Humbled, proud and grateful: A whirlwind week for P&G
May 12, 2017
Sometimes when you're an entrepreneur, wife, friend, daughter, neighbor, boss, colleague and mom, you don't have the mental or emotional space to process what things really mean. You need to take a little time to digest something, and reflect.
Last week, I had the chance to attend the Michigan Celebrates Small Business celebration. Surrounded by my team, husband, colleagues and best friend, we walked the red carpet and enjoyed an evening recognizing the weird world that is entrepreneurship.
And during that evening, I was honored to be recognized by the Michigan Small Business Development Center as one Michigan's Best Small Businesses. Out of more than 6,000 businesses counseled statewide, I was chosen as one of 12 recognized by the SBDC, and was selected to represent the capital area. To think that out of thousands of companies, this crazy, wild, still rather surreal thing I've created is seen as something special, it's hard to process. To read a brilliantly written profile on our company and to see P&G through someone else’s eyes doesn’t always compute.
And it got harder to process this weekend. Less than 48 hours after our big night out, I hopped on a plane to attend the Public Relations Society of America Counselors Academy Conference, where I presented on risk (or my aversion thereof). I spent five days surrounded by the closest peers I can possibly imagine – fellow public relations agency owners, principals, CEOs, presidents and managers.
These are my people. And they are so damn smart I feel humbled just to be in the same room as them.
Throughout the week of annual learning and growth, I recognized the significance of Piper & Gold, not just in our own small business community here in Lansing, or even here in Michigan, but in our industry. Time and again at Counselors, I was pointed to as a leader in our field, a top agency and one to watch. People asked my counsel and advice, not just in public relations, but in business. In operations, HR, technology and leadership. I watched presentations during which I realized we are lightyears ahead in many of our operations practices, our software tools, our measurement and our PR solutions. I realized that our culture is something to be coveted. That our talent is something others are jealous of.
And it is REALLY HARD for me to type all of that. Because it feels cocky to say it. It’s always felt cocky to talk about how great I am. How great P&G is.
But, you know what? We ARE an outstanding company. I have worked my ass off to build an outstanding company. And there is nothing wrong with saying that.
And you know what else? Piper & Gold Public Relations isn't just one person. It's a team of eight smart, clever, fierce, bold, loyal people who work their asses off every single day to make a difference. It's the noble, dedicated, tireless clients working themselves to exhaustion to make our communities and people's lives better. It's beloved business coach and my work bestie (and risk tolerant) peer who not only co-presented at Counselors, but serve as everything from moral support to my parental leave proxy (and proxy to the proxy). It’s my Counselors Academy peers, who come together not just once a year, but throughout the year to strengthen P&G via agency swaps, brain break calls, at ICON and digitally sharing ideas, tools, resources and camaraderie. And it's the support system of friends, family and my partner that has propped me up, fed me, listened, helped me heal, checked in on me, excused when I'm too tired to function and forgiven when I just don't have it in me to be human.
Being an entrepreneur is really fucking hard and it can often be thankless and lonely. Awards may not pay the bills. And accolades don’t keep the lights on. But it's really nice to be reminded others see the value and impact of the sacrifices, and to be reminded that we’re doing something great here. And it's so SO important to be reminded that, no matter how lonely entrepreneurship can feel sometimes, we are not alone. Thank you, y'all. Thank you.