They say a Change is as good as a rest.
After we shipped such a massive overhaul of the software a couple of weeks ago—and with more changes on the horizon 😁—I can’t help but think about how true this is.
Or indeed if it’s true at all. 🤔
It’s been on my mind a lot recently.
Change brings a lot of things. Pride. Excitement. It can reinvigorate. Or it can feel daunting. Draining even.
The truth is there’s been a lot of change going on this year already. And I’m not sure how well rested I really am. 🤷
Not in a bad way of course. More in a “Holy shit! Can I keep up?” kinda way.
I suppose life is always change in one way or another though. Be it in a sense of personal growth or something more outward and noticeable.
We’ve experienced a lot of these as a team 😄
Changes that’ve made things pretty exciting.
Changes that’ve made things inexplicably more stressful and those that’ve gone the other way entirely.
Changes that’ve challenged our culture in both good and bad ways.
Changes that have reinvigorated me as a part of the team.
And for me, it all started in the new year.
New Year, New Focus
Way back in January 2019 the team and I decided we needed to realign our attention. To focus on delivering as much value to our customers as possible and make sure they were succeeding.
So I took on the customer education role. I switched up my duties from being focused on marketing to leaning into customer success—by which I mean actually helping our users successfully navigate the software and not “upselling more features”.
The switch helped me find clarity in my role. A better sense of purpose as part of the HelpDocs team. And it gave us all a clearer way forward. ↗️
I’d already begun live streaming sessions and workshops. And from that point they would be one of my main focuses.
So all that was left was for me to further embed myself in the support tickets. All the while desperately searching for new ways to educate our customers, to learn where and how we could serve them best.
It has become all about education now. 🤓
Our goal isn’t growth. That’s just a welcome bi-product of teaching our users how to get the best out of not just our software, but their knowledge base and support as a whole.
From Renter to Home Owner
Alongside all this, I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal change too.
You might recall back in April I found myself the proud owner of a not-so proud house. By which I mean one in need of a pretty huge overhaul. 🏚️
Flooring rotten to the concrete. A “kitchen” in a state of disrepair that’d make Heston Blumenthal long for a camping stove.
The change to a home owner begot more change as the home itself slowly but surely took shape over the last 4 months.
And it really was step-by-step.
After the initial stripping back and laying bare of walls and floors, the paint went on. 3 coats of the whitest white in every room.
Then—eventually—the boiler got repaired and all the windows and doors replaced. 🚪
We had a clean, fresh canvas ready for some inspired design choices fresh from a 1970s edition of Good Housekeeping. 🖌️
The logical place to start was with the typical installation of affordable-yet-functional—and surprisingly durable—Scandinavian kitchen units. And with the addition of a few hand-picked pre-loved white goods from Facebook’s marketplace, we had a kitchen!
Then the garden took shape. Cat and her green-fingered mum stripping it back to the roots. Me laying three-quarters to turf and then Cat planting up a veg patch.
To many the garden might not have been a necessity but we’re “outdoors” types. Having a garden to make our own is a massive thing for us. So the interior took a back seat for a few weeks.
Being able to sit out in the heatwave in the shade of an umbrella from the late 80s made it worth it too. As does now being able to reap the rewards of well attended vegetables.
Then we moved on to my office room. White. Functional. A few pictures on the wall. A filing cabinet that is definitely not filled with all the junk I couldn’t fit in elsewhere (he lied!). Shelves and a desk made from scaffold boards.
Nothing too fancy. Just functional and finished well enough that I won’t be doing anything to it any time soon!
Then the living room and then to the front lounge. Building and tiling a new hearth. Then more paint. More sealant around holes and cracks. More paint!
Then—finally—we got to laying the flooring.
I can’t put into words how much the change from Victorian concrete and wooden beamed floors to shiny new laminate really makes the home feel, well, like a home.
Although there are still things left to do. It finally feels like we have a real, bona fide house.
With only the stairs carpet left to go down it feels surreal. A mere 4 months have passed. Yet the shift from renter to home owner and from shell to home has been dramatic. 🏠
I’m not ashamed to admit my sin. I’m incredibly proud. Not least because of how hard we’ve worked to bring the house back from the brink. But because it’s something I never thought we’d be able to do.
Some Things Never Change
Of course, not all change is as easy as renovating a house. 😏
Probably the biggest for me as part of the HelpDocs team is my team. Growing the Customer Education team to accommodate the increasing demands of the day-to-day work.
And managing the shift in my role away from being an individual contributor responsible for, well, everything to do with customer education.
On reflection I think part of my struggle to hire has been a personal conflict. An innate pushback against the inevitable change in the team and my role. 🙅
I’ve always been the kinda person who wants to do. So I’ve been battling with myself. On one side, my desire to contribute something meaningful and valuable and on the other finding someone who can come in and add another element to the Customer Education team.
I guess it’s about “protecting” the education side of things too. Although it’s in the early stages, it feels like my part at the company.
The thing is, Jake and Jarratt trusted me to come in and help change the culture and the company. So perhaps I need to embrace the changes and trust someone to do the same for my small part it. 🤷♂️