As a business owner of 13 years, I’ve seen my share of ups and downs–and this year was no exception. At different times during the year, I had to dig deep and turn to my network to give me the affirmations I needed to keep going (and turning to my networking was not always easy for me to do).
While Allee Creative is here and going strong, we’ve changed a bit of the structure in the past months–and that can be scary (and exciting!) Just as we say from the literal meaning of our company name (a path between trees) that we are the guiding force down that path for our clients, these people had my back and it made all the difference — they supported me down my path.
So, in no particular order, here’s my annual Thanksgiving shout-out, this year to my Top 5 Crew. You were all amazing in different ways this year; thank you for being there for me when I needed it.
My colleague: Nicole Stephany
Nicole is the person I’ve worked with for so long that knows what I’m thinking before I say it. Many times we’d be in meetings, not really completing full sentences and we’d both be nodding our heads or finishing each other’s thoughts. We get each other. Thanks for being my greatest work partner, Nicole. You have no problem being my sounding board (or putting me in my place) and have always been a confidant. Colleagues like you are hard to find and I’m excited to continue our friendship and see what comes next for you! Thanks for being a great friend and someone who is never afraid to pick up the phone to check in. I hope I can always do the same for you, too.
Content Marketing Institute and the CM World community
I showed up at Content Marketing World in September a little down in the dumps. While I was excited to hit the stage as a speaker this year, it had been a stressful few weeks and I just wasn’t feeling it to be “on” with my peers. That changed the minute I got to Cleveland.
For the skeptics out there who may not feel that social media is a real place to build relationships, the Content Marketing World community is proof that it is. While some of the colleagues I connected with during that time were met in person, many of them I met online. As we got together in person, it was like we were old friends and we had so much to catch up on! To Content Marketing Institute: Thanks for not only building a community where we can come to learn and stay educated in our industry, but a real, true place where relationships can bloom.
My professional crew: Nate Allen and Tom Fitzgerald
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when you run a business, set up your trusted professionals (attorneys, accountants, etc.) right from the start. This year, I leaned on these two resources at various times and neither one of them made me feel like I couldn’t approach them with questions (or ask the same question three times because I just wasn’t getting it). If you’re looking for a small business attorney or an amazing CPA, I recommend you check out Nate Allen (Gries, Lenhardt, Allen) and Tom Fitzgerald (Kennedy & Associates). The. Best.
Many of you know that I have four kids at home along with my husband Mat. Being a part of a family of six and managing a business can be stressful, but knowing that my family supports me and is concerned every step of the way makes it a little less so. Every year this crew is on my thanksgiving shout-out list; they are my favorite people and my biggest supporters.
And even as an adult, I can’t forget my parents. As a Wisconsin-grown girl who has now lived in Minnesota longer than she was in Wisconsin, it still doesn’t matter that my parents live 5 hours away. Whenever I call or text, they are there for me. Parents can be pretty rad.
OK, so my network isn’t ONE person, but it’s a bunch of really great people together and I have been able to connect with many of you in person — especially over the last 6 months — which has been awesome. From my mentoring groups to professionals I’ve been introduced to by colleagues to some amazing clients (and friends) that I’ve gotten to know more and work closely with this year, thank you. Thank you for being positive. Thank you for being open to coffees and conversations. Thank you for happy hours and lunch.