How to grow and when you know: We chat business with Eleanor Pendleton from Gritty Pretty.
While most of the world operates from January to December, there are millions for whom the start of the year is marked by the end of the financial year. So, for those of you working July – June - business owners, marketeers, accountants, university students starting a new semester - we have just the answer for you.
Introducing our brand new Mid Year Diary.
With all the features of our best selling 2019 Weekly Diary including a week per double page spread, luxe Ivory acid free paper, organisation tips and goal planning pages, the mid-year diary also features new budgeting pages and monthly focus quotes. Other details include a durable bind, a back pocket for storing loose items, an elastic closure and two bookmarks. While we can’t promise that a new diary will keep you in check at all times, it is a stylish place to start. There’s just something about committing plans to paper that makes it a little more authentic than Google Calendar.
To inspire your 2019/2020 year, we stole five minutes from our inspiring friend and revered businesswomen Eleanor Pendleton to chat business and trusting your intuition.
Founder and Editor in Chief, Gritty Pretty.
As a business owner of a growing company, what is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt when it comes to managing staff?
I’ve learned to let go and delegate. One of my favourite things to do is delegate, delegate, and delegate. I’ve been mindful to scale my digital media company thoughtfully, never rushing the process. Along the way, I’ve gone from doing every single job within the company (when it was just me working off my second-hand laptop in my sun room); being the team graphic designer and beauty editor to the sales executive and stylist. As the company has grown, so too has the quality and quantity of content we produce. I choose to hire individuals who work to their strengths and my weaknesses. When bringing on new staff, I’m very much aware and respect they may take different steps as to what I would to get from A to B but as long as they get there in the end, that’s all that matters. I’m really passionate about creating a work environment where everyone’s ideas are heard, their creativity is fostered and they love coming into work every day. Our office is a beautiful, creative space to be in.
Many small businesses avoid hiring senior positions in a bid to save money, however you have several senior leaders within your company. Was there a strategy behind this and what advice do you have for other business owners when it comes to recruiting staff?
I didn’t start with senior leaders. Initially, I started with a part-time graphic designer and part-time beauty writer to help me scale so that I could continue fulfilling revenue-raising work. Now, four years into running Gritty Pretty as a company, we have several senior positions including Creative Director, Executive Editor and Brand Partnerships Manager. Every hire has been strategic. When hiring, an $X salary doesn’t mean you need to earn par $X dollars in income – you need to be bringing in a lot more revenue to cover $X salary plus overheads such as insurance, commercial lease, utilities and computer equipment. When recruiting, I advise conducting more than one interview and providing the applicant with a test. For us, it’s either a brand synopsis (how they see Gritty Pretty’s positioning) or a writing test for our beauty journalists.
What are your top tips for new managers?
Trust your gut. I didn’t once, I hired someone who in hindsight wasn’t right for Gritty Pretty and it backfired. I now realise that I knew deep down that individual wasn’t the right cultural fit – I chose to ignore my instinct in order to give an individual the benefit of the doubt but in the end my intuition was correct and that energy began affecting my team. The lesson I learned from that experience is always trust your intuition.
Do you have any favourite leadership or management books or podcasts?
I loved Hayden Cox’s book, New Wave Vision. While he is a pioneer of the surfing world, an industry completely unrelated to mine, his wisdom and openness to share from his mistakes is so refreshing and honest. I took a lot of practical takeaways from his book.
I also love Startups & Self-Care by Megan Larsen (founder, Sodashi skincare) – she speaks to me in a way that really resonates marrying what it means to be a strong female leader who can also be soft and empathetic.
PREORDER The Mid Year Diary HERE.
Visit Gritty Pretty HERE and follow Eleanor Pendleton HERE
Photographer: Maree Homer.