Every year, around the Dooley & Associates anniversary, I take time to reflect on how far we’ve come, and this year is unique in the fact that I believe we’re finally operating post-recession for the first time EVER in the existence of Dooley & Associates. We opened in the start of 2008, which required every bit of hustle I possessed to find opportunities to do business and grow. Since then, we have been given opportunities to steadily grow every single year, and that’s something I take great pride in, because it means we’re doing a heck of a job helping our loyal clients grow and generating new referrals. Since conception, our clients’ growth has been at the heart of my vision for Dooley & Associates.
It was around eleven years ago, after spending countless hours at trade shows, cocktail parties and networking events, that I began to realize many organizations don’t have a marketing department. Some don’t even have an in-house marketing person. At that same time I started beating off offers to do freelance work, because I always knew that moonlighting wasn’t for me. I’m an all-or-nothing person, and I never felt I could give my “all” in a freelance capacity.
As these conversations continued, so did my desire to help organizations prosper, because I’ve always believed that small business is at the heart of what makes this country great. I’ve always felt so much compassion for small business owners, because I was raised by parents that each owned and operated their own small businesses. It’s no secret life is short, and I realized I wanted more for my life — maybe even a small legacy to call my own. I knew I wanted to positively impact this world with the marketing gift I was given.
It was during late 2007 and early 2008, with the help of some very dear girlfriends and local mentors that believed in me more than I believed in myself, that I started to truly see that my vision could come to life. I knew as soon as I took the leap my life would never be the same. Boy, was I right! On March 11, 2008, the day before my 30th birthday, I filed for Dooley & Associates’ LLC. I remember that night like yesterday… at the kitchen countertop with my glass of wine and laptop, following the instructions from my accountant, I submitted the form that made me a business… which meant I woke up on my 30th birthday with a brand new job title: Principal of Dooley & Associates!
I spent that entire next weekend holed up developing a company tagline. Marketing Resources to Grow Your Business was born, and it’s still what drives us every single day as a company and what you find hanging next to our front door. From the very beginning my vision was to help clients grow their business or organization. That meant we had big shoes to fill, because the only way we were to succeed was if we provided results. After all, what client is going to continue working with a marketing company that isn’t helping grow their business?
My first goal was simply to consult and create a modest income. Little did I know that, even during a recession, there were a lot of businesses and organizations that needed me! It soon became obvious that it would be impossible for me to do this alone. So, slowly but surely, our team started to evolve. We decided early on that we wanted to be a boutique agency that provides the highest caliber of creative services versus a massive agency where clients get lost in the shuffle and are subject to getting the “B Team” put on their work. We don’t have a B Team and never will.
So, this year I stand poised and ready to embrace the BIG new challenges in store for us as we operate at full capacity during a good economy. The writing on the wall tells me our climb is far from over, and — as always — I know this is going to be our best year yet.
Cheers to 9 years and many, many, more! I wish you a 2017 surrounded by great people that help you grow.
I also want to give some well-deserved shout-outs this year:
My parents who instilled my undeniable work ethic and passion in me, but more than that how to treat people. I love helping people because they taught me early on to take good care of everyone whether they’re employees, clients or the mailman, day in and day out we must be good to people.
Dora Hagen, the best designer I’ve ever known and one of my best friends. You are my work and life family; thank you for always “getting” me before I even need to use words.
John Hogan, the guru that won my heart and never stops challenging me to learn and become more.
Janel Wamboldt, the mom we always needed on the team. Thanks for keeping me in line even when I’m a brat ;)
Derek Kilps, you’re the positive attitude man of the office who knows how to treat people right while getting everything done!
Kendra Buchanan, the first person that ever looked for SOP’s at Dooley. I love your diligence and digital prowess.
Beatrice Williams, the greatest puzzle solver and gamer in the office. Your kindness is second to none.
Tito, many people don’t realize that this sweet little guy is sitting in my lap every chance he gets when I’m in my office and usually sharing my lunch. He’s my sanity, joy and heart.
Marty & Maria Hogan, who do so much behind the scenes. Truly you never stop making us look so good.
Kristi Schaeffer-Kleutsch & Scott Olson, my amazing money people, cheerleaders and friends from before day one.
Kate Walker, Crista Kruse, Becky Noble, Maggie Sturino-Wood, Camisha Miller, geez girls, you are some of my biggest fans & that just about makes me one of the luckiest entrepreneurs in the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
Chuck Swetland, Matt Carlson, Dan Schlicht, Jerry Cousin and crew. Your support, friendship and good times keep me sane more than you know.
I know there are so many others to thank for our success. We’re great because of those who surround us.