Acknowledging Accomplishments: Thriving at Five

This week marks the five year anniversary of Growth Street Marketing. In the day-to-day craze of doing what I do, I never, I mean never, stop to give myself a pat on the back. It’s just not in my nature. I am constantly reflecting on what I should be doing better and differently and looking forward to trying new ideas, closing new business and building more value for my clients.

Five years is kind of a big deal. According to a Small Business Association study, about two-thirds of businesses make it through the first two years and only about half survive five years. In other words, 50% of businesses fail. We survived and, more importantly, we are thriving.

Before starting Growth Street Marketing, I knew I wanted to start a company. I had no clue what that really meant – from the entrepreneur’s side of things. Sure, it’s great to be your own boss and be in control of your own destiny and to deliver something of real value to your clients. For me, it fulfills a deep sense of meaning and passion that grows in importance every day. On the flip side, it has been a form of mental torture. It has questioned every confidence and belief in myself. There is no steady paycheck. There is no one picking up the slack. There is no safety net. The ups and downs can be dramatic and not for the faint of heart, mind or soul. Gremlins creep in and poke at those beliefs that can shatter self-worth. In the words of my mentor and counsel (my Dad), “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”  I am eternally grateful for the amazing people in my life, both personally and professionally, that beat down those gremlins with (and for) me every day and propel me forward. I have learned more about myself in the past five years than I ever thought possible and can’t image what life would be like, had I not embarked on this journey.

As I look ahead to the next five, I know I am stronger than I believed possible and that my passion fuels purpose. Here’s to what’s next and, in the words of one of my favorite poets, still I rise. #carpediem

Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

(Photo courtesy of Edward Beckett)
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