15 years ago while sitting at Soby’s, my husband and I made a brave and equally stupid decision. We decided to start our own business. In 2003, the United States economy was slowly recovering from the latest 10 year recession. We launched ICAP with the backing of two close friends and we had about $80.00 in our savings account. We had two small children at the time, no insurance and a mortgage. To say I was fearful would be an understatement. Statistics say that most businesses die within 5 years of starting.
The graph above is from the US Department of Labor and it shows the birth and death rate of businesses. The blue line (BIRTH) should always be higher than the red line (DEATH). You know your economy is in trouble when the blue line drops below the red line. As you can see, that happened during the 2008-2010 recession and we lost about 75% of our business during that time. I have never met a business owner who doesn’t know first hand about disappointment, failure and even heartbreak. We have certainly felt all of those emotions and many others.
But at the same time, over the last 15 years, we have felt great joy. Joy when we staffed someone out of a bad situation and doubled their income. Happiness when we found a Jr level position for a candidate when they needed to change fields. Gratitude when we hired people for our internal staff who were trustworthy. Fulfillment when we can help an employee become more self aware and a better spouse, co-worker and friend. Starting a business has been a horrifying and absolutely thrilling journey. One that I would highly recommend but also caution against.
Sadly, we have never stopped in these 15 years to look back and to celebrate. To revel for a moment in what we have accomplished and how far we have come. In 2018, we are stopping and celebrating and thinking and dreaming of what our future could look like.
Thank you so much for being a part of the last 15 years, for hiring us to be your culture consultant, for allowing us to partner with you as you develop your Human Potential. We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve you!