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When your employees stay all night just to create a surprise for you

When your employees stay all night just to create a surprise for you

This morning, I decided to have breakfast at my favourite cafe, Hobba Prahran before heading to the office. I sat at Hobba with a big smile on my face. I have spent the past month with my teams in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Atlanta and it has been amazing.

The energy in each office, stand up meetings, pride in their work, on-boarding of clients and in general, their 'nice-ness' is beyond anything you would ever expect in an office environment.

I had a particularly stressful period of time. Hackers had attacked our business and we were leaking cash like no tomorrow. I handled it great for the first three days, then I fell apart. I felt like it was all too much. My life is full and to add that type of stress to my life, I felt overwhelmed. It was certainly challenging.

My team could see that I was stressed, and on my last day in the Melbourne office prior to heading to the US, the team wanted to celebrate my birthday. I asked them if they would mind if we didn't celebrate my birthday and celebrated just Christina's instead.

They were disappointed. I could see it in their faces, but they knew I was beat. 

To put life in perspective:
  • I have an international business and it's growing, so it requires me to be part of many aspects of the business to ensure a smooth transition in the growth phase.
  • I am building Robotic Marketer, the first robot that replaces marketing staff in the world, and that takes a lot of contracts, knowledge, facilitating the machine learning elements and in general building a business plan around that and working on crowdfunding.
  • We are behind in another technology build for one of my other companies, and I feel guilty - but my team had to drop everything for the 'hacking' issue.
  • Our real estate are being dickheads over parking and a new overzealous building manager stupidly deactivated my swipe card to get into the office.
  • I'm building a home as an owner builder, and I am behind in a few things which really annoys me.
  • I have a book that needs me to do a photoshoot for the front cover and I keep postponing because 'I don't feel beautiful enough to have my photo taken'. That I am sure comes from being overwhelmed with everything else.
  • Someone I really admire and respect doesn't believe something that I am doing business wise is a good idea because bigger companies have failed with unlimited budgets in trying to do similar.
  • Our APP still hasn't gone live - don't outsource to India ever again!
  • Our Marketing Eye Magazine is late too.

Writing it all out is like therapy, believe it or not. I feel overwhelmed but if I put everything in order, it will all fall into place. 

Then today happened. I walked into the office and there were balloons everywhere. I walked into my office and there was a tree on my wall with about 50 messages from people that are in our team from all over the world. The messages made me cry. Everything from 'working with you over all of these years has truly been a blessing', to 'have an amazing day and thank you for being a great mentor' and 'happy birthday, we all love you'. The one that struck a cord was 'to the happiest boss' and 'thank you for pushing me past my limits and teaching me to be a better marketer'. Amber wrote 'keep brushing off those haters off your shoulders'. Another 'you are always the life of the room and we are lucky to have such an amazing and fun boss' from Brice.

When you receive 50 odd messages from people that really are kind, appreciative, respectful and supportive - all of the worries in the world literally fall away. 

To my team, you have my heart. I love every single one of you and am so grateful for your kindness. Ironically, I said to Christina Kortesis yesterday who has been with me for 13 years, that this team that we have now is the best team we have ever had. What sets them apart is that 100% of the team are good people. How often can you say that in life?

THANK YOU!


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