Today marks the 10th anniversary of the official start of my firm, IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC. The last ten years have really been quite a roller-coaster ride and I am still amazed that I can stand here today and celebrate ten years of trials, tribulations, and most importantly impact.
Over the last month, I’ve been reflecting a lot about what this ten-year anniversary means. How successful is the firm really? Am I happy doing what I am doing? Do I want to continue doing what I’m doing? What would I do if I were to do something different?
I don’t think I found the answers to all of the questions, but there is one thing that I do know: I would not be where I am today without my firm and the support of my co-workers, colleagues, clients, and compadres (friends). (And my family too, but I couldn’t think of a word that started with C for them.) So my thanks go out to everyone who has touched my firm, whether directly or indirectly–I would not do all of this without you!
Four recent events also really stood out and made me realize why I continue to what do.
- mid-Oct 2011: In talking with Ernie Almonte at the Fall AICPA Council meeting about his decision to leave his post as the Inspector General of Rhode Island and go (and stay) as an independent consultant, he really emphasized how valuable the freedom of having his own firm has been. The freedom and flexibility that having my own firm has provided has definitely been a great contributor to my professional development since it has allowed me to get involved in my profession at a level that would not be possible if I were part of a larger firm. Through this, I have been able to grow professionally and have had the Opportunity to Serve my profession.
- late-Oct 2011: A small not-for-profit client recently shared their gratitude with one of my staff members. They were so grateful to ITK for all of our help, patience, and flexibility as we worked with them to make the most of their limited budget and around some of their staffing limitations. They recognized that while they have only been making small gains in their use of IT, they could not have come even as far as they have without our support. It is this type of gratitude and appreciation for the real impact that we can have on a client that is worth so much more than any kind of financial compensation we could ever receive.
- mid-Nov 2011: And then bringing the two together, I had lunch with a former PwC colleague who is a successful CFO in a mid-sized Hawaii company. He said he wanted to have lunch with me because he wasn’t feeling fulfilled with his current career path. While he was doing great things for his company, he was getting much more satisfaction from the little side projects he was doing to help friends and colleagues be more successful in their small business endeavors. He also wanted to “get off the clock” and have more flexibility to spend time with his family and not have to do the “corporate smoozing” and events that come with being an executive at a larger company. So he was seeking advice on how he could start his own firm and move out of the traditional corporate world.
- late-Nov 2011: One of my staff members was going through a hard time. Her dog, who had been like a child to her, was ailing and needed constant care. Her partner was away on a trip and so she was bearing the burden of caring for him (the dog) all on her own. Since he couldn’t make it through a full day without care, we were able to arrange for her to work at home and with staggered hours so that she could both take care of him and make the most of the little time she had left with him. This is definitely not something that I would have done in a normal corporate situation and I was glad to be able to support her in doing something that was very important to her and her family.
Incidental or not, these recent events really helped remind me why I left the large firms and the real impact that a small firm like mine can have on the community. Additionally, when I think about how we are able accommodate the needs of our staff, both professionally and personally, it gives me great satisfaction to say that I have been doing this for the last ten years.
In the end, I’m still not totally sure where the next decade will take ITK, or if there will even be an ITK ten years from now. But I do know that I will continue to follow my passion, continue exercising my leadership, and continue making a difference for a better world.