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Pam Crombie: Helping businesses thrive on the South Coast

Pam Crombie has over 15 years of experience in helping startups, small businesses, and individuals realize their financial and professional goals. She is the founder and CEO of Southcoast Business Advisors, and is also a development associate at Leadership Southcoast. On top of these roles, she volunteers with a number of organizations, including serving as a mentor for EforAll. When she is not dedicating her time and energy to financial literacy and sustainable business solutions, Pam also loves DIY projects, cooking, and gardening. 

For many years, Pam visited us at Groundwork in her EforAll mentor role. We were beyond thrilled when she became a full-time member this fall. Pam always lights up the room with her smile and can-do attitude, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

What’s your profession?

I currently have two professions – I own SouthCoast Business Advisors, where I work with startups and small businesses to streamline their accounting and operations to fuel growth, profitability, and sustainability. 

I also recently started working as employee #2 at Leadership SouthCoast. My title is Development Associate, but I do so much more than my title suggests. I’m tasked with all the financial responsibilities of the organization, and also grant writing, copywriting, alumni relations, program development, and anything else that Donna needs! 

Describe a typical day of work for you.

It depends on the day of the week, but I’ve been working very hard lately at time blocking, and doing my best to not multitask. Most days I start around 8am going through emails and setting my intentions for the day, and then throughout the day I schedule specific times for both specific tasks and free thinking. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

Trying to do everything. As most of us at GW know, running a side hustle and also working a “real” job is very challenging! I’m learning it is ok to say no to something you don’t want to or know how to do, and it’s ok to ask for help when you need it.

Do you have a morning routine?

I do! I am at the gym every morning by 4am, home around 6:30. I eat, shower, make lunch for the day, and generally start working around 8am. Of course this means I’m usually in bed by 7:30 or 8! 

What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?

I’ve recently started time blocking and going out of my way to not multitask, similar to the methods used in The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan (I highly recommend this book!) I also keep a running brain dump list next to my computer. When I’m in the middle of a task and I think of something I need to do or remember, I write it down and go back to what I was working on. In the past I would try to take care of whatever I thought of, and I would find myself getting nothing important done at the end of the day. Just by switching to making a list instead of tackling my thoughts immediately, my productivity and stress level has decreased significantly. 

What do you listen to during the day?

If I’m driving or at the gym, I’m listening to a podcast. My favorites are The Money with Katie Show, Acquiring Minds, and Choose FI. If I’m focusing on work, I’m listening to one of two playlists on Spotify – Swagger (when I’m trying to be creative) or Deep Focus (when I’m reading and absorbing something.)

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

Most importantly, my internet at home is garbage, and there are so many distractions! 

In all seriousness, a coworking space helps me focus better and work harder. If I get distracted and look around the room and see everyone else working, it gets me motivated and back to focusing. It’s also really nice to see different people every time and hear what’s going on in everyone’s life. 

What’s in your digital toolbox?

I use a RocketBook, which is an erasable notebook that you can upload pages to the cloud or your email. I’m a big handwritten notes person, so being able to marry handwritten notes with electronic storage is really important to me. The Google suite is my go to, I use Sheets for nearly everything, including my to do list, time tracking, and cash flows. I’ve recently started using AirTable and Canva too, and they are quickly becoming favorites of mine!

What’s the best part of your day?

This is a bit of a tough question. My first thought is to say waking up and going to the gym, but in reality I think it’s the feeling of checking something substantial off my to do list. It feels really awesome to see lots of lines through things at the end of the day, and knowing that there’s one less thing I procrastinated about.

In the summertime, my boyfriend Dan and I try to take a sunset ride in our very well loved 94 Jeep Wrangler. It’s a nice few minutes for us to spend together and unwind from the workday. 

What (or who) inspires you?

I take a little bit of inspiration from a lot of places, and I fully subscribe to the thought that you are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I’ve done some serious soul searching over the last year, and purposely surrounded myself with people with can-do attitudes, while letting go of the ones that are always unhappy about something (we all know someone like that!) I’ve learned to take inspiration from small things, such as a quote on a podcast or a smile from a stranger. 

Pam with her new fiancé, Dan.