The Blink of an Eye


Anyone who’s ever worked with, for, or around me knows that even in the very early stages of owning a business, I always talked about “what I would be doing next.” I think that was mostly because I never really saw myself as an entrepreneur. I sort of mistakenly ‘fell into business’ after the company I was working for suddenly went out of business. So I always thought I would just ‘do this’ until I found a good, steady job. At 22, just trying to earn a paycheck, I really knew nothing about anything at all. How in the world could I actually start, maintain, grow and eventually sell a business when I had no training, no business savvy, no special skills or talent and absolutely no financial support?

Fast forward 30+ years, I still know nothing about much at all! But what I’ve come to realize is this — all of the things I thought I had to possess to be successful, were someone else’s idea of what it took to succeed, not my own. And while I may never have achieved great status, wealth or significant accolades, the last 30 years have reaped an abundance of blessings and success all on my own terms.

Success for me came in the form of time with my children, Jake and Megan. It came in the formation of deep, life-long friendships. It gave me permission to make mistakes (and lots of them) and still show up to the office the next day and have work to do. It offered me the ability to openly acknowledge my faith in God and His greater plan for me. It allowed me to know and accept the love and support of family and friends when times were tough. It introduced me to clients and associates who gave me second chances, even after making horrendous mistakes. As a single mom, it gave me the financial wherewithal to give my kids amazing experiences, solid educations and countless opportunities. It helped me establish and constantly remind our internal team of the values we stand for. It offered me time and opportunity to become involved and create real change in many organizations in central Ohio. It gave me a platform to advocate for small business, promote and support many charities and share with others what I’ve learned through the years. And now, it gives me so much pride to stand back and watch as that organization continues ‘to be a conduit of success for everyone it touches’—long after that vision was ever established.

As of March, my ownership transition is now fully complete. Marketing Works is in Bill Kiefaber’s very capable hands. But far more important to me—the company lays within Bill’s very full and loving heart. As I’ve shared with him many times, I hope he makes lots and lots of mistakes and can enjoy every great lesson and blessing that comes with each one. And while I have no doubt the team will experience adversity and challenges, I’m also confident they too will be given opportunities to enjoy success, on their own terms.

And maybe here’s the final lesson that I’m learning to embrace. As the unintentional founder of this steadfast, compassionate and ever-changing business, I’ve also realized I’ll never really leave. Founder is not just a title, it’s a fact. The passion, the people, the values and the vision are part of my being. With or without the daily grind, Marketing Works is in my fabric. I remain dedicated to everyone who has in the past, or will in the future be touched by our work. 

So now, what am I doing next? Besides taking every opportunity to support Marketing Works, its people and its clients—I think it’s time for me to make some more mistakes. But maybe this time I won’t be so concerned about what’s next. 

Always at your service,

b–

Brenda can be reached at brenda@marketingworks360.com  


Guest Post • May 31, 2018

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