Updated: Jun 4
I could literally write 100 posts on this topic. In fact, I wrote one about my mama village a few years ago. But as this is my business blog, for now I'll stick to business relationships. At least, those that start out that way.
In the first month of my new consultancy, I've done a lot of groundwork for the business, like finessing this site, setting up accounting systems, and dealt with government paperwork -- super glamorous work, I know.
But I've also had the pleasure of working on some new clients who are truly improving equity and opportunity for those who traditionally haven't had access. I've also pitched some cool stories about people and groups that aren't clients, but they improve our society and are inspiring stories (because, lord knows, we could use some good news right now).
Not that I don't need to get paid. Between my husband and I, we are now a dual household of entrepreneurs who rely on the economy, the whims of clients, and my husband relies on the weather to bring in a steady income #foodtrucklife.
But by founding a comms consultancy, I had two goals: one, to make the world better, especially for my daughter; two, to make life better for my family. That often means pitching reporters stories even if they're not relevant client news.
Bringing me back to the power of relationships. I have worked with Al Lubrano of the Philadelphia Inquirer for about 14 years, dating back to when he was covering poverty and I was at Philabundance food bank. Since I left, we stayed in touch, and I have pitched him stories about the nonprofits for which I worked, as well as other pieces of news I thought he could use since he now covers trends.
One story was about my mompreneur group, which I joined when I began considering entrepreneurship. These women started their own businesses while on maternity leave and/or to fill a gap in the marketplace for moms and/or to help create work life integration (a term I borrowed from one of the moms because, as she puts it: "Trying to achieve balance with work and life implies 50:50 and the 'life' part encompasses so much more than the 'work' part!")
So I pitched a few of those inspirational moms and he/his editors loved it! However, there was a twist: he needed to include me since I was the newbie, and helped make the story timely.
I panicked slightly because, in my mind, I wasn't ready: I applied for my business license in March, but still hadn't received it; I had noodled with a logo, but had no website; I was still employed full-timeish.
But I realized: it's now or never. Al and I spoke Thursday. I bought a domain, built a website and gave notice at my job Friday. My business license came through on Monday. I got a text of congrats from a co-worker on Tuesday.
And that's how Achieving Good Communications was born.
About one month later, work is steady and growing. And, this week, a couple of the mompreneurs and I are scheduled to be on The Tamron Hall Show (tune in Wednesday, May 10 at 10 AM if you can) ... all because I pitched a great story to a great contact. We had coffee last week and I thanked him for his continual support, as well as for including me in this story, which has helped put me on the path to success.
If you know about any trends in Philly that you think would make a great story, do your homework on him and then if it's a fit, let Al know -- you never know where the power of a good relationship will take you!