A month ago I left a great job with a great team to do something I had never done before: be a boss.
I took a job at the editor of HAWAI‘I Magazine, a bi-monthly Honolulu-based travel publication, where I would have to manage a team, albeit a very small one. (Like, one person. But still.)
As it got closer to my taking over this role, I started getting nervous. I had managed college students, interns, freelancers and three dogs—but this was different. I would be responsible for budgets, personnel issues, invoices, schedules, vacation requests and possibly office supplies. My decisions, even the smallest ones, would affect more than just me. And that’s not something I’m used to.
As a freelance writer, which has been my main job for more than a decade, I’ve only had to manage one person: me. I kept track of my own schedule, I decided on assignments, I figured out what needed to get done and how to do it. Now that was all changing.
Or was it?
In my first month on the job, I realized managing a team is a lot like managing myself. I need to be aware of scheduling, workloads, spending—the same things I juggled as a freelancer. I viewed my job as a contract writer as a small business (which is actually is) and this job, as editor of a magazine, is no different.
And it helps that I have a great team.
I inherited an awesome associate editor, Kevin, and I hired a super talented art director, Kayla. And, in addition to our multitasking digital media manager, Tracy, and a slew of others, everyone has made my transition so easy—and actually fun. We laugh in our meetings, we go on field trips, and we all really enjoy each other. That’s been the best part.
And that was never more evident than a couple of weeks ago when the editorial team, including photographer David Croxford, spent two full days on Maui to work on stories about the island. (When I say, “full,” I mean 16-hour days, always together.) We wandered around small towns, got excited over a coffee shop in Wailuku, spent way too much time driving and too little time in our luxe rooms at the Hotel Wailea, ate too much, talked too much and definitely drank too much coconut water.
But it was the morning we spent at Maui Goat Yoga in Kula, an adorable farm on the slopes of Haleakalā that offers yoga classes with its fleet of Nigerian Dwarf goats, that everything started to click. (Read more about our experience here.)
While yoga itself is meditative and, at least for me, really centers my mind, the addition of the goats changed the experience—in a good way. Yes, the goats were disruptive, nibbling on your shirt or deciding to take over your entire mat for a nap. But they were so joyous and present. They didn’t care about anything, even pooping during shavasana. They were happy to be with us, happy to be on this farm (who wouldn’t?), happy to jump on our backs for a few Cheerios and animal crackers. There’s a lot we can learn from these goats.
I know I did. I learned to let go, to be in the moment, to enjoy all the things I’m able to do in this job—travel, write, eat, share stories, meet interesting people—and with people who love what they do, too.
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed about deadlines or projects or my expense report, I just remember these goats and their attitude about life: Every day is a new day—and there are always people willing to give you free treats.