To overcome the challenge of finding the time and energy to engage with everyone—in between running a business and helping the world’s best leaders and operations teams get top-notch coaching—Maxine developed several strategies to stay on top of her processes and thoughtful with her interactions:
An obsession with operations: Maxine believes in automating work when possible. To that end, she’s built systems that enable humans to do the most human part of the process and systematized everything else away.
Thinking ahead: “I believe in the concept of a constitutional moment, where you think about how you want to respond to a circumstance before it arises,” Maxine says. “So when the circumstance presents itself, you can respond instead of reacting.” To do this, Maxine has built a lot of ‘if this, then that’ process algorithms that support her on things, such as which kinds of emails get which responses.
Prioritizing, aggressively: Maxine always prioritizes what she will and won’t engage with. “I prefer to do a good job on a handful of things than be spread so thin that I’m not able to show up in the way I want to,” she explains. So, for example, she’s decided she wants to respond to pitch decks with care (because in addition to being a CEO, she’s also an angel investor!). As a founder, she’s experienced the flippant responses some investors send that can be demoralizing and painful. As a result, she prioritized building a process that enables her to save founders from a negative interaction and communicate value to them.
It was when Maxine realized that she wasn’t getting to the end of her inbox every day and spending much of her time on admin tasks that she knew something had to change. “I knew that as Co Lab grew, the administrative load wouldn’t slow, so a more optimized system was the only way to get there,” she says. But, when the business got to the point where it had sufficient cash flow to hire someone, Maxine didn’t have enough work for a full-time employee or the time to hire a recruiting agency.