This month I reached a milestone work anniversary with MPD Ventures Company. 10 years! As I reflect on these years I realize that even though a decade has passed very quickly, so much has evolved…both in life and the world of marketing.
Me in 2006
In late 2006 I was working for TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, a government contractor for Medicare. My role was Project Manager in the Projects & Planning department. I felt stable and very confident in my position, but an unexpected opportunity came knocking.
I received a call that a colleague from Arthur Andersen, Paige Dawson, was looking to hire a project manager for her 5-year-old marketing and communications company. I agreed to meet Paige to discuss the details, and soon afterward went to the office for an interview with her team. I was really impressed with them and their work, but I questioned how secure I would feel in such a small business since most of my young career had been spent with large companies. I was a young wife and mother to two boys, 8 and 11 at that time, so security and stability were very important to me. Could a small business provide that?
I also felt unsure if I would fit in with such a creative group because I don’t fancy myself the creative type. But project management is project management, right? So why was I so worried about switching industries?
However, Paige and her team won me over. I started work for MPD Ventures Company on January 15, 2007. Even though I knew little about marketing coming into this job, I quickly learned by jumping right into managing projects ranging from rebrands, to website design and development, to public relations.
What a Difference 10 Years Makes
There is one constant in the world of marketing…change. We are fortunate enough to be living in the digital age. But because technology is constantly evolving, we have to constantly reassess our strategies for reaching our potential market. There’s no longer a simple solution limited to direct mail, print ads, press releases and web. Now we have many new channels to reach our targets, including social media, SMS texting, mobile apps, video and email.
On a personal front, a lot has evolved as well. My husband and I moved into a new home in 2016. Our awesome boys, now young men at 21 and 18, are out of the house. The oldest is just about to begin his career venture as a firefighter and the youngest is away at college trying to sort out what he wants to be when he grows up. I guess I’ll give him some time since I didn’t figure that out until 2007 when I came to MPD.
What I’ve Learned About Working for a Small Business
For a period of time when I was young, I felt like I was spinning in circles. I’d land a job I loved and then the company would shut its doors. I was beginning to think I’d never find a job that would stick, but Paige came along to change that. In 2006 my job at TrailBlazer wasn’t in jeopardy, but just a couple of short years later they went out of business. It was a blessing that MPD came calling and it has truly been the most rewarding 10 years of my life.
There are several takeaways and benefits I’ve encountered from making that switch to small business. If you find yourself in a similar position, perhaps you can consider these:
- Have faith! If you feel drawn to a small business, don’t let fear keep you from it. I feared lack of security, feared I wouldn’t be able to contribute, feared there wouldn’t be longevity. I was wrong about all of those things.
- You really can teach an old dog new tricks. I lacked confidence that I could make an impact in this business, but Paige trusted me. She didn’t hold my hand, but let me figure it out. Of course if I had questions, the team was always there to guide me.
- My coworkers are like family. We are a very close knit group. We’ve been through weddings, births, graduations, and grief together.
- No bureaucracy! Don’t get me wrong. This is Paige’s company, but she always asks for input and values our feedback. It’s nice knowing we have a say.
- Flexibility! That has been one of my most cherished job perks. When my kids were younger, Paige afforded me the flexibility to leave early on game days, or work at home to allow me to participate in school functions. Those are experiences and memories I’ll never forget and I don’t have to face regret of missing out.
I’m thankful to have been with such a wonderful company for 10 years, and I look forward to working with my team and our awesome clients for many more years to come!