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My Phone Rang Early

Written By: Lauren Howard



My phone rang early. 


That usually meant that something was (metaphorically) on fire. 


A patient needs something urgently. There is a giant billing issue. A state filing didn’t go through. Things like that. 


It was my business partner, who I talk to 20 times a day and who is usually starting work around that time. 


“What’s up?” I answered. Confession: I was still a little groggy. 


I braced myself for whatever inevitable impact was coming. Something had to be burning down. 


“Nothing. I just wanted to call and say thank you for all you do.” 


I immediately responded with “What did you do?” and went down the rabbit hole of what mess I had to untangle. 


People only say nice things when they need something, right? 


He laughed. “Nope. Nothing. I know how much you put into making us successful and how stressful our last big pivot has been, and I see it and appreciate it.” 


It’s pretty hard to leave me speechless, but I didn’t know what to say. 


I will work hard in the background for hours and days on end and ask for nothing. I will do all the things so quickly that people don’t realize there are things that were done or things that get done like clockwork every day. I plan and anticipate and handle before most people are out of bed. 


Seeing down the line is one of my superpowers, and it means that I'm kind of always on. 


That’s not a brag about my work ethic. It’s the reality of doing the work that we do and having the skills that I have. I also think it’s not that unusual because most successful companies have a me. Also, every woman I know is pulling strings in the background to keep things afloat, often around the clock. 


But I can count on one hand the number of times that someone has said it out of the blue and not as a response to deliverables. Just picked up the phone and said thanks. 


Also, that's not a complaint. I don't think it ever occurred to me that anyone could or would.


“Oh. Um. Yeah. Of course. It’s what I do,” was all I could fire back with. 


I didn’t realize that I needed to hear that, but based on the way it knocked me back while somehow simultaneously jolting me forward, I did. 


This is your sign to reach out to the person in your world who makes all the things work. Even the people who are running it all without breaking a sweat need to be seen. 


And if you’re the person doing it for everyone else, thank you. I see you. I know what that’s like, and I’m a click away if you need to hear that from me directly. 



 


Founder & CEO at elletwo



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