Quality control

When I started Wonder Shuttle, I was uncontrollably obsessive with quality control. I started out as a freelance writer, so the first thing I had to do was let go of control. Still, in my mind, every article had to run through me; I was the last line of defense, the buck stopped with me, and all of these other thoughts ran through my mind.

While some clients may have appreciated the spirit of it, it wasn’t the right way to think about a business. 

Experience has taught me that there are plenty of highly skilled editors who could actually do a better job of editing than me. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a look—but that I shouldn’t be reading and not doing structural and developmental and line edits on everything unless I had to.

In hindsight, I wasn’t only exaggerating my own sense of importance (which slightly helps an entrepreneur’s ego, and hurts the business much moreso). I was also trying to control the outcome: that if I put in every single ounce of effort I had, my clients would be satisfied and keep doing business with us.

Many times they did, and sometimes they didn’t. 

Don’t get me wrong. My team and I still prioritize quality, and I know it takes quantity to get there. But I’m also learning to be okay with letting go of control. Once a team member and client has earned trust from me, it’s okay if I’m not involved.

In fact, quality is a collaborative effort against “lgtm” culture. It’s best to work on the process of quality, and where to get people involved (I’m considering where to bundle incentives!), to help make the final work better and the process less stressful.

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