For PRISM’s 25th anniversary, founder Michelle Adams looks back through the years with stories, tips, and lessons to help new businesses grow and industry veterans thrive. Keep up with all of our posts on LinkedIn.

 

As PRISM begins our 25th year in business, I thought it would be interesting and useful to reflect back on what I’ve learned. It’s sometimes difficult to remember those first days, the days before clients, email, and kids. 

I remember spending a tremendous amount of time driving around Columbus, watching buildings and looking for company names. Any businesses I saw that day, I’d call to find out if they had a head of marketing. From there, I’d spend my day sending promotional mailers and leaving voicemails. 

I got excited when I’d get just one person on the phone out of 20 or so calls – ONE. 

Every returned call or answered phone felt like a victory, and every victory helped to keep myself motivated, pushing forward against slim odds.

The first year was difficult. I was pregnant (I didn’t think it would happen that quickly!) with our first daughter. I hid my pregnancy as I was fearful people wouldn’t talk to me, let alone hire me, if they knew I was attempting to win their business with no track record in Columbus, especially while I was pregnant.

But I persisted, and eventually, PRISM started to grow.

The next decade or so brought two more kids and growth for the business. All those phone calls were paying off. I think I just tried so hard to show people the power of marketing that my sheer determination and grit won them over. 

PRISM continued on, healthy and well. I found more time to give back to the community. We adopted our last child from Russia, which was easily amongst the hardest things I’d ever done.

These last years have seen a lot of change, though I remain committed to great marketing, creating a healthy culture, and raising good kids. It’s worth looking back on those 25 years, remembering mistakes and appreciating triumphs. It reminds you that it was all worth it. 

It can all fly by so quickly, which makes it too easy to take where you are now in life for granted and forget the hard work and dedication it took to get you there. 

Don’t forget to take the time to remember what got you where you are and appreciate the journey – after all, that’s often what keeps you moving forward with focus and confidence.