Brianna Carney is the Co-founder of CrewBloom and operates next to her partner, Kate Ringcodan. Brianna’s primary responsibilities include managing new business, facilitating client relations, account management and overseeing the financial aspects of the brand.
Brianna admits to not being much of a morning person.
She woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast and caught up on the news before starting her day.
Brianna works from home so her daily commute is a mere few steps!
She has designed a separate home office for work. Given she spends more time in her office than any other room in her home, she has turned it into a sanctuary with a productive, peaceful vibe. She lights incense, burns candles and works to keep the flowing energy positive.
Brianna doesn’t believe in a secret sauce of productivity while working at home but rather learning and understanding how your own self operates best. At first, developing a clear, remote routine is difficult but after gaining some momentum, Brianna finds the workflow continues until she decides to turn off for the day. Setting mental and physical boundaries between her working space and personal space has been particularly effective. As a spiritual person, she also meditates to take a moment in the middle of the day to recenter and focus.
Brianna started the day touching base with her co-founder, Kate, to discuss the tasks ahead.
Brianna knew from the start, Kate would exceed her expectations. Their relationship is incredibly close and Brianna boasts about Kate’s ability to discuss opposing views with her. As partners, it’s crucial the two debate various sides and share differing perspectives on certain things. This allows for all viewpoints to be considered when collaborating.
Fun fact: we would like to congratulate Kate for having her first daughter, in which Brianna is the God-mother! This is what makes the team at CrewBloom so special—it’s a company that treats their employees like family.
Brianna tackled emails and dove into team, client and prospect calls. This day, she inquired with a company for a LinkedIn-automation integration partnership and a banker to dispute a COVID related travel charge. She also hopped on a call with HR to ensure the gifts for CrewBloom’s anniversary-retention program were eco-friendly and branded.
CrewBloom is currently implementing automation for LinkedIn prospecting and Brianna reviewed the data with that particular partnership. For business owners, lead-sourcing is critical but also time-consuming! Automation for LinkedIn proved to spark a few different opportunities and was an efficient, worthwhile investment. The system works with a seamless AI contact platform and empowers CrewBlom’s sales force to have folks to connect with, as a result.
Outside of LinkedIn, Brianna utilizes a few other key tools to keep her business running smoothly:
While Brianna doesn’t facilitate many calls with prospective clients, she supports the sales team that drives these outbound opportunities. CrewBloom utilizes sales calls to prospects that have come through their internal network organically or have been acquired through an outbound lead using marketing tools like SEO, PPC (price-per-click) campaigns and ad spend.
During the acquisition process, CrewBloom strives to build trust right off the bat. About 50% of CrewBloom’s clients were outsourced previously and the other half, have not. The sales team offers a demo process for clients to develop an understanding of the talent and resources before closing out via electronic agreement. A dedicated Account Manager then oversees the partnership while helping to schedule and conduct interviews and establishing a training launch date once a candidate is given an offer.
Time Factor, CrewBloom’s trusted partner, comes into play here, tracking the remote work completed. CrewBloom’s main stream of revenue comes from a percentage of the hired worker’s hourly wage, rather than a single commission or retainer and a client has two weeks to terminate an agreement.
For Brianna, traveling and handling affairs from the Philippines and Manilla occurs for various reasons. Her people have become her family and relationships within the team have developed far beyond the office. She travels to Manilla to remain connected and to attend graduations or family gatherings of her team. For business, Brianna travels to meet with legal teams or to fulfil company holiday traditions (picking up trash on Earth Day, for example.) The environment of employeeship vs. contractorship or partnership looks different to every overseeing government. Understanding the different rights and benefits of employees in various countries is crucial to uphold the brand’s ethical standards. Playing by the rules both legally and financially as a collective team keeps the grounds even and ensures all employees are achieving exactly what they deserve within their roles. It is not uncommon for CrewBloom’s clients to try and cut corners or drill down on margins but this quickly becomes conflicting with CrewBloom’s values. Holding true to Brianna’s practice of playing fair ties into her overarching mission of remaining people-first.
Brianna took a break to eat lunch at her desk and meditate for 20 minutes. Other days, she will unwind with a quick chapter of her book to refocus her energy before finishing the day.
Brianna began meditating as a healing practice while experiencing a profound and challenging breakup only nine months into CrewBloom’s life. She was forced to dig deep within and pursue a better version of herself. Meditation was nothing short of a lifesaver, forcing Brianna to take time to exhale, refocus and unwind. She incorporates sound tools to her practice, as well.
When Brianna reaches for a book, it is her daily journal of mindfulness, The Art of Stopping Time or The Obstacle Is The Way; both of which having equally profound and positive impacts on Brianna lately.
After meditation and some deep work, Brianna took a few more afternoon calls with her client, a mentor and her finance team surrounding the pace towards Q2 revenue goals. She also took a call with recruitment to sort through a small hiccup regarding the submission of W8-BEN tax forms.
Phone calls take up a large portion of the day. Brianna has quarterly performance calls with her teams along with routine client calls to defuse any fires of wage negotiation or other pressing requests.
Brianna also calls her team members for, “human huddles.” During this time, Brianna and each employee catch up on personal things like family, friends, kids or new recipes. She and her employees find this time valuable and special to instilling the unique culture CrewBloom represents. As each team member works remotely, this practice is especially important to creating closeness while physically far away.
If the team isn’t on a “human huddle,” they can be found on brand happy hours, as well! These occur on Friday’s between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. The team shares drinks together and plays games; bonding activities often missed in an office setting.
After work and in her spare time, Brianna loves scuba diving, running marathons, reading, cooking and volunteering with the Special Olympics where she coaches participating athletes and takes part in their Leadership Council. She also makes time for her friends and family; who she is incredibly grateful for.
Brianna received her undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management in a swift three years with the motivation of traveling before starting her career. After graduation and before moving to New York City, Brianna did exactly as planned and spent close to five years in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Once settled back in the States, she began working at a startup firm and gained experience scaling small companies. Brianna then moved forward working as a business development manager for Amazon and in the process, learned how impactful a global workforce can be for an organization. Brianna recognized sourcing off-shore talent to be an underutilized method to scale small teams while simultaneously lowering company costs and increasing brand diversity.
Brianna left Amazon after two years and spent the next year traveling through Asia. This period allowed Brianna a moment to exhale, debrief and digest her learnings while furthering her interest in the abundant resource of global human capital. Her trip ended in the Philippines, where she was first introduced to the warmth of the people and culture. A change in travel plans led Brianna and her partner, Kate, spending two weeks in the city of Manilla where the two built strong relationships with the community. It was in Manilla when Brianna began to center her focus on the common denominators between all people and truly see the opportunity in sourcing talent out of the United States.
For many companies, off-shore efforts feel out of reach for the assumed lack of trust. Brianna believes there is a cultural misalignment here and thinks refraining from venturing outside of comfort zones leads to missed opportunities of incredible resources. All humans are equal!
When Brianna returned, she started CrewBloom. She saw an opportunity to disrupt the already established call center industry and set out to connect individuals with roles they would love. Shortly after, Brianna met her co-founder, Kate and initially brought her on to oversee operations. The two worked on a rigorous screening process for applicants and clients to differentiate CrewBloom from the rest. CrewBloom now has access to the top 2% remote professionals in the Philippines and clients supporting a human-centric workplace. With leadership built on confidence and empathy, Brianna guarantees client satisfaction by taking care of her people. For her, preserving humanity in the workplace is crucial in a world that’s becoming more technology-focused by the minute and that trust continues to be the recipe for her successful business. CrewBloom also partnered with Time Doctor, a remote team tracking platform, that has helped them sustain a fully distributed team.
When you put yourself out of your comfort zone, more creative thoughts evolve from inspiration.
What would you advise aspiring entrepreneurs?
In any for-profit environment, the oxygen is revenue; don’t overlook that. The goal is to set aside our egos and generate revenue as soon as possible.
Brianna also discusses having a plan in terms of finances and being comfortable with sacrificing old spending habits or certain entertainments for the initial burst of the company growth. She emphasizes breaking boundaries by having the uncomfortable, real conversations with mentors and being authentic. Expressing genuine concerns, problems or obstacles while building a brand is the only way to receive clear advice on how to move through those inevitable roadblocks.
Talk about pain and challenges wholly. We don’t know everything and we have so much to learn.
The last thing Brianna would advise aspiring entrepreneurs is to focus on conducting business as soon as possible. After she returned from traveling to Asia to start CrewBloom, the initial steps in launching her business consisted of reaching out to former connections (as quickly as possible) to acquire her first client. Taking the shot and going after the goal without hesitating is imperative and what catapulted CrewBloom into the success it is today.
How do you define a successful day at work?
For Brianna, every day is successful and here’s how she explains why:
Even on the worst days, when clients or contractors are unhappy or we fall short… we have an opportunity to learn and do better.
Brianna notes that oftentimes, days filled with obstacles are more successful than when everything seemed to go smoothly or wins are celebrated. Challenges require strategy and as a result, lessons are learned. Roadblocks bring about fantastic opportunities for growth!
At the beginning of CrewBloom, Brianna never allowed herself to stop working until anything and everything felt accomplished or solved. Now, she has clearly defined boundaries—shutting her office door, changing her work clothes, washing off her lipstick and making a mental shift.
Symbolical pivots to turn off allows for a healthy work-life balance. Brianna also recognized that the work will never be done, but the time comes where her productivity starts to decline and she’s ready to unwind. This can lead to tasks shuffling to the next day’s to-do list. For example, unfinished tasks from this day were scheduling a dentist appointment, auditing Monday boards, a few HubSpot dashboard tasks and editing marketing content. She is content with wrapping these things up the following day.