2013 has been an amazing year. What started as a “what if” conversation mid-way through 2012 has turned into something we here at Nonprofit Media Solutions are pretty proud of. Lori will weigh in later about what she’s learned; this is my take.
We spent half of 2012 in a quiet, planning phase preparing for what we wanted to launch as soon as 2013 was welcomed in. We each came at it with a healthy dose of writing/editing/nonprofit experience but still there was lots of reading to do, and figuring out how to help nonprofits and run our business the right way. Once 2013 showed up we felt pretty ready. And we were ready. We just had no idea how much there still was to learn and how much the first year would teach us and help us grow as a company and a partnership.
Here are a few of my observances:
- It takes more time than you think. What does? Everything! When you care about doing something the right way and the best way as much as we do, it’s easy to lose track of time. Getting engrossed in a task, from our standpoint, means we like what we’re doing and who we’re helping. Bonus.
- It takes a lot of work to be a good team. Lori and I recently had a planning retreat for 2014 via Skype. It was eye-opening and wonderful. Having an honest conversation about what works and what doesn’t for each team member helps the whole team be better. We decided not to wait a whole year before we sit down like that again. When our clients’ fiscal year is transitioning, we’ll be strategizing about the second half of 2014 as well.
- However, everything is better with a partner. I’ve been self-employed for a long time. Owning my own successes and owning up to what needs improvement on my own is a very singular thing. Having a partner has been powerful. When we’re able to share successes with each other, they feel even bigger! When something doesn’t go our way, there’s someone else there ready to talk about how to do it better next time. (Of course, none of this is possible without a great partner, and I’ve got one of those!)
- We’ve gotten comfortable with backing each other up. Lori is an absolute wealth of knowledge about social media and online presence, and how nonprofits can use those platforms to expand their reach. I just try to soak up everything she says! But, when I’m working on a grant, she’s right behind me. Knowing a good amount about what the other person is good at has been a very good thing.
- I think it’s a great sign that sometimes when we both sit down with a client we can finish each other’s sentences. We’ve laughed a lot about it but both believe it just means we’re on the same page.
So, what’s in store for Nonprofit Media Solutions in 2014? A lot! We’re going in with a good, successful year under our belts. We’re renewed and energized, ready to continue on our already-established great relationships with our clients and build some new ones.
So from us here at Nonprofit Media Solutions to you, your staff, and your board, Happy Holidays! May your 2013 reflections translate into some good thoughts and great habits for 2014.