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Nicole's Corner: 2023, A Year In Review

Running a business has been a big part of my identity for more than a decade.  When I was a new business owner, young and single, I threw my whole self into my career.  Nights, weekends, you name it.  I had to.  I had chosen a career path that most people would call risky, and I was determined to succeed.  I had my hands in every part of the business; sales, advertising, recruiting, human resources, finance, client relationships, quality assurance.  Everything.  And I did well.

When I met my husband, and later got married, there was a big adjustment period.  I now had another part of my life that became a priority, and I didn’t have as much time to devote to my business as I did before.  I had to get better and more effective in order to get the same results with less time.  A mentor of mine explained it to me in this way.  “If X (your time) = y (your results), then you need to figure out how to get ½ X to equal Y.”  So I worked on my skills and educated myself as a leader, and in a lot of ways, my company benefited from my limited time.  I had less time to control things, which meant more room for people to be empowered to step up, make decisions, and lead.  The quality of people that have come into my company and grown into management is beyond what I was previously capable of attracting.  It was a blessing in disguise, and got our company through COVID, when many businesses failed.

In February of 2023, my daughter was born, and I once again found myself in a dilemma with time.  This first year of parenthood completely threw me for a loop, and I found myself scrambling (and most of the time feeling like I was failing) to find a way to be a parent, a wife, and a business owner.  I didn’t need ½ X to equal Y, I needed 1/10 X to equal Y!  I had limited energy, brain power, and time, and personally, it’s been one of the most challenging years of my life.

But out of challenge and adversity, new and better things are born, and the number one benefit that came out of 2023 is that I gained a lot of clarity around who the right people are for our company.

Just like in relationships, people are looking for the “right fit.”  As a company, we are also always looking to hire the right people for us.  When you don’t have time to manage and inspect, you find out quickly who those people are.  I quickly learned that people who need constant management to complete the requirements of their job, that need to be motivated to hit goals, or that need to be pushed to learn and develop, are not the people who we wanted to be working with.  We adjusted our hiring process to set better expectations around the fact that while every employee would have resources and access to training, mentoring, and growth opportunities, it was going to be up to them to take initiative with their career.

So in the time when I was least able to make an impact on my business, it grew without me because we had people who were self-motivated, proactive, and ambitious, and they took advantage of the growth opportunities in our company.  We had our best year with our client, Verizon, and it was largely due to the efforts of 2 of these people, Luis Seijas and Ogi Stevic.  Both of these individuals brought in incredible results personally and led highly productive teams in our sales department.

Because of their contributions, we are ready to launch 3 new markets in the first quarter of 2024.  We will be launching in Atlanta and Charlotte with Verizon, and finally making our way closer to the west coast with AT&T in Reno, Nevada.

As I reflect on 2023, I’m reminded that things in life happen for you.  So many things were out of my control, but had I not had personal obligations, we would not be in the position we are today.  So I want to thank Ogi and Luis, and so many other members of our team for how they have embodied the values of our company; initiative, ambition, work ethic, team work, and development.  I am grateful and excited going into 2024!


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