01 Nov A Decade Later
Looking back at 10 Years in Business
Today Path & Compass marks 10 years in business. I almost didn’t notice it and when I did, dismissed the need to celebrate it. What’s the big deal?
But 10 years in business – in anything – is a big deal. Especially for a women-owned, women-run and primarily women-serving entity in a space where the vast majority of agencies are owned by men.
I always knew I wanted to own my own business. Mostly because I tend to subvert the system – asking “why” a lot. I also wanted to own my own time. After all, if I was going to work as hard as I was, it should be for myself.
To be honest, I don’t remember it being that hard. I suppose that’s the way of things – like having a baby. I do remember having to figure things out, go with the flow and trust my instincts. Looking back, here are the biggest lessons I figured out.
- The lifestyle your business gives you is more important than the work you are doing. For me, the freedom and flexibility that my business brings me drives me more than the craft of marketing. I am passionate about creating a lifestyle that I love and crafted my version of success around that. It’s been/still is a process to detangle from my business being my life, my identity. But one of my most important.
- The more I delegated (and got out of the way), the more my business grew. It took me way too long to figure this out. Being honest, I was playing small because that’s what society had taught me to do. I couldn’t ask others to build my dream – who did I think I was? This story is not mine – or yours. Receiving without guilt or tally has been a big lesson.
- Get right with your money story. Money is a crucial part of business and for women, this is particularly challenging. Having access to money, loans, bank accounts, owning stuff in our name – all this is relatively new. I had a lot of stories about what it meant to make money, spend money or grow a large profitable business. Working through these, evolving the narratives has been key. Having more money makes women safer and gives us more agency over our lives. As Rachel Rodgers puts it, we all should be millionaires if we are truly going to change the world.
- There will always be more opportunities. More sales, more money, more clients. It is okay – necessary really – to say no. Imposter syndrome has us believing we constantly need to reprove our worth. I am here to tell you there will always be more. Take a break. Enjoy your life.
Lastly, when my instincts were drown out by doubt, by patriarchal programming, I had a sea of supporters to thank. To Caprice who planted this seed. To Jill, Cj, Robyn, Becki, Sarah, Jen, Ann, Sarah & Bonnie for being badass female business owners, models, confidants and clients. To Emily, Hannah & Shelly – my team of talented, creative and committed women building this dream with me. To my family and friends past and present who triggered me, pushed buttons and make me see where I needed to grow. To Dr. Valerie for seeing me as big deal. And to Geoff who regularly reminds me to take up space on my mat and ring the damn bell.
Ten years is a f**king big deal that needs to be marked, celebrated, shouted from the rooftops. For me because myself and my life are a f**king big deal. And for people who are not white men to see that you are a f**king big deal, too.
Path & Compass Founder & Leader