By Rachell Smith
In my nearly five years as a proud Collaboration team member, I have grown just as much as this amazing company. But now, it’s time to say farewell as I move on to achieve my own breakthrough performance at another SLO-based organization.
I first walked into Collaboration’s office as a marketing coordinator and grew into an associate consultant, and I’m leaving as an account manager and business development lead. Those who know me understand my drive for success, and I’m proud of my accomplishments at Collaboration. I supported the launch of new market initiatives in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, while strengthening our presence in SLO. I’ve relished my role as brand ambassador for our company and clients, and I excitedly supported the development of our verticals in construction, manufacturing, and professional services & technology.
The great thing about our business community is that it manages to be both small and large at the same time. I’ve run into countless clients while running errands, attending networking events, and celebrating our community at social functions. That won’t stop now that I’m with another organization, since we all know that once you dip your toe into the Collaboration family, you’re in it for life.
Before I go, I have a few pieces of advice to give. These are all things I’ve learned from Michael, this incredible crew, and other business relationships that I will always carry with me and spread to others.
Make Relationships a Priority. Cultivate strong work relationships to build up and inspire your teammates. We can all learn from one another — what better way than to mentor a new employee or ask questions of your supervisor?
Success Comes from Focusing on Outcomes. Always sit down and take a hard look at the big picture. Once you can see the final product, you can fill in the goals and strategies to get to that point and break it down to small milestones for growth.
Be Honest, Cultivate Trust, and Be Transparent. This goes hand-in-hand with building relationships. A team works best when each person is their authentic self and shares their ideas without fear. As the business owner, learn to be a collaborative leader!
Take Pride in Your Work. Truly — when my clients succeed, I’m absolutely thrilled. Seeing someone reach a goal that they’ve put countless hours toward is amazing. I am so proud of Collaboration’s clients and the work they’ve put in to accomplishing their goals and growing their companies.
You’re Not Alone. I have had the unique opportunity to engage with our clients from the very beginning. I’ve had countless conversations with business leaders throughout the Central Coast and Bay Area and learned that the person who just started their business is as worried about it as the person who leads a $50M company. Those worries are what drive us and keep us going. When you think it’s getting too tough, know that every business leader faces these concerns and you’re not alone in your fight. Find an advisor that you trust to help lead you through your leadership and growth strategies.
Working with people and helping them find the right solution is essential to my personal core values. With my deep knowledge about the Central Coast business community, I can help connect people with each other to find the best fit for their needs. I’m going to miss working with the Collaboration team and our clients on a day-to-day basis. Collaboration’s community is larger than the people sitting on the consulting bench — it’s clear that our influence goes beyond an engagement. I’m so proud of the relationships I’ve made through my time at Collaboration, and I’m overjoyed for the work that Collaboration has done and the impact we’ve made on our business communities, our clients, their lives, and their families, too! Please, stay in touch, and I’ll see you around.