Name that Woman Trailblazer: Actress and scientific inventor, is the female archetype of that clichéd compliment; not-just-a-pretty-face. The Austrian-born film actress weaved her way through European cinema and into the realms of Hollywood’s archives before upturning her thespian success and pursuing her passion for technological invention. After meeting musical composer George Antheil at a dinner party, during the years preceding and including the Second World War, the pair pioneered the technology that would guide torpedoes to their targets in war. A system of communication that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth.
WOMAN OF THE WEEK
Meet Trivinia Barber 👋
I used to describe myself by sharing all my titles, wife, EA, leader, CEO, mother… but it’s more fitting these days to describe who I am behind all that.
Driven, honest, funny, kind, compassionate, innovative and straight forward. I still wear many of those titles above as I help leaders build teams they can trust, but as I’ve done the personal development work necessary to serve at the levels I do, I realized what I wish I’d learned at the start of my career: a title doesn’t define me. The impact you make wherever you are, does.
TOGETHER WITH SUNSAMA
All You Do is Win, Win, Win — No Matter What
Some weeks, your to-do list is overflowing with tasks .
Other weeks, you may be straight chillen’ 😎 (and probably feeling guilty that you’re not super busy).
Either way, it’s hard to keep sight of your wins and everything you’ve accomplished — we’ve been there, friends.
That’s why we’re so excited to be partnering with Sunsama — an in-browser app that helps you keep focused each day to hit your weekly goals, no matter what gets thrown into your schedule.
It integrates with the tools you’re most likely using already, and gives you daily prompts and reminders to organize your day to help you build lasting habits.
But don’t take our word for it — try it free today and let us know how it worked for you.
P.S. Their Focus Mode is a game changer 👌.
Q: How did you get into your current role/industry?
A: I was 18-years-old serving at a non-profit adult day care for Alzheimer’s patients in my first EA role. I had no idea what I was doing but I loved every minute of my learning. I used to tell the director “I’m going to be the boss one day.” I cut my teeth doing admin work for leaders making life changing impact whether serving in the non-profit sector, juggling multiple C-Suite execs, a corporate furniture business, and especially in the 12 years I spent in healthcare serving over 50 physicians and a practice manager.
I’d been working remotely (hybrid) since 2003, and struggled over the years with the desire to be a present mom, playing legos, being room mom at school, and my drive to be a top level employee. It’s a problem many new parents face and I knew there had to be a way for me to still provide incredible value to my leaders, AND go on the kindergarten field trip.
It became something I was obsessed over, and I was determined to find a way to make it work, and through lots of creative planning and some tough negotiating skills: it did.
For over 9 years I balanced working at home and being a top level EA. When the company I supported got bought out, I had to decide to go back into an office or find a new role that would keep me working in the yoga pants I wasn’t too keen to let go of.
I broke into the online space serving entrepreneurs as a freelance EA in 2012 and a whole new world revealed itself.
Little did I know, every role I had as an EA gave me the skills I needed to start my company, Priority VA, that same year.
I jokingly say I’m an accidental entrepreneur. While I knew I’d be in charge of something one day, I had no idea it’d be my own company.
I simply combined my love of people, my need to solve a problem I had in my own life and started the company that has gone on to place hundreds of EAs in either fractional part time contractor roles, or full time, direct hire roles for some of the most incredible leaders in North America.
I get to do meaningful work that marries two decades of serving as an EA and 9 years of leading a business, and fully know what it’s like to sit in both seats. I have a very different perspective and when I tell EAs, or the clients we serve that I have their back, it hits a little differently because they know I’ve been where they both sit.
Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
A: I have an entire morning routine that is 9 steps (and I talk about it on my podcast Diary of a Doer in episode 8) that includes everything from meditation and apple cider vinegar water to exercise and gratitude. It’s the number one game changer for not more productivity but a better attitude, too.
Q: How do you find work-life balance?
A: The only way you’ll find it is to realize it doesn’t exist.
A friend of mine once said “If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to realize now that you will need to hurt people you love.” I think this is true of anyone who aims to do meaningful work. You will need to take a late night call and cut story time short, miss an after work celebration with your favorite work-mate to go to the dance recital, terminate an employee you came to adore, or let go of a client you built a fantastic relationship with but can no longer serve well.
There is no balance. There are only choices, and acceptance of the consequences of those choices. So, be very clear of the consequences and choose wisely.
For a practical tip (which is what everyone wants), I’d say: have a very clear start and ending routine to your day. I block my calendar at my designated end time and it says: Shut it down. Be with your girls. Your job is done. Good job.
It’s directive. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a mandate. It reminds me of my why (my girls). It tells me what I already know (I did enough today!), and it’s affirming (in a world where we all are so mean to ourselves, I chose to be kind to the one I’m always with: me).
And still — it’s a choice. I have to choose to be done, or push through. And there are consequences on either end, aren’t there?
Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
A: Don’t outsource your self esteem.
People are going to build you up, and others will tear you down. You cannot build a life on what other people think of you. Good or bad, it will destroy you.
Get to know and love yourself. Then, you’ll never be burdened by what others think of you.
Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
A: OneTab. It’s a Chrome plugin that keeps every workflow I need organized and separated. Simply deploy one tab in a new window and everything I need is ready to go. It takes time to set up, but will save you loads of time.
This is particularly effective when you serve a leader that insists on “doing things themselves” and then gets caught in the weeds. Help them by having a one-tab in their calendar appointment with ONLY the links they need to execute on.
Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?
A: The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board by Keith Cunningham.
HBR IdeaCast is always a go to favorite of mine.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
A: Hands down, I love to cook. I love that there is a finished product, that I can taste and adjust along the way and (usually) fix any mistakes I make. I love watching people enjoy food I create and dream of going to culinary school just for fun one day. I have no desire to work in kitchen but learning among great chefs is a new life goal of mine.
TOGETHER WITH BONUSLY
Need Some Motivation?
Motivation is a crucial component for employee engagement and overall success in any organization.
So while it’s normal for everyone’s motivation level to dip from time to time, it’s a real problem when you and your team are consistently uninspired and disengaged.
That’s why we’re sharing 20 of our favorite ways to increase and sustain motivation in any workplace with this free download:
- ✨The single thing that will boost motivation for 70% of employees
- 🙌 Low- and no-cost ideas to effectively motivate your team
- 🧠 Exactly why these methods are so powerful
BLESSINGS IN LESSONS
Good Leaders Teach
When I became a leader, I quickly learned that how I respond when someone makes a mistake will either strengthen or destroy a relationship. I once worked with teammates that botched a high dollar contract that would have doubled our revenue, and we lost the deal.
I was angry, but I had a decision to make. It was a big enough mistake worth terminating someone over, and some leaders would have done that without a second thought.
In that moment, I got to lean into every ounce of personal development I’ve ever done to decide if I wanted to teach, or if I wanted to preach.
I could have preached about what they did wrong, and harped on how they blew a massive opportunity for us.
I remembered the time when I served as an EA and sent a broadcast email to 120,000 people from my boss’ private email address. I too, had made mistakes in my career. I was hard enough on myself. I didn’t need my boss to berate me. How my leader showed up all those years ago, gave me the sense to show up differently than my instincts wanted me to.
I decided that I would teach them about mercy and not justice.
I would teach empathy and compassion.
Instead of irreparably damaging relationship with two great employees, I used it as a moment to ask “Is this a people problem, or a process problem?” and sure enough, the people, as I expected were good humans, who meant no harm. The process simply needed to be tightened up.
How you lead when things are going wrong will ensure you’ll have a team with you when things go right.
Our awesome partners help keep our content free 🥰
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TeamOut is an online platform where you can easily book a team retreat so you can build stronger relationships with your work fam.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
🔖 Catch up on all Woman Wednesday newsletters here.
🖥️ Looking to invest in employee experience tools? Check out these recs.
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NOMINATE TO BE FEATURED
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