My mantra these days is, “Fail fast and always keep moving forward.” Inbound Lead Solutions (ILS) turns six years old this month, May 2019. Unlike in years past, I decided to mark the occasion with a little celebration of our #SIXcess and reflect a bit on the last six years and, more importantly, where we are going.
According to Small Business Trends, almost half of all small businesses fail by year five. Of those small business owners, only 25% of those businesses are started and owned by females, and only 14% were started and operated by people in their 30s. I find these statistics fascinating, and I am very proud to be operating a company against these odds. (And this is the first time I have ever sought out these numbers!)
When you decide to go all in with the road less traveled and choose entrepreneurship, NEVER dwell on the odds. Your North Star needs to be focused on managing your time and energy, the business, and taking care of your clients and staff. The rest of the world is going to give you challenges that rock your confidence and lead you to doubt yourself. Reading irrelevant stats on the internet is the last thing you need to help you succeed.
Last year was a pivotal year for me and ILS. While pregnant, I moved forward with our growth strategy and put together a company merger with a communications firm that has been in business for 12 years, and executed a growth plan to exponentially scale the business I founded, at the very same time that I became a mom. I was well aware that pursuing those dreams simultaneously would be an immense challenge. I had to rely upon the trust, vision, and support of an incredible team – a team I was growing, shaping, and defining, all the while learning about my own evolution and growth… and my limitations.
I am happy to share that in the last year we have tripled our revenues, clients, team members, and strategic partners. We have opened an office in Troy, Michigan, became members of the local Chamber of Commerce and other Metro Detroit organizations, and we were invited to join various local boards. We have ramped up our education, sponsorship, and mentorship initiatives by continuing to speak at local and national events, in addition to publishing branded and nationally syndicated content on leadership, marketing, sales, and communications. Additionally, we have been invited to be thought leaders on the local news with some frequency.
As we reflect on our accomplishments, I can’t help but think back to how it all started. I had returned to Michigan, after working in marketing for some very large brands in New York City for five years, to join the Molly Maid franchise corporate team in digital marketing for franchisees and franchise development. In those three years, I met so many wonderful people and entrepreneurs and had the gift of being able to refine my abilities as a marketer and leader. I also met some of my greatest friends, mentors, and clients while there.
During that time I learned some valuable lessons about myself and corporate America. I wanted to be the boss. I wanted the ball. I wanted a direct and limitless return on the investment of my time and brain power, and I wanted the control to build my own teams, set the culture, and take advantage of the opportunities I saw in the marketplace. I wanted to doggedly pursue my own dreams and agendas, not someone else’s. I also wanted to help other business owners grow their businesses in the “new” ways that I had proven to work at scale over the last 10 years of my career around the internet, technology, data, and social media.
The other reason I founded and launched ILS in 2013 was to give myself the power of choice. By starting a business venture where I was the boss it would allow me to have some control over my career and give me more flexibility when the time came to start my family and continue to manage my ever-growing eldercare responsibilities. I saw the struggles men and women were having when their lives were in direct conflict with work and they had none of the resources or allowances to make it all work.
I vowed that would not happen to me, and furthermore, I was going to build a company that allowed others to have access to those same opportunities. Just because people have lives and responsibilities outside of work, doesn’t mean they are not amazing and valuable contributors to your businesses. I argue that when you invest in people that know how rare these opportunities are, you find some of the most loyal, smart, empathetic, and efficient team members out there.
So, here WE are. I started something that has now become a team. Our clients. Our process, visions, and your goal. ILS and our cutting-edge communications division, Pitchnoise, has grown from a consultancy, into a full-service marketing and public relations firm.
Our mission is to develop strategies that help companies and brands tell better data-driven stories and produce thoughtful and relevant content with the purpose of aligning sales, marketing, and communications to reach your audience at all stages of the buyer journey, in any possible medium. The results of those efforts will be proven with the growth of brand awareness, engaged customers and advocates, enhanced market credibility, and increased leads and revenue.
We have a lot of announcements coming in Q2 and Q3 around new services, team members, and what’s next for Inbound Lead Solutions and Pitchnoise. We thank you for all your support.
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