A lot has been going on at W3PR for the last several months. I applied to and was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and spent time at Babson College in Boston working on rethinking and reinventing my business. It was an amazing crash-course-firehose-drinking experience of learning, both professionally and personally. I learned a ton about better ways to run my company, how to be a better leader, got way better at financials and found a new focus. I loved it all 🙂
Each of the students brought their ideas for growing their companies to test and examine those ideas, and then work to build out plans to implement that growth. One of the first steps, while identifying the growth opportunities, is to think about how these new plans (and your existing business) fit with who you are as a person. Does the business and the new plans reflect your values and beliefs? Does it make you happy to be part of it? Does your team share those values? Can you leverage what you’re doing now and your resources to create differentiation?
Honestly, I had a hard time at first. I’ve spent 21 years working in my company and have always thought that we should try to help anyone who wanted to invest their time and money with us to help them grow their online presence. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that who I really like working with are companies that I really feel an affinity for, from a personal perspective. I have passions in my personal life that I have kept separate from my business life and I couldn’t tell you why, just that maybe they didn’t seem particularly “business-like”.
So, here’s my dark secret … I’m a hippie-mama from way back. I was raised in Marin, California on peace, love and rock and roll. I’m a homemade-granola-eating, jeans and t-shirt wearing, lover of critters and 70s and 80s bands. I believe the most important things are helping people, helping critters and being good to our home planet.
So far, none of that has spilled over into my work life. While I was at Babson, I thought about how could I integrate this into my work and it didn’t seem possible. How can a digital marketing agency be “good for people and good for the planet”? Then it hit me: we can be an agency that helps the people who make products that are good for people and good for the planet. By helping them to grow their businesses into bigger companies that make a difference, we make a difference too.
When I ran this by my team, they all agreed. This feels right for all of us. So, this is our new focus: to work with companies with a mission, who make and sell natural products and give back in some way. Companies such as: organic food and beverage companies, organic pet products, non-toxic and natural cleaning products, non-polluting manufacturers, recycled clothing manufacturers, natural cosmetics and body products companies. These are the kinds of products that we use ourselves and want to represent in the marketplace. We totally understand the motivation behind the creators of these kinds of products, and understand the consumer of these products because we are the consumer.
So there you have it, my secret and our new direction. There’s more to come, but for now, let me know what you think in the comments, or better yet, give me a call. I’m happy to hear your thoughts and chat about it.