2 min read

Things a Rookie Learns

Of the numerous things I’ve learned, here are 3 standouts that continue to impact my every day life.

21 months ago I graduated with a 4-year degree in marketing and finance. One month later I took my 4th job as a sales person.

The thing is, I really didn't want to be directly in sales. But, I knew it was my foot in the door to get a position that wasn’t open at the time…

Product Manager.

I have learned many lessons working for a small shop with 2 FTEs and 6 PTEs. You’re probably wondering why we have 6 part-time people. Fair question. The product that I work for (amohq.com) is a product launched from within a web agency. So most of the AMO team splits time between companies.

Of the numerous things I’ve learned, here are 3 standouts that continue to impact my every day life.

1.) Mitigated Speech must be used properly.

When discussing requirements with a potential customer, we were going back and forth to make sure that we had all of our ducks in a row and there would not be any surprises after the purchase. I made the mistake to speak in vague terms about a feature that we had in development but wouldn’t end up being released for about 9 months. I was sure to let them know we couldn’t offer it now but said it was on our roadmap.

Understandably so, the client was disappointed that it wasn’t available after 6 months. Though it was not a deal maker/breaker for them when choosing us, it was still enough of a reason for them walk away. They felt cheated.

I felt terrible. I never meant to lead them astray but I wasn’t clear about what our timelines looked like and how that might align with their expectations and plans.

2.) You can’t do it all, at least not at once.

Working on a small team, I wear multiple hats: sales, marketing, product management, copywriting, UX, and billing.

Ending my attempts to multi-task has been a game changer. Now, I break my day up in to chunks. This has been highly effective.

I do so in this way:

2 Hours for writing

3 Hours for sales/customer acquisition

2 Hours for support

1 Hour for checking metrics, meetings, and other internal things that come up.

I use Harvest to track my time on these sections so I can see new patterns forming in my time allotment.

3. Learn how to make people feel successful.

I don’t need to check everything off my to-do list for it to feel like a good day. I just need to see or hear that our team has been making progress and is moving in the right direction. (Often times, that means that our team has been checking off their to-do’s though.)

I used to feel bad giving people tasks that needed to get done. Mainly because I wouldn’t want to be doing the work that I was assigning — like writing help documentation.

Recently though, I found that some of the people on the team are very task-oriented and by giving them specific things that need to get done makes them feel helpful and successful.

Once I found that out, my task assignments changed from

“Hey, I have something I need help with and I know it’s not super exciting but…”


“Yo! It would be super helpful if you could take care of — {insert task} — for me.”

Simply changing how I asked for help on projects made me feel better about assigning them and helps my team realize they are doing more than just tasks, they’re making the business better.