Today, meet our unique Grower Empowerment Specialist, Elijah.
Who is Elijah?
Name: Elijah Kruse
Role: Makes sure that our growers stay happy and get the help they need to succeed.
Coffee count: Acceptable.
"On average...probably around six."
Kryptonite: "That’s tough, my life is a pretty open book. I floss...I guess that’s something most people wouldn’t know. "
That Elijah has nothing to hide isn't that hard to believe. What puzzles me is that he considers flossing something to confess. Who's been teaching you dental hygiene, Elijah?
Superpower: As per the quickly establishing tradition, I asked the team to describe Elijah in a few words. "Inquisitive barefoot," was the first answer I got. In addition to his barefoot quirk, Elijah watches fly fishing videos to focus and subscribes to the bizarre "chicken and waffles" fad. But as another team member noted, he's also "very relate-able, which makes him a great account manager." We all agree on one thing: that Elijah has untouchable good humor.
What keeps Elijah so positive?
I think it's that he's enjoys the little things to their full potential. That frees him up to not just accept opportunities, but really take joy in them.
What was the last job you had?
"I worked for the highway department testing bridge surfaces. More than anything it was a driving job but it also allowed me to spend my summers outside and all over Wyoming.
Once I researched (Bright Agrotech) further, I was excited by the opportunity to engage myself in a company that was working to empower individuals to change the face of agriculture. My grandfather was a regional distributor for a major tractor corporation, so I take some pride that we are in essentially the same industry (just a few decades and cultural mindsets apart)."
Let's take a look at how Elijah does this in his daily life.
A Day in the Life of Elijah
8:00 - Generally, I’ll plan out what I need to get accomplished that day, then I’ll fill in the rest of my schedule with less pressing tasks that I’d like to get done that day. I bring a fruit and veggie smoothie of sorts in with me every day that I’ll start into once I sit down at my desk. It doesn’t taste all that great, but it wakes me up faster than any cup of coffee. After planning, I’ll sift through my email inbox to see if there are any major issues that require my immediate attention. Then it’s on to the morning meeting with the rest of the sales team.
9:00 - We had our morning meeting. Discussed our daily plans and large prospective customers/issues that need to be worked through with said customers. Now I am following up with various customers, retailers, etc.
I really enjoy reaching out and talking to customers, both existing and potential, about their growing systems and ambitions. It’s refreshing to speak to men and women who are enthusiastic about their work and have a true desire to improve the agricultural industry no matter how large the scale.
(Also I did 10,000 pull ups and yoga. Simultaneously.)
10:00 - Processed some customer issues like a product return, now I'm going to finish up the application for the Jumpstart program and do some edits in our shop back end.
11:00 - Finished up the edits to the shop and Jumpstart program. Now I'm doing research into potential retailers and am going to do some more work with a couple of contracts that we are going to be using.
12:00 - I'm trying to make it easier for our retailers and wholesalers to order products through our web store. Doesn't look promising. And I'm still working on the contracts. That'll probably be off and on for the rest of the day.
1:00 - I am working on the contracts some more. Digging for clauses etc that we definitely want to include. Just about to go on lunch break.
2:00 - So, update. Lunch was nice. I sat by the river and watched the clouds go by. That's what I do pretty much every day for lunch. Very relaxing. Now I'm going to respond to a couple of important emails that I got over break, get some coffee, then I'll try to work out that retailer/wholesaler biz mentioned above and review some materials before my meeting with Nate at three.
3:00 - Had a meeting with Nate to discuss our Asian business and markets, then I had an impromptu photo shoot with Tyler for the Jumpstart Farmers promotional materials. Now I am going to draft a report for some financials that I reviewed for Nate.
4:00 - Just finished that report for Nate. Discussing options for my failed mission to find drop ship options in BigCommerce with Elesif, looking for alternate ideas. Also going through my inbox again to see if there are updates on important things. Listening to the Flying Burrito Brothers.
5:02 - I finished emails. Cleared out my inbox and now I’m catching a ride home because it’s raining.
Elijah's Hacks, Tricks, and tools for Productivity
If I can take a couple of minutes to take a step back from whatever I’m working on, it allows me to refocus my efforts and produce things at a higher quality and quantity. Usually I’ll go outside and walk around the office for this.
Half my time is at a corner desk that is littered with monitors, sticky notes, mugs and other drink containers. The other half is spent in a lawn chair in front of our office using milk crates as a desk. Now that the weather is nice, I really prefer the milk crate office, though my feet have gotten burned in the sun once or twice already.
The whole culture of this organization is fantastic. I love being in an environment where ideas are not valued on the “expertise” of the mind that they came from. If you have a great idea for a new product design, it is seriously considered whether you are the head of R&D or a greenhouse intern.
Needless to say, we enjoy having Elijah here. He creates as much of that healthy, happy environment as anyone!