Bennis Inc. | My Entrepreneurial Milestone: One Year Later, One Year Happier
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My Entrepreneurial Milestone: One Year Later, One Year Happier

My Entrepreneurial Milestone: One Year Later, One Year Happier

birthdaySunday, July 15, 2012 was the official 1 year mark of my transition into entrepreneurship. I thought this day would hold more emotion for me like Christmas morning or my birthday, but oddly enough it felt just like any other day I’ve experienced this past year. But this is a great thing! I can say with conviction that I have felt content, fulfilled and passionate every day for the past 12 months and so waking up to one more day in this life was the only gift I could have ever wanted on the 1 year anniversary of starting Bennis Public Relations.

It’s hard to believe I’ve doubled the age of my business since my “Life As My Own Boss” blog post in January. At this point in my business, the measure of my success was more based upon my number of clients and percentage increase in revenue. But my 1 year entrepreneurial anniversary is much more personal. This milestone is more about me proving to myself that I can, and did, do it. I took the leap –and I landed. It’s like jumping off the bank of a river and landing on a moving raft. It takes a while to get your balance and those first critical moments determine whether you sink or float. Well at my one year mark, I know I’ve gained both balance and confidence in my business. From this point forward I’m ready to do more than just float; I’m ready to take control and steer.

When I say that this 1 year milestone is very personal, it’s because for so long my life has been sectioned into 1 year increments. My years throughout college were very well encapsulated into one year and my first job out of college, working on a statewide campaign, also had a definitive ending on Election Day which fell about 1 year after my start. The only job I had that did not have a predefined ending was the same job that propelled me into start my own business because I knew that if I was working there one year later, I would be disappointed, stifled and question my own self worth. So this one year mark brings with it quite a new feeling. If I were to repeat the last year for the next 40+ years of my life, I will be completely content and challenged all at the same time. And for me that is a wildly new feeling.

Yet this year held much more than just business milestones. I also made some of the biggest life changes I’ll ever make including moving to a new city, traveling to and working in more than 8 different states, saying “Yes” to the man of my dreams and planning our wedding in less than 7 months from the proposal. I do believe that when it rains it pours and this year I’ve been fortunate to have been showered with some of the most memorable moments and an open mentality that has allowed me to appreciate every single one of them.

And so one year later, with a business growing stronger every day and a wedding right around the corner, I know I have so much for which I can be thankful. Reflecting on this very rewarding moment, I realize that for all that has changed in 12 months, today I’m still working from home in my usual chair with that same little gray cat by my side as one year ago – and I’m utterly content. This gives me confidence that throughout the inevitable changes that will continue to come my way, life’s most simple joys are the constants that will always be there to help keep me afloat.

Stephanie Shirley

stephanie@bennisinc.com