It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us……..
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens.
Maybe a tad over dramatic for an opening but ask any business owners what the lifecycle of a business is like and the above can start to make sense!
Back in April 1998 from our IKEA kitchen table we started netlogx; we had a name and a logo, 1 desktop computer with a printer and a dial up modem, 2 owners with green cards, 1 client and a 13 month old son. I was the initial consultant and Nick had the “real job” with benefits. Even then we managed a first – we were the first company our CPA firm had worked with who’d registered the business on-line.
I have such great memories of all the places I worked in those first few years – not just the clients but the amazing locations that I was able to consult from and still provide value back to clients in Indianapolis. In the US: San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis; in the UK: Warrington, Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh; in Europe: Dublin, Munich, Paris! The views as I worked on some deliverables are precious!
By 2003 we had employees and benefits and all the Taylor family “eggs” were in the netlogx basket! Our two sons truly understand the meaning of a family business – from the simple answer that still gets asked – is “Mommy really Daddy’s boss” – to which they reply, Yes, but with a look that is 100% post millennial in that they cannot see the reason for asking! They also have great abilities to order off a menu – anywhere – from the many business meetings they attended.
There are so many firsts – the first employee, the first holiday party, the first lease agreement, the first response to a Request for Proposal, the first intern, the first admin support, the first baby born on the team, the first wedding.
Then there are the firsts you never planned for; the first time a team member experiences a death in the family, the first time a client stops paying, the first time somebody leaves, the first time you have to fire someone!
There are also universal truths – the business plan is necessary and the business will not be what you planned for when the five year mark rolls around – assuming you are still in business. Invested active owners are the most passionate advocates for an organization but they need to develop a leadership team that is empowered in order to continue to grow.
What am I most proud of:
I work with my husband each day on something we both believe in. Life is complicated and I’m sure marriage, kids and running a business is probably a three ring circus but it is all in our tent and we love it!
We have clients in 2016 that we started working with in 1998 and that we add new clients every year.
We provide careers in a company that knows we are only as good as the people who work for us and that we are better for the purposeful inclusion of different voices providing their thoughts and ideas – #DiverseByDesign
We have a code of conduct as an organization defined by our #OperatingPrinciples
I don’t know what the next 18 years will bring but I know I want to be on the bus with the team on the journey!