I’m a fan of anniversaries of all kinds. Don’t you check your TimeHop and Facebook Memories every day? I believe that Jimmy Eat World was right – if you stick around, nostalgia really won’t let you down. So on a day like today, my business anniversary, I have to say all the things that I believe about what being in business six years means to me – and how I learned that it’s not just me.
2020 and a lot of 2021 was so hard. Mentally, physically, it was just hard. I gained weight, I stopped working out- I legitimately just couldn’t anymore. The only thing that kept me going? My family, my friends, and Misty Saves the Day. The team. Our clients and their dreams. I took on the weight of the world – and I believed that I could make a difference in whether or not our client’s businesses made it through. I never got COVID. I was lucky. But all the election things, the political turmoil, the way people were fighting on the internet on vaccinations vs. masks vs. social distancing vs. who to vote for? It made our jobs SO HARD.
Unbelievably hard. And you couldn’t step away. You had to find a way to compartmentalize. So what did I do? I couldn’t let businesses suffer during a pandemic. I took the weight of it on my shoulders – quite unnecessarily, because our clients are resilient all on their own. And in the midst of it, somehow, we grew.
We grew. We went from 5 to 12 employees. Added new clients. We just kept growing.
How We Grew
And then we added Brenna. She started off as a social media manager, and turned into our Operations Manager, and my right hand. She made it so that I didn’t carry the weight on my own – and helped keep our team motivated when I couldn’t motivate myself.
The beautiful part about our team is that they’ve always worked so hard for our clients. They ran themselves ragged making sure that last minute to-go menus went up for our restaurant clients, content clients had everything that they needed, jumped in to help with clients when other employees went out on maternity leave.
Who “We” Are
They aren’t just employees, they’re a team. We’re a team. We live all over. Rachel is in New York right now acting by night and scheduling social media by day (and vice versa). Jamie busts her tail as a stay at home mom finding the perfect hashtags for all of our clients. Jenna, not pictured here because she hadn’t been hired yet, is an organizational wizard. Diane is going to keep me on my toes – and make sure that our response times get so much quicker. Brenna knows all the foodie-restaurant things, and she’s so good at it.
Ashley’s all the way the hell in Roanoke, making Realtors in Hampton Roads look amazing (because they are amazing, and because she’s from here and knows what home feels like in VB). Sandy’s stepped in to help with some photography things as we’ve needed them. Britney’s got my voice down on this blog (this is the first one I’ve actually written in a while, but I bet you didn’t know that). Rebekah has been working hard for a lot of our retail clients, making things happen while we continue to grow. Lauren managed to have a baby this year and help us with new clients, launch a book, and you know, everything else. And then, you know, Chris. He’s just Chris and amazing and wonderful and keeps our web clients happy.
It’s Not Just Me
Here’s the take away: we didn’t make it 6 years because of me. It’s NOT me. It’s not just me. It’s this amazing team that has come together to make things happen for our clients. Our clients are amazing and get to know the team, so we can continue to grow and be better for them. When I had a hard time throughout this pandemic, the team carried us. They told me to take days off because I refused. Our team made it so that we could continue to be effective marketers – because it NEVER was all on me.
Sure, 6 years ago I had this crazy idea. Early on, I cried in a closet because I was worried I made a mistake quitting a perfectly good job to start something that was just mine. The biggest mistake was thinking that this needed to be something that I did on my own. And since I gave up some of that pride? Well.
I’ll let you know next year. But so far? So far I’m really glad that I did.
So what’s next?
Next, next it’s getting more organized. It’s learning that about scaling and how we all grow and scale together. It’s embracing this new version of work/life balance that I’m attempting (Wednesdays off, Fridays are editing days with no appointments, and Sundays are off!). TBD if that will work – but I’m excited to find out. That’s kind of the beauty of owning a business, right? You’ve got these amazing years (which is what this one ended up being, even if the start of the blog made it sound crazy), and you can make plans, you can make goals – but life will throw in something crazy like a pandemic, and you grow and make things better and pivot. Do I think we’re successful? Yes. Because in the end, pivoting is what got us here.
Thank you to our clients who have gotten us this far – and who trust us to manage their social media accounts, to take care of their dreams, just like this was my dream. Thank you to the clients who let us take their small dream and make it bigger, to help them pivot, to help them grow. Our growth is because you guys believe in us. Not just me- us. Thank you.
Photos by my wizard of an amazing friend and my person, Valerie Demo of Volt & Vox at Veil Brewing in Norfolk.