As I sat down to document my key takeaways from this program, I really struggled! How do you boil down a transformative experience into a single blog post? I allowed myself a little time to process, and I’m finally ready to share. If anyone reading this blog is interested in hearing more details, please reach out to me on LinkedIn.
In April 2022 I applied for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. The 12-week program, which was developed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, is designed to guide entrepreneurs through the development of a comprehensive business growth plan.
After hearing about the curriculum from a few of our clients and colleagues over the years, I finally decided that my business and personal life were at a point where I could make the commitment of time and energy – and more importantly – the commitment to renewing my approach to running Marketing Refresh.
The program ran from August 2022 through November 2022, and was capped off this May 2023 with an incredible graduation week in New York City at the Goldman Sachs global headquarters.
I want to use this blog as an opportunity to share some of my key takeaways as well as give a well deserved thank you to so many people who guided and supported me throughout.
3 Key Takeaways
I went into the program thinking it would be great to get a better understanding of analyzing our finances, learning more about business operations, and building more knowledge around human resources and people management.
By the time we were in the second week, I realized that my bar was set too low. I did improve each of those skills, but walked away with so much more.
1. Marketing Refresh is Not About Me
Most of us business owners create a vision from the ground up, and over time it becomes difficult to separate the company from ourselves. After 14 years of running Marketing Refresh, I fell right into that trap. I’ve always considered myself a team player. After all, I played college basketball and was coached by one of the best women’s coaches in the country. But somehow, I had failed to fully hit the mark on making Marketing Refresh an “us” thing versus a “me” thing.
That’s not to say that I didn’t value or appreciate our employees, because I do. The program helped me see that I was not maximizing potential through an environment where every person had a clear path to contribute and grow our success.
Thankfully, we have been able to attract and retain some very bright and talented people, and it’s been really fun to watch them get more engaged. It’s great to see that Marketing Refresh is now something bigger (and more capable) than me.
2. Always Be in a Growth Mode
This one was more of a reinforcement of something I learned early in life. My parents showed me by example that you should always be working on ways to improve yourself. At one point during my childhood my mom was managing a marriage and four kids, working a full-time job, going to school at night to get her Master’s Degree, learning how to jog, and managing our family finances. She always challenged herself to improve. My dad did too. He was pretty ambitious because he took on marrying someone as strong-willed as my mom! LOL
Continuously challenging yourself to grow across various aspects of your life, whether that’s a specific business management skill, a component of your health, or just a new way to approach a problem was something I already knew. The 10KSB program was a great catalyst for me to fully embrace this mindset as a key component of the Marketing Refresh growth strategy.
3. Community is Vital
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
The most important takeaway I got from this program is the importance of being part of a community. I felt an instant connection with my entire cohort – even those who I spent no time with during the program.
It was amazing to spend time together in person with 300 other business owners, all at the same time. We all instantly understood each other because we have all lived the same “crazy” life of starting and growing a company.
The energy was contagious, and the encouragement was off the charts.
We got vulnerable about every aspect of our businesses, and then provided each other with unbiased feedback. I experienced the sincere desire from my fellow scholars to just help one another.
I feel so fortunate because I have graduated and made new relationships with people I trust and respect.
So What’s Next?
I talked a lot about my key takeaways. What I haven’t talked about is the growth strategy we established during the program. As we announced previously, Marketing Refresh kicked off 2023 with some exciting organizational and market focus changes. Those changes came about as a result of things learned during 10KSB.
Our mission is to prove to B2B companies in industrial markets that they can get a return on their marketing investment.
Our noses are to the grindstone to help our current clients achieve ROI. And we are searching for the next companies we will work with.
If you are in a leadership role at a company with a B2B offering and want help turning your website into a lead generation tool that supports your sales team, we’d like to talk.
You can access my calendar and schedule a quick 30-minute audit here —– > Calendar