader, and ultimately the process of saving a small company during a global disaster. I hope that by sharing my experience I might help other entrepreneurs and business owners during this time.
One of the goals that we set for ourselves during COVID-19 is to increase our Operational Efficiency. In Episode 27 of Life on the Edge, I explain a new metric that we invented to track these efforts, Pi Time, short for Process Improvement Time. Each of my teammates is keeping track of how many hours they spend working "on" the business rather than "in" the business, with our collective goal to spend 500 hours making the company better/stronger/faster during the second quarter.
I'm asking my team, people who are used to working on cars, to work on the business, which can be quite uncomfortable for them. Furthermore, I'm asking them to stretch their brains and think of solutions; for guys who work with their hands, this is not always an easy task. I'm keeping them focused by explaining why this work is important to their future and, critically, how the work they are doing supports the goals of the company. Without the 'why' and without clear line of sight between their work and the goals of the company, people lose interest; by aligning goals and gaining understanding, we are able to gain traction.