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.
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.