How many times have you celebrated a “One Year” in your life?
Over and over, we celebrate or acknowledge a “One Year” (now more than ever with the new Timehop app), but each celebration or acknowledgement is for a different occasion: One year since I graduated; one year since he/she passed away; one year of marriage; one year with a pet; one year at the new job…the list goes on and on…
Although the New York State paperwork was filed in January 2014, February 17th of that year marked Casilio Communications’ first full day of business. This wasn’t my first rodeo. By that point, I had been working in marketing and advertising for seven years, and I had co-founded and co-managed a business before.
But this “One Year” feels like one of the more important “One Years” I’ll encounter on my journey.
An entirely new realm of triumphs and challenges accompanied my first year as the sole owner of a business. Here are some reflections about the things I’ve learned from this past year, which you will hopefully find useful for your own career path:
I lost my crutch. From my first job folding baby clothes at JC Penney, through my days in corporate sales, and my agency partnership – I’ve always had a crutch. While my previous positions allowed for a lot of independent thinking and decision making, I’ve always had at least one other person as a back up – making decisions with me or for me. This year, the success or failures of my business were now a direct result of only my decisions – I had no one else but myself to blame. Sole ownership meant sole responsibility and sole accountability. Scary.
Embracing the talents of others is key. I’m terrible at drawing. I get bored when I write technical copy. I struggle with numbers. Thankfully, I know others who can pick up where I lack. Surrounding myself with people who are more talented than me has been the key to a successful first year. I can confidently say that this year has been my strongest year for the portfolio because I accepted, and welcomed help. Being humble in your business, and asking for help, will ultimately help you be better than where you were before.
My family is incredible. My family’s wealth of business knowledge, and available office space has helped with a smooth transition. I truly enjoy talking with savvy business people, and being related to them makes this a more convenient and frequent activity. While I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a business savvy family, I encourage you to try and talk with business people whenever you can. My involvement with various networking organizations has dramatically helped with this as well. From Chamber members, to Rotarians and beyond – these groups provide a wide variety of business people, all with great advice to share. Talk to leaders, sales people, fellow business owners, and people from your industry. Build your resources, and learn from their experiences.
I would like to thank my clients, some of whom I’ve worked with for over seven years – all of whom I consider to be my friends. I would like to thank my fantastic vendors, and my team of go-to people who provide brilliant creative work. Thank you, Kellie Powell; she joined me on week two, and has helped me with both my business and my sanity. I told her I would give her bonuses for laughing at my jokes – however, I’ve never delivered on that.
Most importantly, I would like to thank my husband, Zach. Twice now, he has supported me trying to start a new business. Twice now, he has dealt with all of the accompanying hardships – from my earnings going back into the business, long hours, high stress, and the handful of times I’ve laid face down, on our family room floor for a good cry. His patience, kindness, and sense of humor are simply perfect.
Every year, I hope to continue celebrating a “One Year” of what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced during this incredible venture.