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!
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 3 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:
- Scalability: launch of a 2-day training to support the career paths of emerging leaders with less than 5 years experience in management (So Now You’re a Manager)
- Local Presence: monthly happy hours for women in the Bay Area to meet and process their experiences at work, find career guidance and offer help (#PluckyWomen)
- Giving Back: Plucky’s first sponsorship (Brave Camp, leadership workshops for young women)
- Writing: regular blog series for managers
- Marketing: a deeper social media presence (hello, Instagram!), first trials of Facebook ads (meh)
- Making: a career path guide, stickers, my own tee-shirt to wear during a 5k… aka Merch!
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.
A continued focus on supporting leadership services and speaking, here are a few efforts I have my eye on for Year 5:
- Wider Reach: So 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
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.
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