By Wende Malster
Courage. It’s something we strive for and something we often come short of attaining. According to Miriam-Webster, courage is defined as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.” Five years ago, when Janet and I started M2 Partners, several people told us we were very courageous.
“Really?” we responded, “Don’t you mean crazy?” After all, starting a business from the ground up is something creative, motivated, intelligent and probably slightly crazy people do. Aside from being motivated and a little crazy, we never would have described ourselves as the kind of people to leave the stability of an established business to start a brand new business.
Five years later, we look back on the many different organizations we have worked with, across almost every industry sector and we feel grateful. We look at the hundreds, maybe thousands, of people we have interviewed and spoken with on this journey, and we pinch ourselves at how fortunate we have been and continue to be.
Except for our second year, we have seen increased success year after year. We measure this success by the expansion of our M2 Team — Joann and Richard joined us full-time, Valerie and Kathy part-time, and Sarah for any number of hours she can give us while working full-time and caring for her two young children. By the number of laughs we share in our Monday morning staff calls that prompt my daughter to ask me if I’m having fun or doing work. We pride ourselves on the success we have had helping great companies and talented Human Resources professionals find each other, and by the opportunity we have to do work we love while staying connected to our family and friends.
Perhaps most importantly, in our second year, we learned that in fact, we are courageous. We found the mental strength to talk each other off the ledge of anxiety and fear when our revenue dropped off significantly, and we pinky-swore that we would persevere for at least another year. It was difficult, and it forced us to think creatively about how we value our time and our work. We are so thankful we pushed through.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving this week, our gratitude is immense, and we hope that each of you finds a moment to enjoy not only the turkey feast and the football, but also the craziness you find around your table. The craziness we call, well, life.