Luci Creative’s CEO & Partner AJ Goehle was recently featured in the Fall Edition of Enterprising Women. AJ, along with two other members of the Chicago Chapter of Women Presidents’ Organization, were asked to share what has changed for them since the outset of the global pandemic and how they have tackled the difficult challenges of running a new styled business?

You can read AJ’s column below, and the full article here.

How 3 Chicago Business Owners Tackled the Global Pandemic Successfully

On March 28, 2020, I entered the hospital and delivered a beautiful baby boy. March 29th, I stood in my home holding him, looking out the window thinking: How am I going to keep my company together, nurture my newborn, home school my kindergartener, and support my husband? It all mattered equally. (Maternity leave be dammed!)

Acknowledging the emotional needs of my creative teams was critical to our success. In turn, they acknowledged mine – and together we held each other up, encouraging an enormous amount of flexibility and trust that the work would get done regardless of the setting. We embraced new processes for collaboration. Virtual tools enabled us to truly “see” and “create” together.

This new virtual studio allowed me to gauge my team’s individual engagement and mental health. It was important to circle back when something felt off. Each one-on-one included an agenda and an open-ended opportunity to express vulnerabilities.

We celebrated everything. We connected over happy hours, Instagram challenges, social team building, and even had virtual drinks with a drag queen in Portugal. Under normal circumstances my team may not have been open to the new ways we found to connect, encourage, and respond to each other.

This has all resulted in a stronger team that dials direct when conflicts present themselves, minimizes drama, and has created a newfound trust. I am a less rigid leader, and as a team we continue to leverage imperfections as opportunities. Today the office is open, the chairs are filled a few days a week, and we see each other with new
appreciation for individual processes.

As we continue to deal with the pandemic, our energy has propelled our growth beyond all expectations. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have done and how we did it.