I really can't believe that Scottie Public Affairs is already turning one. It feels like just yesterday I was preparing myself to tell my bosses in Washington, D.C. that I had decided to move home to Pittsburgh (for the record, one of them said it was a great idea, and other said "where?!").
On July 2, 2015, my loving colleagues at SKDKnickerbocker sent me off with what can only be described as a spirited farewell, and by July 6, 2015, Scottie Public Affairs was up and running from my new home office in Pittsburgh. I have to take a moment to thank a few of the people who were instrumental in helping me get Scottie off the ground:
- Radhika Fox and the Value of Water/US Water Alliance team. When I told her that I loved working with her, and asked if she'd be willing to keep with me if I moved to Pittsburgh, she didn't miss a beat. Truly, Scottie would not exist if Radhika hadn't believed in me. She understands that teams can work well remotely and Pittsburgh is only a drive or flight away from wherever she wants me to be.
- Jill Zuckman and the SKDKnickerbocker team that continues to work with me and send new projects to me. Thank you for being willing to try something a little different and continuing to send business my way!
- Ryan Morden, my husband and self-appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for Scottie Public Affairs. He handled all the logistics of our move so Scottie could get to work and be profitable on Day 1 from Pittsburgh. He also continues to tolerate my travel schedule and late nights of working. A part of Lean In that particularly resonated me was when Sheryl Sandberg wrote about her patient and supportive husband and the impact that had on her career:
I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is.
I know I got lucky in the partner department! Thanks, Ryan!
And I also have to thank all of my clients, whether we worked together for an hour, a month, or are still working together, from the past year.
A really fun part of running my own business that I hadn't really anticipated is the opportunity to work with other wonderful freelancers and small businesses. After so many campaigns and five years as a consultant, I shouldn't be surprised that my friends and former colleagues are writing their own ticket. If you are one of those such people, available for writing, graphic design, video projects, web design or in a related field, be in touch! I need help with projects all the time, and it is a great joy to get to hire people I love to work with.
I guess I should mention its not all sun shine and roses. Just to be clear, when you hear a consultant has a monthly retainer of $X, don't assume they're just taking home $X. It's $X minus a lot in taxes. I'm not complaining, it was just surprising to me. Surprising in a "Are you $&^%* serious?!" kind of way when Judith, my accountant and the true MVP of my small business team, tells me how big my checks to the US Treasury Dept need to be. I'd be beyond lost without her - lost and probably audited by now.
Another less than sexy part of being a small business owner is the payroll, worker's comp, insurance, and HR paperwork. Mad respect to my friends who work in HR and accounting for their companies - that paperwork makes me want to jump out of a window. Speaking of, I have a 401K services call I've been avoiding that I really need to get to...
But taxes and boring paper work aside, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm so happy to be able to continue to do the work I love from Pittsburgh, and I'm so grateful to all the clients, from California to Washington, D.C. who believe in this increasingly connected world, you can give good strategic communications advice from anywhere (it's true!).
To close it out, dear reader, I assume if you're actually still reading this, you've been a supporter to. Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement, comments on Facebook, shares on LinkedIn, drinks, lunches, and business referrals. I'm nothing without my network, and you're a part of that, so cheers to you for helping me get to my first birthday! Time to cut the cake, then its back to work.