I’ve read statistics published by the Small Business Administration that say seven of 10 new employer establishments make it to the two-year mark, while 51 percent survive at least five years. While it’s awesome that slightly more than half of businesses make it, it’s also sobering to realize that almost half do not.
When I think about being in business for five years, I’m reminded of that saying about the turtle on the fence post. If you see a turtle on a fence post, you can be sure he didn’t get their on his own. I certainly didn’t get here on my own.
I couldn’t have done it without my husband’s support. To be supportive of me quitting my “regular” job with a guaranteed income to do my own thing took an amazing amount of faith in me. I didn’t want to let him down.
Vonya Griffin, a brilliant writer and excellent researcher, helped me in the early days when I had too much on my plate and needed another writer to ensure everything got done.
Typically when you hire an employee, you’re taking a chance on that person. But when Lanette Strong came to work for me, she took a chance on me. She has been an invaluable resource in this office.
And then there are the clients. Without them, this business would fail to exist. Through the years, many of them have become more than clients; they’ve become friends. We represent them because we believe in their work, and we love spreading their good news.
Five years has seen a change in scenery in terms of office space. I started out in the spare bedroom of my home and held client meetings at local coffee shops. It worked then and I’m convinced it’s still a good business model today. But in 2011, I felt the urge to move out. I wanted this business to be a part of Downtown Lakeland. I jumped at the chance to have space at Tennessee Carriage Lofts. Moving out really took this business to the next level, and in five months it became apparent that more space was needed. Thankfully, a bigger space was available in the same building, so we moved next door in July 2011.
Operating your own business isn’t easy. It causes sleepless nights, seven-day work weeks and 16-hour days at times. It’s stressful and frustrating. It sometimes can make you want to throw in the towel.
But it’s also so very rewarding. Thank you to everyone who has helped us be successful.