Roxann Lizardi | Crain's Connecticut

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Roxann Lizardi

Background:  

Roxann Lizardi is co-owner, with her husband, Paul, of Lizardi Jewelry. A few years after the Lizardis launched their company's website in 2009, they decided to close their jewelry store in at a mall in Enfield and work from home to keep up with the online orders.

The Mistake:

Instead of being proactive about what we needed to do every day, our company was being reactive.

When we started to sell our jewelry exclusively online, there were so many different areas of the job that came up day to day. We were filling orders, managing the website and creating new designs as each task demanded our attention. If you don’t get to all those background activities regularly, they just pile up and start to affect your daily stress levels and efficiency.

Of course, filling an order is more important than doing search engine optimization on your website. But there were always orders to fill. There was always a to-do list. You’re never going to cross everything off.

We also used to wait for inspiration to strike — and found we could be waiting a very long time. Or we’d try to do something logic-centered and then something creative about five minutes later. We’d switch back and forth.

We began to realize we really needed to block out a certain amount of time to let our brains do their own thing, so we started to schedule that in. Sometimes you need to just show up with the intent to do something creative.

We started giving each day of our workweek a focus: On Sunday, we fill orders that came in over the weekend. Monday, computer day, we update the website with all the new pieces we made and photographed the week before. Whatever is sold on Monday, we make on Tuesday. Wednesday became our creative day; we don’t even turn the computer on. On Thursday, we fill all the orders that were sold the previous two days. Fridays we photograph the new additions to our collection. Sometimes we’ll go offsite to take pictures on Soapstone Mountain in Somers, Connecticut.

Saturday is our day off.

Creating a schedule really does help to make everything feel like it’s running more efficiently.

The Lesson:

Creating a schedule really does help to make everything feel like it’s running more efficiently and smoothly. 

When we were just keeping up with what was really pressing on a certain day, we never focused on a lot of those other items, like SEO. Maybe that didn’t make or break the day, but if you don’t do any of it in a year, it does make a difference.

We work 10 to 12 hours, six days a week.  We try to double up sometimes. If we can do both the listings and the computer day on Friday, we can have an extra day off.  But we have to be careful that the quality doesn’t suffer. If you are just trying to get it done and don’t have the whole looming day to take your time, you could compromise your efforts and not enjoy the process as much. I think it’s important to love what you do and how you do it.

Photo courtesy of Roxann Lizardi