Gini Dietrich

Welcome to the New Year!

By: Gini Dietrich | January 3, 2012 | 
152

I’m baaaaack!

I hope everyone had great holidays. I did…and I’m dragging a bit this morning because of it. I was getting used to sleeping until 7:30 every morning!

Because it’s the first day back for many of us, this isn’t going to be a heady blog post.

I have a feeling. I think 2012 is going to be a very good year. It’s going to be a good year for the economy, for business, and for a lot of us personally.

In October of 2008, the bank called our line of credit without any warning. I remember taking that phone call and I cried. I CRIED! I even said some things to our banker that I still regret having said.

Then, during the holidays of that same year, I received three certified letters from clients saying, because of the economy, they weren’t going to be able to continue working with us.

I spent my holidays with our managing director as we decided who was going to have to be laid off that first week of January.

2009 continued that trend. We lost two more clients, but were able to maintain enough to continue making payroll for a handful of us.

2010 wasn’t much better. Although we had a full year of doing business as an integrated marketing communication firm, business was stable and not growing. We cut as many expenses as we could and continued to survive.

2011 saw something I didn’t think was going to happen: We almost went bankrupt. We did what we could, but most companies still weren’t outsourcing their marketing or communication. So we continued to cut expenses, including my salary and our office lease. Yes, we now are completely virtual, freeing up significant cash flow to really make it work for us this year.

But this year. This year is going to be something special. We won’t hit our 2007 levels quite yet, but Arment Dietrich added four new clients the week of Christmas (it was a little nuts).

The book, Marketing In the Round, that I’m co-authoring with Geoff Livingston comes out in May.

Spin Sucks Pro will be out of private beta soon (very, very soon!).

And being virtual has afforded us the opportunity to really expand our networks, in a way we didn’t know possible because we were handcuffed to our desks.

Just like I know many of you have done in the past three years, the foundation is set and it’s time to begin building again.

We’re going to kick the butt of 2012. Who’s with me??

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.

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152 responses to “Welcome to the New Year!”

  1. HLeichsenring says:

    Hi Gini

    All the best for you in 2012. I am sharing you optimistic view of the New Year and I am looking forward, that the economic success for you and your company will be the same as this wonderful blog of yours.

    Kind regards from Germany

    Hansjörg

  2. lauraclick says:

    Wow, Gini. Thanks for being so transparent about where you’ve been and where you’re headed. I think it helps people realize their not alone when things don’t go their way. After all, entrepreneurship isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

    I agree with you – I think 2012 is going to be a stellar year! Im excited for all that you’ve got gong on, Gini. I think you’re gonna do great! Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2012!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @lauraclick I wish it were all unicorns and rainbows. Alas. I remember a few years ago, a business advisor said to me, “Have you ever really failed? I mean, really failed?” At the time that answer was a big, fat no. Since then, however, I’ve made some really bad decisions because of my lack of experience that have created failures. We all continue to learn, but experience is really the only thing that makes us wiser. Because of that, I think the last three years is making us all look at business just a little bit differently and that’s why I think 2012 is going to rock. Happy New Year!

      • lauraclick says:

        @ginidietrich I think we sometimes need failure or stumbling blocks to better appreciate the successes. It sucks when you’re going through the rough stuff, but it feels pretty darn awesome once you’ve overcome it all. I know I do!

  3. Amen. I’m happy to leave all the panicked moments of 2011 in the rearview. There’s a fire in my belly to make big things happen in 2012. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve certainly had my share of cataclysmically bad decisions over the past year.

  4. KenMueller says:

    I sat down over the weekend and had a few meetings, and I gotta say, I’m really feeling good about 2012. And I honestly think it’s going to be a good year for a lot of people. Not just a gut feeling, but based on a lot of what I’m seeing and hearing. A lot of the small businesses I deal with are feeling it as well. Let’s do this!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @KenMueller A lot of people are very optimistic about this year. It just feels different. I was dreading 2011 at this time last year. While my travel schedule leaves something to be desired this year, I think we’re all going to rock it!

      • KenMueller says:

        @ginidietrich I was pretty optimistic last year, and the first half of the year was great, but things slowed down. A lot of the small businesses started circling the wagons. But this year I also feel it more. I think part of it is that I have a better/stronger support group and support system in place.

  5. ginidietrich says:

    @jocmbarnett It does feel different this year, doesn’t it?

    • jocmbarnett says:

      @ginidietrich Feels better than 2011 so far. But cynicism is a character flaw of mine, so I’ve resolved to be more positive for 2012 😉

  6. adamtoporek says:

    Welcome back Gini! I’m very excited for 2012 (you know some of the reasons why). I think it will be a great year and excited for the possibilities. Had a great meeting yesterday that was a good start.

    Here’s to a great year for everyone in the Spin Sucks community!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @adamtoporek Bwahahaha! I love being in the know! I can’t wait for you…I think we’re all going to have great years!

  7. lucillekelley says:

    @adamtoporek Want to know how me and many others became our own boss and made 4k a month in 3 months time? mymoneyjournalsite .com

  8. MichaelBowers says:

    Great blog post to kick off the year. Helps me get moving too after a couple of down weeks. I love your story and can’t wait to see you and get the book in May.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @MichaelBowers You’ll even get a signed copy! I’m not going to lie – my eyelids are very heavy right now. 5:30 came waaaaay too early this morning!

  9. HowieSPM says:

    Dear Gini

    Yes if the world does not end it will be a banner year in the US. If it does end…well then who cares let’s party. Even the housing market is picking up. Maybe we will even see 85% of congress tossed out for better Government (well that is too much to ask).

    The one thing I think will help is if the economy continues it’s upward trend Big Business (even if they don’t want it) will at least expect Obama to be re-elected and that will give them at least stability/certainty in knowing what will be happening for 4 years. Which is a positive situation. Obviously chaos would occur if any of the GOP front runners wins because they are all calling for radical stuff which while business might like some of it (like getting rid of the EPA so they can pollute like crazy) it gives a lot of uncertainty vs the opposite. Sorry to shock those that hope for this to happen.

    Plus now with the twitter having 20-30mil daily active users in the US we can all save money on PR/Ad spend giving significant cost savings all around. So we can hire like gangbusters.

    Sincerely

    The Alien Economist

  10. sydcon_mktg says:

    Here is to a great 2012!!! Your transparency is so refreshing! It takes great strength and confidence to move forward and survive! Congrats on the four new clients!

  11. Clarity4theBoss says:

    @ginidietrich – Happy New Year Gini, all the best for 2012

  12. faybiz says:

    G- I want the “working virtually book” next- seriously.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @faybiz We’ll see how it works. It’s been two months and, so far, it’s going really well. I still do all my meetings with my team in person (if they live in Chicago – Skype for those who don’t) and we do video for our staff meetings. I’m working about two hours less a day. Which is pretty significant.

  13. gwenmorrison says:

    Here’s to a wonderful 2012! Let’s rock it! And congrats on signing new clients over the holidays!–what a great start to the year!

  14. TMNinja says:

    Good luck & best wishes, Gini!

    2012? Bring it on!!!

  15. KDillabough says:

    I’m with you! I’m in the final stages of recovery from 2 1/2 years of groundless TM litigation, from which I had to close one of my companies. During that time, I kept my mouth shut, my emotions to myself and my struggle private. Now, as 2012 begins, I’m on the doorstep of letting it all go…the injustice (for as we know, law and justice are two entirely different things), the unfairness and the reality that money wins. Hmmm…that felt good:) I’m over it. I’m on to my new reality And I’m with you on the kicking butt! Cheers! Kaarina

  16. skooloflife says:

    Gini,

    Last year was a tough one for me even though we had a big win with Livefyre. But I realized that what I’ve been doing all along is planting the seeds for something big. There really are no big breaks in any of this. It’s just years of hard work eventually coming to fruition. I’m reminded of a great story that Zig Ziglar shared about the Chinese Bamboo tree. He said that for 4 years it gets watered and doesn’t grow. But in the 5th year in the span of about 6 weeks it grows 90 feet. That’s incredible.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @skooloflife That Zig Ziglar is a smart man. This is definitely a marathon. You have to prepare long and hard to win the race. I think a lot of us learned that lesson in the past three years.

  17. jeanniecw says:

    Dear 2012,

    You’ve been warned.

    Love, Jeannie & Gini

  18. ifdyperez says:

    Chuck Norris-style butt kicking is ON like Donkey KONG till the break of DAWN!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @ifdyperez LOL! You just made me snort. Were you sad to give Carl back to his rightful owner?

      • ifdyperez says:

        @ginidietrich You’re a snorter too?!?! We need a support group because most ppl don’t understand us (sigh). And yes, Carl was so happy to see him this morning. They had a moment.

  19. KristenDaukas says:

    I really, really needed to read this today. I’ve felt out of sorts for the past couple of months, as though I’m the only small business who’s running slow. It’s comforting to be reminded that we’re all in this together and the main thing that’s going to get us through this economic cluster, is our ability to take names and kick some ass.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @KristenDaukas Oh you’re not in it alone. At all. It’s hard because we see a lot of stories of seemingly overnight successes and we try to measure ourselves against those. We sometimes forget this is a marathon, not a sprint.

      Also, my nieces LOVE my blanket. Ava (5) said, “Oh Aunt Gini. This is so cute and warm.”

  20. John_Trader1 says:

    GD, imagine me on one knee with my elbow resting on the other, fist pressed against my forehead in silent reflection that you are correct.

    P.S. – I am not holding a football helmet or dressed in tight pants.

  21. TheJackB says:

    2012 is going to be our year.

  22. accuconference says:

    @ginidietrich I’m so ready that by the end of 2012, no one is going to know it was the year of the dragon.

  23. ryanknapp says:

    In.

    HTFU by the way.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @ryanknapp After reading about those guys that rode UP 200,000 feet, I’m pretty sure I’m a wimp of epic proportions.

  24. EricaAllison says:

    I’m with you!

    Thanks for sharing, as you always do, in such a straightforward and honest way, Gini. It sets the tone for true leadership and it levels the playing field. We all have struggles; we’ve all had to become quick, nimble, lean and mean (well, not really mean, but you get my meaning). Cheers to a fantastic 2012. Mine is already rocking and rolling!

  25. jacque_PR says:

    I think you should do a virtual session with JB… extra Bauer Power.

  26. DannyBrown says:

    Four new clients over Christmas? That’s awesome, miss, congrats – clearly very smart people. 🙂

  27. Lisa Gerber says:

    I AM SO IN!!! Here we go!

  28. DonovanGroupInc says:

    You are the epitome of transparency my friend and by “walking/talking the talk” inspire us all. I’m with you as always. Here’s to an uber-successful 2012 for us all. Cheers BFF,

    Andy

  29. Leon says:

    G’Day Gini,

    Go get ’em. Have a wonderful 2012!

    Best Wishes

    Leon

  30. JodiEchakowitz says:

    Happy new year, Gini! I’m 100% with you! 2012 is going to be a fantastic year for all of us.

    How did I not know that you went the virtual route? Congrats on making the move! I’ve been living in a virtual world for the past 10+ years and love the opportunities it provides.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @JodiEchakowitz This is the first time I’ve publicly mentioned it. We didn’t know if it was going to work so I wanted to see first. I don’t know if my team likes it as much as I do, but I love it!

  31. geoffliving says:

    Looking forward to a great year, rocking the book!

  32. susanoakes says:

    All the best for 2012 Gini and congratulations on your new clients. Your move to a virtual office made me think of ‘Simplicity for success'” could be a key to enjoy this year.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @susanoakes I like “simplicity for success.” A lot. Plus it gives me an extra 30 minutes every morning to ride another 10 miles. 🙂

  33. ericajmoss says:

    Thanks for being so refreshingly honest, Gini! 2011 was a year filled with major life changes for me: I lost my dad, lost my job, got married, went on my honeymoon, moved to NYC and started a new gig. I echo your sentiment that 2012 is going to be a great year. Cheers to you!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @ericajmoss Holy crap. That’s a lot of life changes at once. You’re only supposed to experience one of those in a year. Cheers to YOU!

  34. Lori says:

    Wow Gini – you’ve been through the ringer! I’m glad this Christmas was better for you than the Christmas of 2008 – yikes!

    I’m with you – I believe this is the turn-around year! We didn’t feel the effects of 2008 until 2009 😉 but we felt it full force in 2010! 2011, though, miraculously was up a whole 2% LOL Not much, but it is up! I expect even more from this magical year!

    So yes, count me in! Happy 2012!

    Lori

    • ginidietrich says:

      @Lori The best thing it’s taught me? I’m not afraid of going bankrupt. Which is super freeing. Now I’m less afraid to take risks or make decisions. Because what’s the worse that can happen? Oh yeah. I have to start over. Practically have had to do that anyway. So we’re totally going to rock 2012!

  35. AjntB2Sli says:

    @ginidietrich wow gini, you have been through the ringer. You’ll love going virtual! Happy 2012!

  36. debdobson62 says:

    I’m ready to kick the butt of 2012. Been a long and tough road, but reinforced with stubborn will power and some leap of faith, you can get through the bumps in the road. Very good, honest post. Love that about you. Let’s kick 2012 and drink champagne through the year celebrating each success together.

  37. EdenSpodek says:

    Another hand up!

    Gini, you’re a survivor and it sounds like 2012 is the year for greatness from Armernt Dietrich and Gini Dietrich. I’m looking forward to Marketing in the Round. I’m sure you’ll love being part of the virtual workforce.

    Happy New Year and all the best for 2012!

  38. allenmireles says:

    I have the same feeling about 2012 @ginidietrich and am really looking forward to seeing this develop! Happy to hear of your optimism (you know I want to be just like you if I grow up!). 😉

    • ginidietrich says:

      @allenmireles You are going to kill it this year. I know of some of your plans and I just know it’s going to happen.

  39. ensino says:

    @ginidietrich Hi gini. Follow you from France. Great Stuff. Yet i feel you deliberately omit the crisis and thé fact that it CAN get worse.

  40. SocialEyes_ says:

    Yes I feel the same about 2012. It’s all upwards from here. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  41. ginidietrich says:

    @TheOnlineMom Yeah!!

  42. rhonda hurwitz says:

    You were dealt a rough hand, played to win, and 2012 will be your year! Thank you for sharing!

  43. ginidietrich says:

    @trishuhl You in??

  44. bdorman264 says:

    Yikes, and I mean yikes. If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger, right? I don’t envy you as that is not a pleasant way to grow strong. As a board of director at LUI, I knew who was going to go but I didn’t have to pull the trigger. It still wasn’t any fun……….

    Having said that, I’m all in; 2012 is going to be huge. I am flat ready to rock n’ roll; let’s make it happen.

    Meet you at the top.

    • ginidietrich says:

       @bdorman264 Somehow I missed this when you wrote it. Shame on me! I was revisiting the blog post to see how we’re doing against it. Are you killing it, now that we’re nearing the end of Q1?

  45. martinwaxman says:

    I’m with you – it’s going to be a great year! I think people underestimated the impact the economy had on us fiscally and psychologically… but here we are – optimistic and ready for new challenges. I know 2012 is yours!

    • ginidietrich says:

       @martinwaxman I know you guys have a seen a big uptick in new client business, too. It’s fun working like this again!

  46. Happy New Year, Gini! I never knew the scope of the pains you all dealt with. My hats off to you on leading through it all. Best of luck…..err…….intention on a great 2012!

    • ginidietrich says:

       @JoelFortner We’re nearing the end of Q1 and we’re killing it. How is the year starting off for you??

  47. kevinfawley says:

    Gin, you are one badass chick. If there was anyone I’d NEVER bet against it’d be you. Nothing but big things in 2012. I’ve always got your back.

    Kev

  48. Brent@Echelonseo.com says:

    Hey Gini

    Thanks for sharing. Your story, industry leadership and perseverance are inspirational to all of us out here trying to keep things going. Cheers and all the best in 2012!

    • ginidietrich says:

       @Brent@Echelonseo.com We’ve seen a big shift in companies outsourcing their marketing needs again. I hope you’re seeing the same.

  49. […] we hit the streets to find a bench to do Gini’s first guest video post (with moi, ahem) which we had to repeat and giggle through. It was after […]

  50. MSchechter says:

    Well I think you know how I feel about your 2012, so I wont reiterate. I have to say you do a damn impressive job of not letting us see you sweat. Looking forward to seeing all of your damn hard work pay off big time in the new year.

    Thanks for the honesty, btw. Few people share that side of things.

    • ginidietrich says:

       @MSchechter I’m not a complainer (unless I”m overly tired, but I keep that inside my house) so no one will ever see me sweat. But I have zero problem talking about it later, if it offers lessons others can learn.

  51. MarkCRobins says:

    Gini your success is only exceeded by your generosity to your peers. I for one thank you for simply being you!

  52. Collectual says:

    Sounds like the new year has already started to sparkle! Congrats on your recognition as 2011 Social Media PR Woman Of The Year!

  53. I know I’m the latest guy here, but I hope you know there is no bigger cheerleader for your success in 2012 than me. I think you’re an amazing person Gini, and can’t wait to see the magic happen.

    Marcus

  54. DianaStrinatiBaur says:

    Gini, I have to say — when I read this, one thought came to mind – and that was *grace under pressure* . What you’ve survived in the last few years is the stuff that can break the spirit to the point that it’s impossible to swallow it down. But you’ve not only somehow managed to cope, you have succeeded – parallel to impending doom – to send out a positive vibe so real, that no one would have guessed what was happening to you. That ability, the ability to keep moving forward, step by step, even when anxiety and fear and really scary things are happening to you . . . well that says a lot about your character. Your clients are lucky to have you, and I hope that 2012 proves all of that grace you have shown as having been worth every minute. xo

    • ginidietrich says:

       @DianaStrinatiBaur Oh don’t get me wrong. It broke my spirit. Last summer I didn’t know if *I* was going to make it. I was really considering packing up my family and moving to the mountains of Colorado, never to be heard of again. But I’m always reminded of Confucius, when he said, “It’s not in that we never fall, but in how we get up when we do.”

  55. jonbuscall says:

    Gini, thank you for sharing the story of last year. The first half of the year was very tough for me but I’ve learned that being Lean is a good approach to take and really embraced having a virtual set-up. Clients are sometimes a bit weird about it but more and more I find that it’s the way to go. If necessary I rent office space for a meeting, but most of the work is done in the cloud.

    We use Basecamp and Asana to run things and good old Skype, of course.

    At some point I’d be curious to hear how you manage your own virtual set-up.

    • ginidietrich says:

       @jonbuscall I LOVE being virtual! It’s been nearly four months and I’m mad we didn’t do this sooner. It’s been a little bit challenging, from the perspective of coaching and mentoring my team. But we’ve figured out a system that works and still allows me to grow the business. 

  56. AirPacInc says:

    2012 will be epic. I feel it! Carry on!

  57. HowieSPM says:

    I was still Vermont so missed this SORRY! You are so like me Gini in that you have a lot of self confidence in who you are and share things that most people would not. I mean anyone who read my nancyd68 guest blog post might of been taken a back. But it also earns a lot of respect because people know who have guts and who is an adapter/survivor. Yes going to be a good year.

    My story is funny. My image is way beyond reality in terms of earnings when I share my struggles of getting my business cranking people say two things….surprise…then…’How can I help’.

    Grats on the new clients. I can tell they must be really sharp businesses to make such a good decision!

  58. 3HatsComm says:

    Somehow I missed this, blame @Marcus_Sheridan for bringing me late to the party. We needs to talk. This is yet another reason my resolutions post is a weeeeeee bit tardy: I could write something VERY much like this except… not. I AM fired up to make changes, but no more so than any other year. I have, do and will continue to work my ass off – so many ways – to stay strong in the struggle. I could rant, rave, write so much more, but rather than a blogjack I’ll just say this:

    Watch out 2012, Gini’s gonna kick your ass. 🙂 FWIW.

  59. ginidietrich says:

    I was just revisiting this to see how we’re doing against it and I see a bunch of comments I never responded to. I’m so sorry! On my way to do that now.

  60. […] run and market our businesses. In her blog, Gini has spoken with ruthless honesty about some of the challenges she’s faced in her […]

  61. […] decided to go completely virtual, giving people the opportunity to work from home, save on commute time, and be more productive with […]

  62. […] Welcome to the New Year! – A lot of people were stunned to find out that Gini Dietrich’s SpinSucks had been on the […]

  63. […] was a terrible year for us. I really thought we’d have to shutter the doors. They say strength comes from crisis and, though it didn’t feel that way at the time, it […]

  64. […] week I had dinner with Ken Jacobs who said to me, “I was shocked to see you almost went out of business last year. What […]

  65. […] decided to go completely virtual, giving people the opportunity to work from home, save on commute time, and be more productive with […]

  66. […] And I wasn’t taking  a paycheck. […]

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