The last several weeks have been a nightmare for time. Every day I’ve been asked for help on a project while attempting to maintain my own. I’ve also been spending some time working on myself.
Not only have I continued reading 7 habits of highly effective people, I’ve been reflecting on my own experiences at LexBlog. Just getting into the end of the first section (intro and overview) of the book, it dawned on me how wrong I’ve been with my personal paradigm on projects. Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work has left me drained and emotionally exhausted from a constant need to prove my worth i.e. a “Personality Ethic”.
My set of work paradigms are changing towards a “Character Ethic”. I have seen this growth in myself and others.
Spirit of Project’s Past
I started at LexBlog as a Special Projects intern. It was both exciting and nerve wracking as every day felt like it could be my last. I had vendor contracts and internships before. They sometimes just “end” and that’s normal, but something kept driving me. I knew that LexBlog would be the perfect place to really stretch my legs with problem solving. I, myself, am a problem solver.
When I started at LexBlog, my job was simple. I was asked to “find all the law blogs”. By the time I had finished, I found over 10,000 blogs dedicated to all kinds of law. I still claim this as an odd bragging right.
I had other projects as well. Beyond categorizing thousands of blogs, I reached out personally to hundreds of worthwhile bloggers and made dozens of calls routinely. I used a tracking sheet that would later become the “Membership” sheet that is still being used 2 years later. I marvel at its use every time I open the spreadsheet.
I found stats, made charts, designed processes, and lead weekly analysis meetings. When I became a Business Analyst, I helped generate sales leads, met with publishing to build a better network, and learned to build/launch Syndication Portals. Each project was an opportunity to show my worth.
Spirit of Project’s Present
As I’ve transitioned into a full-fledged Project Manager, I’ve looked upon this year and what that has meant.
Here are only some of the projects from the year:
- AmLaw200 – Finding every blog of the top firms, including ones they didn’t know they had themselves. This also included finding contact information and technical information on each blog.
- Manual QA the RSS aggregator – At some point, I was the primary person that was adding memberships. It was a tedious process. Thanks to our developer Scott the system is in place to make things easier. I got to help with my first time learning about manual QA’ing through that build.
- Blog4good – Lead a team effort to build 40+ portals over the course of 2 months. Really it was a marvelous effort that showcased the spirit of our Support/Success team.
- Rewrite the Docs – Point was to update all of our technical documentation. It became a bit of a stalled/failed project early in 2020, but it’s seeing some light at the end of the year.
- Re-writing the launch steps – This has changed hands and ownership several times this year. Only once LexBlog’s new COO came aboard have we come together as a team to map out a better set of steps.
- PORTALS! – I’ve setup so many live portals this year I can hardly keep track. It’s been nearly 1/month. I’ve also been providing ongoing support, training, and docs to the editors of each portal. This includes: https://www.wislawnow.com/ , https://insights.nycbar.org/, https://www.goldenstatelawyer.com/, and https://www.arizonaattorneydaily.com/. There are several others, but those in particular had some of the most interesting work.
As I reflect more and more, I can see the work speaks for itself. I setup many of those projects. I provided training and support to clients (teaching certificate really came in handy). I helped others get setup for success (answered questions, took last min phone calls, made presentations on the fly). I also received a ridiculous amount of help in the forms of elbow grease, advice, and emotional support. I appreciate our team and all they do to continuously help me and others succeed.
Spirit of Project’s Future
There are several projects that I want to see happen this next year.
Google Analytics Cleanup – Currently, it’s a bit difficult to find a blogger’s account. I forsee spending time this next year getting our client’s google analytics accounts in order.
Domain cleanup – We have bought hundred of domains. Many of them are in use. Many of them are not in use. Some are on recurring subscriptions. It’s definitely worth the time to cancel out the ones recurring but not in use. Save the $$$!
Transition to something more – The plan, at some point, is to hand blogs back over to Support. It’s just not scalable to have one person working on this many new blogs, portals, migrations, redesigns, upgrades, etc. I’m not able to spend as much time on any one single blog to merit the help/assistance they deserve. The process for launching blogs is also not build for scalability. It’s not built for a lot of things, but that’s why we’re rebuilding the process.
I’m glad to be a part of the future of LexBlog. I can’t wait to see what the company will become when we come together as a team.
I hope that you look through all your work this last year and marvel at what you’ve added to your everyday rhetoric repertoire. If you get a chance, pick up The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m going to try and finish it during the holiday break. I’d like to come into the new year with a plan for my personal development, but not at the cost of my character.
As always, thank you for reading and have a Happy Holiday.