In true Gini fashion, I didn’t realize yesterday was the Arment Dietrich five year anniversary until, well, I wrote the blog post and realized how long I’ve been a Vistage member. Oy. Unless it’s my own birthday, that has been ingrained in my head for well more than 30 years, I tend to forget until a day or two later (Feb. 10, if you’re wondering).

Molli sent me an email and said, “We forgot our anniversary?! This deserves a blog post!” She’s right.

Five years ago. I was renting one office from an ad agency on Michigan Avenue. I was stuck in the corner with all of their client product samples. The office was as big as one McDonald’s bathroom stall. And I shared it with an intern, whose sole job was to write newsletter copy about bugs (and go to Starbucks with me every day at 2 p.m…and teach me about designer jeans and really expensive shoes). But we were on Michigan Avenue, which I thought was the bee’s knees!

I remember buying a BlackBerry at that time, thinking, “I don’t know how I’ll afford this or why I need it, but I know I can write it off!”

A lot has changed since then. Now I know why I need an iPhone (I became a lover last year, even though I thought I’d never leave the BlackBerry); Patti calls it an additional appendage. We have real offices and I have a big swanky corner office with a fireplace (that doesn’t work), exposed brick walls (that are falling into pieces on the floor), and east-facing windows (that look at a parking lot).

Of our 12 clients, more than half of them have been with us four years or more and it’s been quite a journey! Never have I been so challenged, so emotionally involved, so heartbroken at times, and so exhilarated. It, literally, is the hardest thing I have ever done – owning, running, and growing a business (and I’ve run marathons, raced my bike, kept a full-ride scholarship in check, moved a zillion times, and been an older sibling to five younger brothers and sister).

Molli has worked her way through the ranks the past four years, and clients joke she is a mini Gini, and Patti, though joining us only two years ago, has become a second part of me. Working with Sean Vitale, Chris Scott, Deb Morrin, Bob Berk, Rick Lofgren, Starr McCaffrey, Justin Brackett, and Nick Harrison have helped drive the business forward in ways I could never have imagined, even in my deepest sleep or on my longest ride. It wouldn’t be the same without all of you!

So here we are…they say if you make it to the five year mark, you’re in the clear. And, after experiencing last year, I hope “they” are right.

Global Domination…here we come!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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