Co-founder shares advice from success story
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
McKinley Marketing came to life 20 years ago and, like every business, grew from humble beginnings, watered and fed nearly every waking hour from the blood and sweat of a few dedicated entrepreneurs.
Michelle Boggs, along with two partners, including Mindful Profits founder Amanda Weathersby, founded the marketing staffing company 20 years ago.
“All consuming” is how Boggs describes starting your own business. “You don’t have much of a life for a long, long time.”
Every entrepreneur understands this. In the beginning, you are everything to your business – the CEO, the CFO, the accountant, the marketing strategist, the payroll administrator. And on top of it all, you’re in charge of delivering the core services and products that your business sells. You are your only employee.
That hard work pays off, especially in this case.
After six months of “killing herself” with work, Boggs began building her support team. She brought on her first employee that first year and now, after celebrating 20 years of success last month, she employs 18 people – hiring 4 in just this past month.
McKinley now has two offices – one in Alexandria, VA, where Boggs lives, and another in her native city of Dallas, Texas. The company is set to open two more offices in Houston and New York this week.
“Right now, we’re in high growth mode,” Boggs says.
McKinley Marketing grew 34% in revenue last year and 85% in profits, she says.
So, what do we all want to know when we hear about a successful business?
How did they do it? And what lessons can we apply to our own businesses?
As a company that places marketing professionals on an interim and contract basis within middle market to Fortune 500 companies, McKinley Marketing relied on people from the start.
The most important advice Boggs can give is advice that was passed down to her, advice she is so glad she took.
“Hire people who are smarter than you are at whatever the need is and get out of the way,” she says. “I took it and live by it and abide by it.”
Hiring people who are “better” than you is a hard concept for most entrepreneurs to grasp, she says. Many are threatened by this or too prideful.
But, she says, let people help you. Let them do their jobs. It’s how she got McKinley Marketing to where it is today.
“I needed the help. I just couldn’t do it all.”
Hear from all of McKinley Marketing’s co-founders about their entrepreneurial journeys: