Gini Dietrich

My Real-Life MBA from Vistage

By: Gini Dietrich | April 26, 2010 | 

When I started Arment Dietrich five years ago TODAY, I did so pretty blindly. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I was blissfully unaware that I couldn’t just do client work and grow a business organically.

Well, that worked for about a year. And then things got complicated. FICA taxes? Benefits? Employee handbooks? No shared offices between sexes? Collecting on invoices? Not getting paid for work? Suddenly I was putting out fires constantly instead of doing my trade. And I needed help. Badly.

Then I met a man at a networking event who told me about Vistage and what it could offer someone like me. Many of you see me tweet about Vistage, I’ve written about it here, and I talk about my experience all the time. The fact of the matter is that it has been really good for me.

If you’re interested, at all, in what I get out of my Vistage membership, they’ve just launched a new blog and I am their first guest blogger (I like to be first!). Great timing to celebrate our five year anniversary!  Check out what I wrote about getting my real-life MBA by clicking here.

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. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Gini, nothing beats a real world education. I have my MBA, but that didn’t necessarily prepare me for what to expect in the business world. My thoughts on this go back to what you emphasize often. It’s about building relationships with people. In this case, you built relationships with a community of people who are in a similar position as you to help you build and grow your own business.

  • Gini Dietrich

    AND who experience things I’ll hopefully never experience (like bankruptcy and unions). They always say it’s lonely at the top and you never realize how true that is until you have a thriving business with things clocking along. You suddenly wake up and realize you have no one to talk to about the things you can’t discuss with employees. It’s been a great education and it’s been nice to get advice from people who’ve already experienced our growing pains.

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  • You’ve chewed up the MBA and spit it out! Real world experience trumps the education almost always! Both are valuable, of course, and I am speaking from the vantage point of not having the MBA and working with those who do, so I may be a little biased.

    Happy fifth anniversary! Congratulations!


  • Pingback: My Vistage Experience is my Real-Life MBA | Vistage Buzz Blog()

  • HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY! And congratulations. You have made it over the 5-year hump… and your quest for global domination will undoubtedly happen. Never underestimate the value of real-world experience! And Vistage sounds like a great organization for supporting and growing CEOs in a confidential setting.

  • Congratulations on the anniversary, Gini! That’s a great accomplishment. Arment Dietrich is the same age as YouTube (April 23). Perhaps you can organize a play date. And welcome to Inside PR…

  • Thanks Martin, Kat, and Kevin! I actually didn’t realize it was today until I wrote the blog post. Guess we’ll see if YouTube wants to share their cake!

  • Gini,
    Another great post. Thank you for your continuing great content.

    Congratulations on 5 years, and again thank you for coming to Denver to speak to our group.

    The most incredible experience I have had from Vistage is that it seems everyone has personnel issues, and everyone wants to push for improvement. It is exciting and rewarding to help others through their challenges today, only to find out that the experience helped us through our own challenges tomorrow.

    blogging soon.

  • Congratulations on your anniversary BFF…here’s to another 5 years and another 5 after that…and so on. Cheers,


  • Congrats on 5 years, quite impressive! Now i’m interested in learning more about Vistage based on your experiences. 🙂

  • Thank you everyone! Once I sat down and thought about it, I realized how much we’ve accomplished. Here’s to another five years that lead to another and another and another.