Before we get too far into 2021, let me be clear about what we do, why we serve you, and what you mean to us: everything.
At the beginning of a year, it seems easy to look ahead, pretend like the worst is behind us, when really, it may not be. As a Type-A-er, I hate when I don't have control, but yet there's so much that's out of my hands. But I do have control over the attitude we go into this year with, and for #teamexaqueo, it's all about doing what we love for people who care.
As we plan our strategy for this year, everything keeps coming back to people, to the individual. We're not just working to put food on the table for our families. It's for our daughters and sons. Our spouses and partners. We're not just working to help a big brand name. It's the manager, the VP, the employer brand leader whose career may depend on what we do.
Our job is to focus on your work, understanding what you need and want, and doing our very best to deliver on that. But in doing that, I realized there are a few really important things you may not know about us--and these may be the things that matter the most.
I don't know if you know how much we love making you happy. How we care more about your feedback than we do our revenues. More about your satisfaction than our profit margins. How we reward our team for the work, and not the dollars.
I don't know if you know we dream about our work, dissecting feedback in our heads before we fall asleep. Brainstorming brandlines on our kids' chalkboards.
I don't know if you know we bootstrapped our business. We don't carry an ounce of debt, and we haven't sought a penny of investment so we can prioritize the work over the money.
I don't know if you know how much your support meant to us this year. As we welcomed four new babies into our exaqueo family and shifted schedules for homeschooling, you didn't wonder 'who's going to do my work?' You shared warm congratulations, and stayed patient through our transitions.
I don't know if you know how much we appreciate your honesty, the criticisms, the feedback, the subtle push. That when we go back to the drawing board, it's because we can do better. And we do.
I don't know if you know how much we think about you. Your careers, your bosses, your futures. We listen hard, and hear you--every single word.
I don't know if you know how hard it is for us to say no, push back, or bring up that terrible 'scope' word. We're pleasers first, businesspeople second.
I don't know if you know we're building brandlines with babies on our hips, deadlines in our heads, and sometimes fear in our hearts--all because we love what we do.
I don't know if you know how hard it is to compete as a small women-owned business, and how every win, no matter how much, is a Super Bowl-sized victory.
And I don't know if you know why I really started this company. Why I left a lucrative, stable, corporate gig to bet my career and my savings. Why I persevere--why we all do--when the nights are long, when the travel is lonely, and when the rejection can sting. It's because we will change how people think about work. No matter how long it takes.
Work isn't a transaction. It's a relationship. An important one for each and every one of us. We believe those relationships have meaning. Meaning that can't be found in technology, or systems. In job boards, or ratings sites. We're here because we want to help you find that meaning. For your organization and for yourself.
We're here for you. And we take that seriously. Big ideas are coming and they're for you.
As we all head down this path called 2021, with cautious steps and a some trepidation, know this: your trust, your partnership, your dialogue, and your commitment mean the world to us. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.