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Life As My Own Boss: A Six Month Review

16 Jan
Standing atop the milestone of my 6-month mark, where do I want to take Bennis Inc from here?

Standing atop the milestone of my 6-month mark, where do I want to take Bennis Inc from here?

Just yesterday I happened to look at the date and couldn’t believe how quickly the first month of this New Year has flown by. With a small pause in shock, I realized that January 15th has significance far beyond just the midpoint of the month. It has now been 6 months since I resigned from my position with the Governor’s administration and launched Bennis Public Relations Inc as my full-time career. This is a milestone I’ve been anxiously awaiting to achieve. I see reaching the 6 month mark in any new business as an exceptional opportunity to review its achievements—and struggles—and to redefine the goals I have moving forward.

On July 15th, 2011, my personal “Independence Day,” I had just 3 monthly clients (and a job as a bartender). I was scared, I was unsure, but I felt more alive than I had in years. I knew I had made the right decision when long hours and less than glamorous work conditions were no obstacle—I was doing what I was most passionate about and I was surviving!

The second half of July flew by as a blur. It still hadn’t yet registered that this was a permanent change. It felt more like a long hiatus from work. In August, less than 2 months after starting the Bennis Inc Blog, I was Fresh Pressed for the first time. I was considered “the best” of 362,344 bloggers, 502,365 new posts, 442,553 comments, & 118,245,712 words posted that day on WordPress.com. This was one of the first signs I received that I was doing something right. I had talents that I was tapping into and I was inspired to keep going.

September through December were months of major changes. I moved from my tiny apartment into a place with much more room to grow. I traveled to Charlotte, DC, New York, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and Texas. I learned how to work from the road and essentially mastered the 4-hour workweek from airports and Panera Bread’s all across the United States. And did I mention I went skydiving?

In December, I had increased my business to 7 clients (plus some side projects) and was busier than ever. I upgraded to a new website and invested in some programs and subscriptions to keep me abreast of new PR techniques. But as any entrepreneur will tell you, when it rains it pours. One client’s contract ended and one of my largest clients dropped off. I was left going into the holidays wondering whether I could make ends meet to buy my family (and Pinot!) Christmas presents.

As I normally do in times of adversity, I went into survival mode. I networked, promoted and tapped into all of my resources to find work. What it resulted in is the best proof I can give any business owner that even in your darkest moments, you have to keep going. The brightest light is often right around the corner. In 3 weeks, I’ve more than tripled the number of clients I had just 6 months prior and am receiving an average of 2-3 side projects each week. I’m also involved in 3 pro-bono projects that are as rewarding as they are additional ways to network. Slowly but surely, Bennis Inc is becoming its own brand. The business that was once my delicate infant has now learned to walk and talk.

So now, standing atop the milestone of my 6-month mark, where do I want to go from here? Do I want to become a PR mogul with international offices and hundreds of employees or do I simply want a career that supports me and allows me to do what I love while working from home? Each has its own risks and rewards. And to be perfectly honest with you, and myself, I don’t have an answer beyond simply wanting to keep Bennis Inc growing in whatever direction that may lead. However, I do know the one goal I aim to keep with me every step of this entrepreneurial journey is to continue to offer services of the highest quality and to create lifelong relationships along the way.

I made this drastic life change so that I could pursue a more fulfilling life using my talents to do what I’m passionate about. The strangest result of this change I didn’t realize until right now. Since July 15th, I have not once complained about my job or dreaded the tasks that lie ahead of me. But to get here takes more than just 6 months. It takes, as Frank Lloyd Wright would say, “…dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

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26 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Business & Success

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

26 responses to “Life As My Own Boss: A Six Month Review

  1. spamfred

    January 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I really admire you and I’m glad it’s all working out so well for you. I find your blog posts really inspirational and they help me to push myself further. Well done you!

     
  2. Roxi

    January 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Congratulations!! 🙂 you inspire us all! keep reaching, keep growing!

     
  3. Jessica (@mommyhoodnxtrt)

    January 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Congratulations! This is so inspiring! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I look forward to following your progress within your business. So exciting!

     
  4. Rachel Strella (@RachelStrella)

    January 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Stephanie,

    Congrats on reaching your six-month mark in business! That’s a huge accomplishment!

    It’s true what you say,”What it resulted in is the best proof I can give any business owner that even in your darkest moments, you have to keep going.”

    I’m now 18 months into business and still experience incredibly dark moments, but you just keep pushing on! When one door closes, another opens.

    Cheers to your success!

    Rachel

     
    • Stephanie Bennis

      January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! I’m hoping to keep the momentum going. Entrepreneurship is certainly not for the faint of heart and some days I wonder how I dove into this mad world, but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way now.

       
  5. Cheval John

    January 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Great post! I have one question. How do you get Freshly Pressed by Word Press? Thanks for your time and congratulations on your six month anniversary.

     
  6. kebperspectives

    January 16, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Great utilization of Frank Lloyd Wright! He was very inspirational in a very unique way; just like you!

    Keep going as long as you do what makes you happy, you are doing the right things! I think as I enter the business world, I will start with a mixture of my own projects and working for another company. But, I hope to transition- not to owning my own business- but to being the spearhead of a great team. Each person must make the decisions best for them. You are doing great!

    Stay confident in yourself and your support system (family and friends). Even in the hard times, they will be there for you!

     
    • Stephanie Bennis

      January 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      This was one of my favorite quotes of all time and I’ve been saving it just for the right post. I kept this on my computer background for a while just to inspire me that going toward your dreams isn’t easy–nor should it be!

       
  7. redjim99

    January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Sounds like things are rolling along, congrats. And keep going 🙂

    Jim

     
    • Stephanie Bennis

      January 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Thank you, Jim! Things are rolling–but with bumps along the way for sure. I’m not immune to set backs and struggles 🙂 But regardless, it’s been an amazing experience!

       
  8. cuanhua

    January 17, 2012 at 2:03 am

    So impressive, hope you will get more achievements in the future!

     
  9. Noi that van phong

    January 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

    I think you will be grow up in the near future!

     
  10. imagesbytdashfield

    January 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Stopping by and I must say congratulations to you! Continued success on your new journey.

     
  11. crubin

    January 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Congratulations on making a successful life change. You serve as an inspiration to those of us who’ve recently made the leap as well 🙂

     
  12. The Hook

    January 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The future looks bright, Boss lady!

     
  13. @bizcommunicator

    January 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    It is a great feeling! So rewarding that I am helping people and making a living at the same time. i was laid of in August of 2010 and I have never looked back since I started my own consultancy. Terrified at first, but worth every bit of hard work! Good luck for your future success and congrats for your engagement!

     
  14. David

    February 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    It only gets better, Stephanie. Just keep doing what you are doing…and the clients will come! Enjoyed working with you last week on the writing project. I’ll keep in touch.

     
  15. ramakrishnan6002

    May 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.

     

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