One of my many marketing tasks at my last place of employment involved gathering data, completing an application and writing a narrative for the company’s entry for the annual Philadelphia 100 list of the region’s fastest-growing businesses. Touting 200 percent year-over-year growth, the Bucks County business where I worked finished in the top half of the competition (both times).
At the time, Katalinas Communications was in its infancy and 200 percent growth seemed unfathomable. I mean, I was working hard – pulling 12- to 16-hour days – splitting my time between a full-time gig and hustling at night, during my lunch break and taking client calls on the ride home from work to get my business off the ground. I spent many long nights writing proposals for prospective clients and pulling together public relations, email marketing and social media projects for existing clients.
My first year in business was a whir of equal parts excitement, fear and frustration as I pushed harder and hustled faster to move onward and upward. I have always set unrealistic expectations for myself. This time was no exception. I needed my business to be profitable (and sustainable) by or before the time my daughter started kindergarten. The clock was ticking and I had just under 18 months to make the leap.
Some days I was positive I could do it. Other days I was positive I’d never get there. Having a full-time job was like a crutch. If I had it, I felt like I was okay.
The thing that kept me from being complacent was that nagging voice that told me that I could do it, that I didn’t have to work to help someone else realize double and triple digit revenue increases, I could do it for myself.
I guess I believed that more than I believed that I would fail.
Still, by the end of 2014 – my first 10 months in business – my business revenues were less than my first professional job out of college. Would I ever get there?
I never really defined where “there” was, but felt like it was at least within reach when I ditched the full-time job and made the leap in August 2015 to run my business full-time.
Fast forward almost four years to where this all began and I feel more confident in my business and its success. I once thought 200 percent growth was unfathomable, but have since seen my business grow by more than 600 percent throughout this journey. From 2014 to 2015, Katalinas Communications saw year-over-year growth of more than 300 percent. Since that first year, each month and year has been more successful than the last. When statistics tell us that 80 percent of new businesses will fail within the first year, I take great pride in my ability to keep hustling, pushing and progressing.
As a solopreneur, my business success or failure rests squarely on my shoulders. Now a bit more experienced at running a business, I know failure is not an option. I quit my job that doubled as a crutch, so there’s no plan B. It’s an entrepreneur’s life for me.
Over the last few years, I’ve learned to never be satisfied, to always want more, to continually grow professionally and to be better. I want to continue to grow my business. For 2018, I’m looking to onboard staff and bring web development services in-house. But, to me, growth isn’t just a numbers game. It’s more about doing a great job for clients. That to me is truly success and more important than six-fold revenue increases.
Who knows, maybe some day I’ll be submitting my own application for Philadelphia 100.
If you would like to learn more about Katalinas Communications marketing and public relations services and how they can benefit your business or nonprofit organization, call Theresa at 215-519-8833 or email to schedule a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.