Four Years of Plucky

To everyone who has ever supported Plucky,

Businesses, though they are believed to have been started in garages, basements and backyard sheds, are started over coffee. At least, that’s true about Plucky. I had an idea four years ago (a longer story for a longer day), but it was over coffees and lunches that I refined that idea and found a tiny door leading to space in the market.

Plucky turned 4 earlier this month and Plucky sure has grown. In the beginning, Plucky felt like a kid-sister business. I scrapped things together, asked for a lot of advice, watched how other grown-up businesses found their way. There’s still an element of that, but lately people have been asking me for advice about starting their own businesses. That’s how I know the tectonic plates of business have shifted underneath me.

I find it incredibly valuable to pause and reflect each year, though as a solo businessperson I don’t have any employees to gather in a conference room to hear a State of the Union. Then I realized something: YOU should hear the State of the Union. YOU- family and industry colleague and friend (and my dear third grade teacher!)- YOU should know how your retweets and shares, your coffees and your generous introductions have manifested Plucky’s growth this year.

So here we go!

Numbers

I started tracking numbers this year. During Year 4, Plucky:

  • was open 3.5 days/week (thanks, Chris Dary, for the extra childcare!)
  • did work in countries
  • served 22 companies/clients
  • coached over 76 individuals
  • led audits and workshops (internal and external-facing) that have hosted 433 humans

Those last two numbers are very valuable to me because it means that, this year, more than 500 humans have told me their names, shared aspirational career growth and participated in content that empowers Adult Development. I care about this so much because I believe this is how I’ll change the world. Every employee who experiences a patient ear and the permission to find growth at work has the ability to bloom in new ways.

The ripples extend wide.

Behind the Scenes

While many of my hours have been spent working directly with clients this year, there is always significant work happening to expand the depth and path of the business. To that end, here are some new efforts that saw lift-off during Plucky’s 4th year:

Verticals

The retreats, the 1:1s, the selling event tickets and the blog posts… it is all in service of healthy people making powerful, aligned contributions to their place of work. While I started firmly in tech, I am seeing growth in a number of other industries, like media, retail, insurance and religion (!). I love this because it means Plucky’s appeal is to humans.

Humans sure sounds like a powerful pipeline.

Year 5

A continued focus on supporting leadership services and speaking, here are a few efforts I have my eye on for Year 5:

  • Wider ReachSo Now You’re a Manager trainings in 2018 (possible cities include Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland and Austin)
  • Branding: Launch of Plucky Merch for sale, including 1:1 starter kit for new managers
  • Giving Back: free coaching for a different non-profit each quarter (focus on orgs that are minority-led or career-oriented)
  • Collaboration: obvious evolution for #PluckyWomen, perhaps folding it into an existing local effort

Gratitude

Thanks for the intros. Thanks for coming to #PluckyWomen. Thanks for showing up and growing during our coaching sessions. Thanks for reading my writing and believing in Plucky’s mission.

But thanks especially for being open to changing things in the workplace, world. Every moment you spend on self-aware actions moves the needle.

Change takes time. I have time. Here comes Year 5.

xo Jen

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Announcing: So Now You’re A Manager

“The leadership is flagging.” This is the most common sentence I write in audits. You know why? (Get ready, it’s a shocker…)

Being a leader is REALLY EFFING TIRING.

Management can be such thrilling work. You are empowering humans to succeed! But it’s challenging work, it never ends and opportunities for training are few and far between. What does a successful day look like as a manager? What are the nuts and bolts of the job? And why the hell is your calendar booked solid with meetings?

I’m beyond pleased to announce a new Plucky workshop that trains and develops new managers. So Now You’re a Manager is a 2-day onsite training for those who embody the scaffolding to your company’s success. I’ve been thinking about this for over 3 years and it feels so good to have it ready for the wild!

This workshop, for managers and emerging managers, helps define what your role requires of you. We’ll address basic management skills and identify strategies for how to be successful. You’ll learn how to give feedback, how to earn trust and how to move things forward (which, at the end of the day, is one of the most important things you’ll do).

Are you flagging? Do you have flagging managers who need a refresh or who are hungry for the first official management training of their lives? Then get in touch and let’s shore up some of the most important roles at your org: the people peeps.