by Carson Tate · 11 Sep 2020 · 4 min read
When no one would invest in her startup, mompreneur Janine Sickmeyer tapped into her inner resilience and successfully built an online web application that has become a go-to program within the legal industry.
"Can you turn on your video, please?" That was about a year ago when I was on a global call. I was called out by another leader, and I totally panicked. No one ever had called me out for not having my video camera on during a meeting.
During a recent meeting on Microsoft Teams, I couldn't seem to get a single word out.
The coronavirus outbreak has required everyone to abruptly adjust their entire lives with little to no warning or time for preparation. Schools across the country closed in a matter of days, many businesses were suddenly forced to work from home until further notice, and individuals everywhere were left wondering how to get the basic daily necessities. As the founder and CEO of a company as well as the mother to a young boy, creating and sticking to this new normal has been quite an adjustment and doing it from multiple angles has been nothing short of a challenge.
Under any circumstances, managing a remote team requires an over-emphasis on communication, a deep understanding of flexibility, and a variety of ways to maintain touch points with your teammates. Now, with so much uncertainty, fear, and sickness, we need to have even more compassion so that people have time to heal, adjust, and find their anchor within this "new normal."
I went from struggling to take vacation time as a first-time PR worker to working wherever and however I wanted.
I feel I'm at my most productive when I am free to travel, learn, and create without the constraints of geography, an office, or a time card. So, when I founded Final Straw just over two years ago, I sought to develop a company culture that inspired people to approach everyday problems with ingenuity, and was determined to create a team that was 100% remote. Initially, there were people who pointed out all of the reasons that a company operating remotely couldn't be successful; however, I knew that I could make the model work.
After feeling suffocated in my professional life as a business strategist, I realized that I already had all the tools I needed to turn my life around. So, I began strategizing my own career like I would a brand.
But I am so much more. For years, I've made that persona my professional armor, but if not just a publicist, then who am I? I am the mom of 2 boys, aged 22 and 2, the wife of an incarcerated man and a first-generation Caribbean-American who was born, raised, and still resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn.