There I was, three years ago to the day, sitting at my dining room table alone…
I didn’t know the first thing about starting a business. All I knew was that after decades of working for other accomplished leaders and corporations at other PR agencies and top news outlets, I had something different to offer. I knew I had the experience, and I had proven myself capable of working insanely hard in my career. I had lived through enough agency life to know what was missing from the industry, and how I could be different. My friends and family convinced me to go off on my own after many gut-wrenching, soul-searching, tearful conversations, so I finally did. It was not an easy choice.
I had little more than a dream, and not a fully-formed one at that.
What was that dream? What did I imagine this company would turn out to be? Well, I hoped to create a culture that was unlike anything else in the PR industry. I wanted to create something entirely new. I wanted to drive results for our clients that would speak for themselves. I wanted so much it was overwhelming.
Specifically, I wanted to make it to the three-year-mark. Because so many startups fail before they reach their third birthday, I saw that third year as a milestone I needed to reach before I could consider myself a “real” company. Get to year three—and you are the real deal!
Fast forward three years and here we are! Today we have a bustling, talented team and a roster of so many amazing clients, and it’s so much better than even my wildest dreams. I could never have predicted where this company would have gone. It’s been the most incredible and vulnerable journey of my life. In some ways, I can’t believe we’re here. I was plagued by self-doubt for years. It prevented me from starting a company or even saying those words or believing I could. When I finally took the leap, I was able to go with the flow and let go of the doubt because I was doing it—and doing it very well. So well that my inbox exploded, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and the clients came flowing in.
I have so many feelings today, but more than anything else, I feel so much pride about where we are today. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that this company that exists in the world today started from an idea inside my head. I didn’t have a partner. I didn’t take out tons of loans. Just one check from a family friend that was paid back within the year—which served more as the kick in the ass I needed to believe in myself. I’ve been able to support my family through it all with my sheer dedication.
That’s not to say that if I had done those things, I would be any less proud or any less successful. Building a company is hard f*cking work, regardless of the resources you start out with. So here comes the part where I gush about the support I’ve had through it all.
I am proud that I started on my own. But the major thing I’ve learned throughout this experience is that no one person can do it all. I’m not the best at everything, or even most things. I’ve had to hire people more talented than I am. I’ve had to let go of insecurities to make that happen, and the company has flourished as a result. It’s been a reminder to focus on the greater mission, rather than the glory of being the one to do it. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Ask anyone that works for me—I am always appreciative and grateful for the teamwork.
Today, we are creating true results for our clients. We earn them local and national media hits almost every damn day. We are performing more media trainings and public speaking trainings for corporations, which is one of my ultimate passions. I get up every single day excited to come to the office or to login from wherever I am because I know we’re creating something really special. People on my team left bigger, more established organizations to join us, because they know it too. Others make time to work for me while balancing other projects because they believe in our mission. Through our consistent work and positive reputation, our company has proven to me that we really are the best at what we do. We are creating a different kind of agency—one that celebrates flexibility alongside accountability. We are going against the traditional five-day chained to a desk workplace philosophy and pulling together the best talent from all over to do one thing—drive the best PR and social media imaginable while also having a happy and a healthy life. We have core values like authenticity and passion and trust. Our clients feel it, our team feels it, and today I am celebrating the beginning of a strong vision I have of growth, inspirational leadership and overwhelming passion to create the best PR company we can.
If I could go back in time to talk to myself three years ago, I would tell her to stop being so fearful. I would say, “you are more capable than you ever thought you were. The path is not as scary as you think it is.” I would also say “Protect family time. Don’t sacrifice it.”
Truthfully, it’s been a journey to balance this between the sleepless nights and weekends working, but I’m proud to say I am celebrating this anniversary on a family vacation spending precious time together.
Three years ago I couldn’t imagine what lay ahead and that terrified me. Today, I also don’t know what lies ahead. The difference?
I couldn’t be more excited.
Happy Anniversary Mekky Media! Three Years Strong!