Gini Dietrich

An Entrepreneur’s Journey: Mine

By: Gini Dietrich | April 11, 2011 | 
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My good friend Troy Claus asked me to write this for his blog, where he has a fabulous series called “The Entrepreneur’s Journey.” So, if you read it there first, there is nothing new to see here. Move along until tomorrow.

It’s a very vivid memory. Sitting in the conference room at Fleishman-Hillard with our Ocean Spray clients. There are five or six three-inch binders full of media placements sitting in the middle of the table.

The artwork we’d commissioned to showcase the beauty of the cranberry harvest was strategically placed around the conference room. The stationery, with the same art, signified seating assignments.

It was the first grown-up meeting I’d been invited to attend with this client.

Sure, I’d had lots of meetings with the PR director, but never with her boss or her boss’s boss. It was intimidating.

But we were ready!

We’d hosted several juice samplings across the country. We had a traveling art show. We donated proceeds from the art show and stationery sales to America’s Second Harvest. Media ate it up and we had lots of “results” to show for our work.

We went through our dog and pony show. It was the first time in my career that I was really, really proud of the work we’d done.  We worked really hard and finally we got to show off a little bit.

That’s when the words I’ll never forget hit me like a ton of bricks.

This is all great, but our sales are down. We’re going to have to decrease our budget and really work at finding ways to show results toward helping our growers sell.

Come again? But look at everything around you. Look at all of those media placements. Look at all of the art on the walls. Look in front of you at the stationery. Consider how much juice we gave away at sampling events. Think about all the good you did for America’s Second Harvest.

It didn’t work. None of it worked.

After I got over the initial shock, I began to think about a better way. A better way to measure our efforts directly to business goals. But I was all of 27 and had no business experience. I hadn’t even been introduced to projections or cash flow or P&Ls or balance sheets yet.

Gaining Experience

I was in Kansas City then and the city got smaller and smaller. I knew it was time to leave so I looked at Chicago, New York City,  and Madison, Wis. (don’t judge – they offered me A LOT of money and a huge job).

It was the first time I got to really weigh opportunities, money, cities, and jobs against one another.

Chicago won. I took a job with Rhea & Kaiser, to help build their PR department. Something that, at the time, didn’t exist. It was an opportunity to manage a team, learn the business side of things, and learn how to manage financials in a smaller environment.

Coming from FH, writing off time was no big deal. But at R&K, it was a HUGE deal. And that’s where I learned that if I were billing 15 hours a day and we were only being paid for 10 of them, I was not using my time efficiently. Overservicing clients was comfortable for me (because I have a hard time saying no and it was in my DNA from FH days) and it was there I learned, in some cases, I was being taken advantage of.

This was a very important lesson that I used five years later.

I also learned the difference between an entrepreneurial, very successful private business and a global, public company. I learned how to figure things out on the fly because I had a boss who was great at ideas, but terrible at implementation. There were many meetings I’d kick him under the table because I knew this great idea he’d just sold to a new client was something I’d have to work with my team to execute. But talk about learning how to figure things out…it was great experience!

Starting A Business

And, then one night, I’d had a long day, I was tired of arguing with the creative director about what constituted news, and I’d had a disagreement with a colleague. I was tired. It was raining and really dark. I was in the car with my then fiance, trying not to cry. And he said the magic words:

Why don’t you quit?

Quit? We had a wedding coming up, his candidate had just lost the election, and we were buying a condo. Why the heck would I quit?

But quit I did and, that first year, I made more money than I ever imagined myself making. And so began Arment Dietrich.

There are a lot of milestones I remember:

  • My fabulous first intern who taught me about designer jeans and Starbucks lattes
  • The men who came into our office insisting they wouldn’t do business with us without meeting my husband
  • Sub-leasing a closet from an ad agency so we could have a Michigan Ave address
  • Working my way up the PRSA ladder to eventually become president of the Chicago chapter
  • Developing long-lasting friendships with leaders at the global agencies (you know, just in case)
  • Learning how to network and do business development
  • Understanding that generating millions of dollars in sales does NOT mean making millions of dollars
  • Learning about tax laws and business laws and financials and HR and payroll and bank debt and client expectations and competitive differences

I really thought I’d build a company while I do what I love to do: Work with clients on strategic issues, create ways to measure to client’s specific business goals, and write. But, as it turned out, the bigger we got, the more quickly I went from a kick-ass communication professional to a sub-par company manager.

Sub-Par Doesn’t Work for Me

But sub-par doesn’t work for me. I’m a double type A perfectionist. I wanted to become a kick-ass company leader. I quickly discovered my weaknesses. I’m not a manager. I don’t like structure. If things aren’t constantly changing, I’m not happy. But all of those things are really jolting to the vast majority of employees (and clients, for that matter).

So what do you do?

You find people who have strengths where you are weak. There has been A LOT of trial and error. And, in some cases, we haven’t been able to afford experts so I’ve spent time learning things that aren’t really interesting to me, but necessary.

I’ve also been fortunate to go through the worst economic recession of our generation. OK. Not really. It sucked. The big one. But you know what I learned? You figure out really quickly how to survive. I mean, REALLY quickly. And you find ways to still do the things you love, while empowering and trusting your team to do the same.

I’ve run three marathons, raced time trials, climbed four 14ers, and cycled countless Centuries. Growing a business is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And growing a business and starting a new one (hello, Spin Sucks Pro) is even more challenging. But, unless you forget to stop and look around at what you’ve built, it’s also the most rewarding.

My advice? Fully understand what you’re getting yourself into, find ways to not lose your passions, and stop and smell the flowers! That’s some advice I should listen to myself, from time to time.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • KenMueller

    Thank you for this. This is the kind of thing that I need to read as I’m in the 2nd year of a rather small startup. I have my good months, I have my bad months. But I believe in what I do and I keep plugging away. Stories like yours are inspiring to me because you are honest. I see so many people who try to put a “spin” on things and make it look like everything they touch is gold. I admit, I’m tempted to do the same at times. But I look at you and your honesty and vulnerability make you that much more likable! (I was gonna say lovable, but others are watching!)

    So just a big thank you! Keep being just who you are!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller When I decided to go out on my own, I tried to find something, anything, to read that would tell me what to do, what to expect, and even the cons of having your own business. I found nothing. I mean, nothing. You’re right. It’s all positive, uplifting, overnight success kind of BS. So I decided that I would tell people like it really is. The one thing I don’t do is tell it like it is when it’s fresh. I wait a while first. That way I can put perspective on it.

    And thank you, Ken. This is very nice of you to say!

  • NancyMyrland

    Congratulations on a great journey Gini. What you have done, and are doing, is something to be respected, learned from and admired. I KNOW you will be successful because you have all the markers of a successful, driven, passionate person. I’m happy to be present to watch. xo

  • It’s interesting how one day we all started there “I need to quit this.’

    I remember when I quit my PR job, my boss said if I stayed another month he would give me a raise and a great recommendation. I said where I’m going I don’t need your recommandation, ‘I quit”.

    And the raise: my rule has always been that if I was offered one as I was walking out the door, I kept walking.

    For most of us, its really really hard, we have been taught to never quit, turn a bad situation into a good one, be persistent etc…

    Then on a different level there is all the logistics of quitting, as you mentioned, the income, the house, the lifestyle, and expenses.

    @ginidietrich is right, many out there love to sell the overnight success, become an entrepreneur get rich quick and live abroad scams. It appeals to the masses and makes us feel warm and comfortable that it’s going to be easy ride with virtually no risk.

    Spinsucks on so many different levels @ginidietrich thanks for reminding us that live isn’t like that.

  • It’s interesting how one day we all started there “I need to quit this.’

    I remember when I quit my PR job, my boss said if I stayed another month he would give me a raise and a great recommendation. I said where I’m going I don’t need your recommandation, ‘I quit”.

    And the raise: my rule has always been that if I was offered one as I was walking out the door, I kept walking.

    For most of us, its really really hard, we have been taught to never quit, turn a bad situation into a good one, be persistent etc…

    Then on a different level there is all the logistics of quitting, as you mentioned, the income, the house, the lifestyle, and expenses.

    @ginidietrich is right, many out there love to sell the overnight success, become an entrepreneur get rich quick and live abroad scams. It appeals to the masses and makes us feel warm and comfortable that it’s going to be easy ride with virtually no risk.

    Spinsucks on so many different levels @ginidietrich thanks for reminding us that live isn’t like that.

  • It’s interesting how one day we all started there “I need to quit this.’

    I remember when I quit my PR job, my boss said if I stayed another month he would give me a raise and a great recommendation. I said where I’m going I don’t need your recommandation, ‘I quit”.

    And the raise: my rule has always been that if I was offered one as I was walking out the door, I kept walking.

    For most of us, its really really hard, we have been taught to never quit, turn a bad situation into a good one, be persistent etc…

    Then on a different level there is all the logistics of quitting, as you mentioned, the income, the house, the lifestyle, and expenses.

    @ginidietrich is right, many out there love to sell the overnight success, become an entrepreneur get rich quick and live abroad scams. It appeals to the masses and makes us feel warm and comfortable that it’s going to be easy ride with virtually no risk.

    Spinsucks on so many different levels @ginidietrich thanks for reminding us that live isn’t like that.

  • I love that you’ve shared your story; how honest you are and how self-aware. You know this, but you’ve been a real inspiration for me. It’s no surprise to me that many of the moments you had earlier in your career are overly familiar! Thank you for being you!

  • I love that you’ve shared your story; how honest you are and how self-aware. You know this, but you’ve been a real inspiration for me. It’s no surprise to me that many of the moments you had earlier in your career are overly familiar! Thank you for being you!

  • I love that you’ve shared your story; how honest you are and how self-aware. You know this, but you’ve been a real inspiration for me. It’s no surprise to me that many of the moments you had earlier in your career are overly familiar! Thank you for being you!

  • alsmith.pas@hotmail.com

    Thanks Gini. Love your honesty. Just the title “Spin Sucks” is awesome. That’s what got me following and reading you. I am new and have to remember to follow my passion, focus on the positive and have gratitude. keep those great posts and tweets coming. U Rock !!

    Al

  • HeatherWhaling

    Gini, this whole story makes me like you even more — who knew that was possible?! People probably tell you this all the time, but you’re such a role model, especially for someone like me who is in year 2 of owning my own agency. I’m so thankful for your willingness to share your stories. As kenmueller noted, it’s refreshing to see someone approach entrepreneurship with such honesty, instead of a “everything is rosy all the time” view. I love what I do and everything that comes with building a company from scratch, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I just want to hide! Ha! Your story is a good reminder that the ups and downs are totally normal. And, the end result — creating a company that does work that you’re really proud of — is totally worth it!

  • Oh Auntie Gini,

    How many moons has it been since your words last graced my eyes? Too many for sure. Although your readers do not know my story of entrepreneurship like you do, for brevity’s sake for this comment, suffice it to say that I’m in my 4th year of business ownership with 39 days remaining before my 26th birthday.

    Unlike you, my strengths were not derived from a wealth of industry experience and intimate knowledge of customers’ wants, needs, and behavioral patterns but were based upon an education in the nuts and bolts of business: finance, accounting, and marketing strategy (all in academic theory mind you). Four years ago, what I lacked in real-world experience, my partners made up (40 years combined in sales & marketing).

    What we could not anticipate and what has proven to be our greatest asset was the forging fires of the recession through which we learned our strengths and weaknesses as a business and as businessmen. The period of economic sluggishness taught us how to survive, how to continually seek opportunity, and how to overcome even the most daunting of challenges.

    Sadly, I lack the foresight (what a slacker am I!) to know where this adventure is heading, but my brief time as an entrepreneur has taught me that I’m strong enough to get there. I find your story (plus your support and friendship) to be a guiding light that dedication to excellence and hard work will certainly reap great success.

    Cheers to where you are and where you are going. I look forward with unbridled anticipation to the future of Spin Sucks Pro.

    All the best,

    Jamey

  • timjahn

    Always been a fan of your story (that’s why I’ve interviewed your twice about it!) and continue to learn from what you do.

    Love this concise breakdown all in one post, too. Keep up the good work!

  • DianeD.Stein

    This is a really good post Gini! Inspirational! My favorites are when you let your hair down and show it all – warts and everything. Why? Because it is real and nothing works better in PR than good old fashioned truth! Congratulations Gini! You deserve it!

  • GayleJoseph

    You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing…your agency, your blog, the way you conduct yourself. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • HowieSPM

    So how did you get into the cupcake business after all these years in PR? Did you just meet @ShellyKramer and realize she single handedly could keep you in business?

    I love hearing your story of struggle and triumpancy (yes I already filed the IP for that word to go with Humorical).Very inspirational. I also wonder how many people with start ups face the same challenges even though we get advice and know about them. In fact I just closed my PO Box in NYC since I decided not important for what I do right now.

    But your story isn’t done Gini! Not until you sell out for 9 figures to a big PR or Advertising Conglomerate and buy your villa in Ibiza with a Yacht for your dance parties.

  • janbeery

    Gini, I got choked up reading your story this morning. You are a sincere, beautiful person and I just adore you!

    You found what you loved doing and you’re figuring out how to make a living doing it. Along the way, you’re growing and inspiring others. Your team evolves and you continue to move forward.

    We wish you all our blessings and support.

    Spin Sucks Pro will do well and you’ll evolve with that too.

    Yes, stop and smell the roses, I have to remind myself the same. I’m thinking of returning to my previous plan of annual spa trips!

  • GayleJoseph

    You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing…your agency, your blog, the way you conduct yourself. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • GayleJoseph

    You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing…your agency, your blog, the way you conduct yourself. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • GayleJoseph

    You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing…your agency, your blog, the way you conduct yourself. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • GayleJoseph

    You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing…your agency, your blog, the way you conduct yourself. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • jackielamp

    Remember when I emailed you a few months back and asked about how you got to where you are because what you did is a goal of mine as well? Glad I got to see it in this post. It’s very inspiring. Really, thank you for sharing.

    Since I’m still in the very young “I don’t know anything but have ideas” sort of phase, I have a feeling there are many struggles ahead. That’s when I’ll be calling you asking for a pep talk 🙂

    As everyone else in the comments has said, you’re an amazing person. There’s no doubt in my mind that your character is what enabled you to persevere. Keep going! I have a feeling the best part of this journey is yet to come.

  • jackielamp

    Remember when I emailed you a few months back and asked about how you got to where you are because what you did is a goal of mine as well? Glad I got to see it in this post. It’s very inspiring. Really, thank you for sharing.

    Since I’m still in the very young “I don’t know anything but have ideas” sort of phase, I have a feeling there are many struggles ahead. That’s when I’ll be calling you asking for a pep talk 🙂

    As everyone else in the comments has said, you’re an amazing person. There’s no doubt in my mind that your character is what enabled you to persevere. Keep going! I have a feeling the best part of this journey is yet to come.

  • You inspire me, Gini! I love what you’re doing – with your company, your blog and your approach to business – and I look forward to what’s next.

  • MimiMeredith

    Just more validation of my quest to be like Gini Dietrich when I grow up!

  • So I read this on Troy’s blog ….and just had to read it again because…to put it in simple English…You freaking rock Aunt Gini! 🙂

    Thanks for being the example you are!

    Marcus

  • Mr.D

    Little did I know asking you why you didn’t just quit and go out on your own was the start of something this great. I don’t comment often here, but for this one, I’m throwing in my two cents and apologize to everyone not named Gini for the personal nature of this note. From the one bedroom tiny apartment in the “up and coming” area of St. Louis in 2002, to our first condo and your offices/closets on Michigan, Chicago and now Clark, you have have overcome every obstacle, kept your vision and refused to fail. Like anything else in life, it has been a series of ups and downs, but you’ve never given up and made it a success. I know you won’t stop anytime soon. Me, JB, Pete the Tapeworm (welcome him back for me BTW), and every other electronic device you have named are proud, impressed and rooting for you. As a perfectionist , I know you don’t often take a step back to realize what you have done. You can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. So allow me to simply say: Well done. OK, you can go back now to leading the social media revolution. I’ve got a few more chapters to finish in my book: How Live With a Double Type A Personality. Mr. D

  • M_Koehler

    Not to shabby for a Bunny! I’m blessed to have known you all those years ago and see what you have become after an inexplicably long time of not knowing each other. You’ve done something that I will probably never have the guts to do and that is just say screw it; there is a better way/more fullfilling career. I applaud you and wish you nothing but continued success…and a couple pints of goat cheese ice cream.

  • M_Koehler

    Not to shabby for a Bunny! I’m blessed to have known you all those years ago and see what you have become after an inexplicably long time of not knowing each other. You’ve done something that I will probably never have the guts to do and that is just say screw it; there is a better way/more fullfilling career. I applaud you and wish you nothing but continued success…and a couple pints of goat cheese ice cream.

  • @Marcus_Sheridan @ginidietrich Me too and I second the motion – you rock and roll Gin : )

  • @Marcus_Sheridan @ginidietrich Me too and I second the motion – you rock and roll Gin : )

  • KevinVandever

    I’m quitting my job today…right now, in fact.

  • JoyFull_deb

    love.love.love. your story…..and YOU….#worlddomination soon

  • rosemaryoneill

    I’m a relatively new reader, and am loving this blog (no, don’t know why it took me so long to find it). I think the quote “why don’t you just quit” should be emblazoned on little cards that can be handed out whenever you’re listening to someone talk about why their job sucks. That’s so often the magic moment (it was for me) that turns your whole life around.

  • C_Pappas

    Wow! You said ‘screw it’ and quit when everyone else I know would have just stayed and collected a paycheck. I have so much admiration for you and people like you that break the mold and decide to go after what’s in their heart (I just saw Eat Pray Love and I love the image the medicine man drew which indicated you should look out through your heart, not your head). I know a lot of people still out of work right now and not by their own choice. They are lost and dismayed that they are on their own. I say all the power to ya! Sometimes it takes a kick to set something in motion. Kudos to you for just jumping. Best wishes for continued success and so excited you did find time for Spin Sucks Pro – it sounds great!!

  • jelenawoehr

    I’ve heard bits and pieces of the story so far, but seeing it all together is inspiring and exciting! Thanks for the Monday morning pick-me-up… I can’t wait to be writing my own retrospective on years of successful CEO-ing one day 😉 #gonnabeGiniwhenIgrowup!

  • ginidietrich

    @jelenawoehr #whydontyoubejelenawhenyougrowup?!

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas You see, Christina, I’m EXTREMELY stubborn. And I have a HUGE problem with authority. So I really can’t stay and collect a paycheck. It’s not in my DNA. I really had no idea what I was going…or what I was going to do. Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy, but it works out in the long run. I’m a big believer in being in charge of your own destiny. If you’re not happy, CHANGE IT! You’re the only one who can.

  • jelenawoehr

    @ginidietrich But I’m Jelena already and one person per lifetime would just not be the most efficient use of my time! (About that: I have my genie wish all planned out if I ever find one–seven parallel lives that pause when I’m living one of the others, and time travel powers in one of the seven so I can create a badass life from all the best decisions I make in the other six).

  • ginidietrich

    @rosemaryoneill LOL! It’s OK…we haven’t hit our goal of beating a bunch of boys in the top 20 of AdAge. If you didn’t find us until then, I’d tease you. 🙂

    Did you quit your job to go out on your own?!

  • ginidietrich

    @KevinVandever Yessssssssssss!!

  • ginidietrich

    @JoyFull_deb And I love YOU! xoxo

  • ginidietrich

    @M_Koehler Yes, you are the only person in my life (other than my family) who knows what I was like back then. And you’re very kind about it, too. But I guess that’s because I have lots of blackmail material on you.

  • ginidietrich

    @Mr.D OMG! Mr. D DOES exist!! Thank you, HB. This made me cry. I love you.

  • ginidietrich

    @Mark_Harai @Marcus_Sheridan Uh. Where did @lisagerber go telling you guys not to fill my head?! Now I definitely have to have the doors widened around here.

  • ginidietrich

    @MimiMeredith No, no. You’ll be Mimi when you grow up. Because I need you, as you, in my life!

  • ginidietrich

    @GayleJoseph Thank you, Gayle! xoxo

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp I don’t remember what I told you. Was I a smart aleck about it? And I am HAPPY to give you pep talks. Lord knows I need them. At least once a week.

  • ginidietrich

    @janbeery I’m going with you!!!! Take me with you!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Don’t you worry, Howie. When I get the yacht, you have the first invitation.

  • ginidietrich

    @DianeD.Stein You are so right, Diane! Some would say, in fact, that spin sucks. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn Thanks Tim! And I can even figure out WordPress (sometimes) on my own!

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 OMG! Your ears must have been burning! nittygriddyblog is very worried about you!

    I don’t think any of us has the foresight to know where we’re headed. The point is that you’re headed.

  • ginidietrich

    @HeatherWhaling And I love debating the merits of business development and the turn of the PR industry and everything in between with you.

    The ups and downs are totally normal. I wish more people talked about it. It is NOT rosy. Just like running a marathon or climbing a mountain, it really hurts. But then you finish and it’s the greatest feeling one can have!

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean That’s because we’ve led parallel lives!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyMyrland Thank you, Nancy! It’s not easy (as you well know) but we all get there eventually.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto “Where I’m going, I don’t need your recommendation.”

    I. Love. That.

  • ginidietrich

    @jelenawoehr Why does it not surprise me that you’ve thought this through?

  • ginidietrich

    @jelenawoehr Why does it not surprise me that you’ve thought this through?

  • @ginidietrich @JamesDBurrell2 nittygriddyblog LOL! I just got an email from my awesome Valentine today actually :). No longer worried. I was just telling him that we missed seeing him around the friendosphere of bloggers – you know – ours :)!

    Nice to see you back here Jimbo! Woohooo!

    Oh, and hola Aunt Gin :))

  • Charismacom

    Hi Gini –

    This is fantastic! It rings so true for me. I began my agency more than 8 years ago for a lot of the same reasons you so aptly spell out above and have learned many of the same lessons along the way (millions of dollars in sales does not mean millions of dollars.) I just wanted to pop in to say your post spoke to me. It’s so close to my own story. Thanks for a great read!

  • @ginidietrich BTW – I LOVED your entrepreneur story Gin. Read over at Troy’s when he published it :). Of course – I mean I do stalk you after all eh? lol

    Impressive would be a massive understatement my dear friend. I have the utmost respect for you is more like it.

    Guess who just sent Troy their story today? 😉 Well, a year late lol!

  • ginidietrich

    @Charismacom Funny! I just saw your tweet, too. I couldn’t decide what to respond to first. 🙂

    Isn’t it true about revenues vs profits? Wish someone had taught me that before I had to learn it on my own.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy You mean, troyclaus didn’t ask you for it daily until you sent it? You lucked out!

  • janbeery

    @ginidietrich You’re in!

  • @ginidietrich troyclaus Of course he did. I got threatening messages – I mean sweet reminders – and one with just a date as a deadline hahaha. I love Troy! #thatisall

  • @ginidietrich troyclaus Oh, I forgot to mention – the one with the date as a deadline – I asked for a few days extension on that one LOL ;)!

    Phewwww…so glad he did the same to you. I can finally sleep tonight woohoo.

  • jelenawoehr

    @ginidietrich I was an honorary Boy Scout. Be prepared, especially for genies!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich Just like in your movie!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @jackielamp You need a pep talk Gini? I would think just a round of frisbee with Jack would take care of everything.

  • Charismacom

    @ginidietrich @Charismacom No kidding! That was a “bit” of an eye opener! As was the fact that you run a business to make money, not to be nice to everyone and ensure all employees have what they need to live cushy lives. LOL It’s been an adventure, but I wouldn’t give one minute of it back

  • @ginidietrich @Mr.D I like Mr. D already!!! What a beautiful comment. Simply perfect.

  • rosemaryoneill

    @ginidietrich I quit Federal marketing about 11 yrs ago to start a software biz with my husband & haven’t looked back! Back then I had to learn what a T1 line was so we could have one run into our office, which backed up to a small brewery. Your story really resonated with me! AdAge top 20 here you come…

  • ginidietrich

    @Charismacom LOL! We should swap stories sometime. Like the time an intern came in and told me he’d maxed out his credit cards so he needed a raise. And then was belligerent when I said no.

  • ginidietrich

    @jelenawoehr How, on earth, were you an honorary Boy Scout?

  • ginidietrich

    @rosemaryoneill What’s a T1 line?! 🙂 That’s so funny! I didn’t know that I couldn’t just go to Best Buy and buy phones for everyone. Oh boy.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy He’s pretty cool, huh?

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy LMAO! He totally said, “Tuesday at noon.” I got it to him by Thursday.

  • @ginidietrich He sure sounds it! I already like him for that amazing comment. And cause he’s Mr. D of course :).

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy I don’t take him out very often because people always like him waaaaaay better than me.

  • M_Koehler

    @ginidietrich Sure, there is THAT. But you were great then (regardless of what you may think) and destined for something big…so that helps. Just wish I was around those missing 18 years to see it all.

  • ginidietrich

    @M_Koehler Well, you’re here now!

  • ginidietrich

    @M_Koehler And let’s be real. It’s more like eight years (cough)!

  • @ginidietrich When I meet him I will like him even more – but didi is still my fav 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy Phew!

  • M_Koehler

    @ginidietrich Uhh, right, only eight.

  • Soulati

    I now know 100% why we get along…we’re kindred spirits. I up and quit my agency job and went off and found a client to freelance for and pitch media in Chicago. It was what I hung my hat on back then. We both held presidencies of the two Chicago PR orgs; and, we both strive for change.

    My weakness is to create drama (like remodeling four rooms in the house all at once or start a new gig to create excitement) and try to surround myself with finishers because I’m a starter.

    Thanks for this story; your background is now more complete than ever. Love that.

  • @ginidietrich @Griddy Was that email written in the style of a 19th century letter? Well…um… the author tried to do so. I can’t tell you both enough how much I’ve missed hanging around this so-called clubhouse that comprises all the blogs of such wonderful people. From my perspective, how lucky could one guy get? I mean, I’m but a neophyte among proven leaders and achievers but you gentle folk welcome me as the same nonetheless

    Virtual hugs for everyone. Feels good to be back. Until the sun rises again, I bid you farewell (yes, Ing, I realize the irony of that statement as it is already peeking over the horizon for you).

    Ciao.

  • janbeery

    @Mr.D how beautiful! Gini, u have a great support and that makes all the difference! Just ask Mr. B! Who true to form and used to me working on the IPad late at night, is snoring! That’s love!

  • @ginidietrich @Griddy That was very, very cool Gini seeing this comment from Mr. D….gave me a huge smile. 🙂

  • GIni, you are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed some inspiration to kick start this morning and low and behold I found it on Spin Sucks !

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini

    I’m just waiting for the chance to say, “You crack me up.” It’ll come, I’m sure. Meantime……..

    Wondeful to hear that expression “dog and pony show ” again. The last time I heard it was back in the 80s as a description of your typical management training program. I just sorta get the feeling sometimes as i watch a so-called video by some web guru who is, in reality a serial PowePoint abuser……… As you know, I’m too polite to complete the sentence.

    When I started my training consultancy business in 1978, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I knew so little about running a business that I went to the only person running a similar business in Australia at that time. He didn’t gild the lily.

    “This’ll go wrong, then this’ll go wrong then you’ll muck this up and a client will dud you etc, etc.” I knew the bloke really well, nodded sagely and went off thinking, “I’m not that stupid. I’m smart enough to avoid all of that.”

    Guess what? His predictions came true to the letter.

    Since then, I’ve become a dedicated admirer of John Wooden. Not because he was a spectacularly successful basketball coach. But because he said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

    Make sure you have fun.

    Regards

    Leomn

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati I think “creating drama” is very entrepreneurial and there is nothing wrong with it!

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall You’re very nice, Jon! 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @Leon “I’m smart enough to avoid all of that.” AMEN!

  • PeterGault

    Thanks for sharing that story. It struck a cord :)… a good cord.

  • ginidietrich

    @PeterGault I’m glad it wasn’t a bad chord!

  • dvtess

    Gini, thanks for writing this. I am currently in a PR job that I hate and have been contemplating quitting for the last few weeks. I have always wanted to own my own business, and this post has actually given me perspective to really do it. I don’t want to be one of those people stuck in a job they hate, who looks back in five years and thinks “how am I still in this place? how did I get here” with no one else to blame but myself. I will definitely be giving my 2 weeks notice on Friday. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  • MARLdblE

    Gosh Gini, you’re such an inspiration! Thank you sharing your story. You ROCK.

  • tlbrisson

    Thanks for sharing your story, Gini. Last year, I quit my job to start my own company. It’s really inspiring to hear the stories of other women my age (making an assumption based on LinkedIn) who have made it happen, even if it’s in a different industry. It really means a lot to people like me so thanks again!

  • ginidietrich

    @MARLdblE And I was JUST saying the same thing about you!

  • ginidietrich

    @MARLdblE And I was JUST saying the same thing about you!

  • ginidietrich

    @tlbrisson Oh no. I’m waaaaay younger than you! 🙂 I felt like the first three years were great and then the last two have been miserable. But that could be a function of the economy. Regardless, you made the hardest decision already – to go out on your own!

  • KyleAkerman

    Gini,

    It’s always great to know about a person’s wins, but I think it’s just as important to hear about the struggles they overcame to be successful. And your willingness to be open about the highs AND lows in your life is what inspires people to leave all the great comments here and to write posts like Amber’s, http://www.brasstackthinking.com/2011/04/a-belated-note-of-thanks/

    It’s been fun getting to know more about you and Arment Dietrich over the last few months. And I think the biggest reason why is that you are genuine and go about business and life the right way.

    I am not trying to start my own business, but I am trying to start a whole new career and the experiences you described here and in many of your posts go a long way to inform and inspire me. So for that I thank you.

    Here’s to a Kick Ass launch of Spin Sucks Pro and your continued success!

    Talk to you soon,

    Kyle

    P.S. It was great to finally learn the history of “Arment”. I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. Too funny.

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  • Thanks for sharing this story.You are such a inspiration for everyone.Its really a great post, keep sharing such great posts.

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