First and foremost, I’m thankful that the BOMANI Cold Buzz team is staying healthy, happy, and safe during this time. I firmly believe that our business’ success is a reflection of being true to our purpose and prioritizing our wellbeing first – we consider ourselves a family and take care of one another accordingly.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs reach out to check on us – many of whom have asked for some advice after learning how well we’ve performed during these unprecedented times. I’m grateful and proud of how we’ve all managed to navigate the waters through this pandemic, and want to share the four cultural pillars that have helped us along the way, which are: keep work fun, keep your eye on the ball, support one another, and enjoy something non-work related.
Keep work fun
A few weeks ago, our team connected via Zoom for a meeting where we expected to see Amin Anjedani, our Co-Founder and Chief of Product & Design, sporting his usual, full beard. To our surprise, he debuted a shockingly powerful mustache and we all had a great laugh about this Freddie Mercury lookalike, including the counterparty.
On this same wavelength, we have started to adopt Aloha Fridays, where we all wear floral shirts for the day and wrap up the week with a virtual happy hour. Working hard and having fun are not mutually exclusive!
Keep your eye on the ball
To keep ourselves on track, we consistently empower one another by reminding each other that we’re allowed to focus on the tasks at hand. We practice this habit across the board – including simplifying our goals for each meeting down into the “why, what, how” system: why you called the meeting, what you learned during the meeting, and how you plan on executing next steps.
With all this focus on productivity, we believe it’s important to take time and recognize wins. This is not to say that we high-five and spend all our time celebrating – but a genuine, focused, 5-minute celebration brings well-deserved recognition to the team and keeps morale high.
Support one another
Every morning, we have a call where we are honest & vulnerable with one another, admitting to our team when one of us either needs support or can offer support for others. On top of that, we wrap up each day with a second daily call – this one includes Nick Gagliardi, our Advisor & Corporate Strategy Director, and my mom (our Investor and Chairperson). Allocating this time to communicate gives us the opportunity to regularly support one another and/or recalibrate our priorities. Constant communication is crucial to being able to support one another – especially during this time.
Enjoy something non-work related
Before I dive into this last piece, I want to acknowledge the fact that I wouldn’t recommend for anyone to fill 100% of their time with activities – getting some R&R is a good thing! That being said, we find ourselves feeling the happiest when we have a chance to clear our minds and do something non-work related. For me, that’s increasing the time I spend playing the piano, giving myself time to write / journal, meditate, and video chat with friends & family.
The BOMANI Cold Buzz family has participated in this last pillar as well. Dustin Lester, VP of Finance and Operations has been taking time to read and try his hand at cooking. Jack Morgenson, BOMANI’s Field Sales Manager for Southern California, has also spent more time cooking, but with an emphasis on recipes from different cultures. Obviously, I made him promise me that I’ll get invited next time he makes Shakshuka. Amin has been working on his barista skills while learning more about home-made vegetable juices. Joe Molinaro, our Field Sales Manager for New York, has taken the opportunity to spend more time having fun with his kids, whether it’s having paper airplane contests or playing H-O-R-S-E in basketball. Kai, the self-titled “athlete of the group” has spent his time getting creative with at-home workouts and hiking with his little sister.
At the end of the day, I’m reminded that times are strange every time I grab a mask and gloves to go pick up eggs from the grocery store or when I work on BOMANI from my kitchen table. By staying true to the BOMANI Cold Buzz culture and vision, our team is happy and healthy (physically & mentally), which we believe is a key reason for our success to date. And although times are tough, it is truly beautiful how we’ve seen the world unite and adapt to keep each other safe and healthy.