Sunday, June 07, 2009

10 years goes by like a blink of an eye

Today we’ve hit a very emotional milestone in our company’s existence: the 10-year mark. I still can’t believe it. I will never forget the day I opened the doors to Maverick Public Relations. It was June 7, 1999 – exactly 10 years ago today. Our first office was located at the corner of Bloor and Church street in downtown Toronto. We occupied a small office and had a few pieces of furniture, leased computers, a basic telephone system ... and an abundance of hope! That hope – combined with a lot of hard work – has paid off big-time. We now own three buildings in Toronto’s beautiful Annex district with an enviable roster of clients.

So much has happened over the last decade that a blog post isn’t enough space to recall memories of years gone by. It would take a book.

The early Maverick years are perhaps my favourite, I think because we had few expectations and we had no clue how to run a business. Everything was new and exciting. We walked into prospects’ offices with a big swagger and huge bravado. We were like petulant adolescents you couldn’t say no to. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If a client asked us if we can take them IPO, we said yes ... and then on the cab ride back to the office we tried to figure out how to do it! But we always, always delivered.

In 10 years we’ve survived the tech bubble bust, the 9/11 aftermath, pesky lawsuits by former employers (we’re still here, they’re still mad), stock market crashes and the current recession. We’ve had countless successes (too many to list) and a few “I’d rather not talk about it” moments.

So how I can sum up the last 10 years? It’s almost impossible, but here goes:

We’ve won clients, lost clients and fired a few clients, too.

We’ve generated countless headlines, datelines and cutlines and met deadlines.

We’ve celebrated births, promotions, graduations, weddings and divorces.

We’ve shed tears of joy, tears of frustration and tears for lost family and friends.

We’ve had spills, falls, near misses and near drownings.

We’ve partied in and on Caribbean islands, casinos, snowcaps and hot tubs.

We’ve been drunk, a little foul-mouthed and just plain silly at times.

We’ve been talked about, kicked around, laughed at and mocked.

We’ve been shilling, dealing, pitching and selling.

We’ve been hired, fired, neglected, shoved aside but rarely ignored.

We’ve been embraced, ensconced and a little embarrassed, too.

We’ve been squeezed, screwed, stiffed and shafted.

We’ve been called partners, suppliers, agents, flacks and publicity hounds.

We’ve been showered with praise, awards and accolades.

We’ve worked with big budgets, small budgets and sometimes no budgets at all.

We’ve experienced brownouts, blackouts and personal burnouts.

We’ve dealt with bull, crap, lies and mild exaggerations.

We’ve been wowed by clients, wooed by clients and awed by clients.

We’ve had terrific off-sites, insights and websites.

We’ve taken to Facebook, Twitter and blogs oh my!

We've delivered kick-ass results, kick-ass plans and kick-ass events.

We’ve been profitable, we’ve broken even, but we’ve never been broke.

We’ve hired great people, said goodbye to some and welcomed a few back to the manor.

We’ve moved products, built brands and reinforced corporate reputations for all of our wonderful clients.

Whew!

It has certainly been a hell of a ride; I don’t want to get off.

What will the next 10 years bring? More of the same?

I can only hope.

9 comments:

Donna Papacosta said...

What a great review of the 10 years. Congratulations, Julie!

Anne Mullen said...

Excellent synopsis of the past 10 years Julie, hopefully the next 10 will be just as exciting.
Congratulations to you and Gerry

Aby said...

To 10 years and beyond! Congratulations, Julie!

Martin Waxman said...

Congratulations, Julie! That is a real accomplishment. And thanks for writing the free-verse account of agency life - you've captured the essence of your business (and, in many ways, the industry).

I want to wish you many, many, many more years of success, happiness, creativity, leadership and fun!

Oh - and you also created a standout Toronto agency brand. So congratulations on that, too.

The Local Drinker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate More said...

The energy and spirit of MAVERICK is captured in your blog, it reads fast and it reads real - just like the emotional roller-coaster ride of creating a successful business.

As a student of public relations it is hard not to feel a little green reading the joy in your writing, but that envy only fuels the fire to experience the same one day!

The image of the early days - of MAVERICK practitioners as "petulant adolescents" in a bare bares office is great. Everyone has to start out somewhere, but the energy with which you started guaranteed a strong engine behind your journey.

Thanks for taking us, the hopeful ones with "nothing to lose and everything to gain," along for the ride.

Hat's off to you!

Best Regards,
Kate More

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and wonderful comments. I hope to write a post on our 20th! JULIE

Louise Armstrong said...

Congratulations on your success Julie. As a fellow agency entrepreneur, I can relate to all of your memories...except maybe the Caribbean hot tubs. How do we get some of that?

andrewbowins said...

Congratulations on your success and it was fun to read this post. I was there for part of the early days and cherish the memories. I might have added to the foul-mouthed silliness as well. After all, we were and still are Mavericks regardless of where I am today.