Jenny Taylor – President & Chief Growth Officer
In many ways, I think many of us can all agree that 2021 continued to have evolving business challenges. While I experienced moments of uncertainty, those feelings were far outweighed by steadfast and uplifting optimism. When you accept that we can count on change, you conclude that this, too, shall pass. But it’s not an excuse to sit by. This is a fantastic time to invest in the opportunity for positive change; we can continue to discover how to grow and learn and imagine and improve! In 2021, I learned several skills that help me to maintain a sense of well-being, stability, gratitude and even joy. These skills do not benefit just me…they benefit my family, my team, my clients and my community.
This seems like a no-brainer — bend, don’t break — but I’ve found that how I am flexible today is not the same as it used to be. My path has meant finding the courage to let go of the safe, comfortable ways of doing things. I’ve opened my mind and heart to new ideas and new scenarios, both personal and professional. Doing so means accepting the uncertainty. Some have turned out negative but most have been overwhelmingly positive, which provides the motivation to carry on. Let’s be honest — it’s called “growing pains” for a reason! It’s been tough and sometimes risky, but it has been rewarding and exhilarating, too. I’ve been able to pay it forward as well, sharing my newfound knowledge, experience and skills with family, friends, colleagues and clients. Most importantly, I’ve validated that I’m a pretty resilient person. Bring it on!
Join a Tribe
This year, I joined Vistage Worldwide, which is a peer mentoring membership organization for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-size businesses. Together, my business coach and cohort support each other by challenging and inspiring each other to make better decisions. I’ve received great tools and advice that have helped me and I have enjoyed the remarkable experience of being able to return the favor. But most importantly, there’s an incredible benefit to knowing that none of us are alone. Building a community is different these days, and I encourage each of you to explore and seek out opportunities where you can do so. When a door is open for you, step through and enjoy the journey!
Practice Being Your Best Self Every Day
I’m naturally competitive. So, I want and expect perfection. But we are all human, and if there’s one thing the past two years have taught all of us, it’s to expect the unexpected. I learned something important through the yoga classes I started taking this year. A yoga session is called a “practice” and this intentional word choice is centered around the philosophy that perfection is not the goal — simply being present during your practice and doing your very best is exactly what your mind and body need at that point in time. Even when it means you’re in child’s pose for the entire session! Listen to yourself. Be kind. Helping yourself will ensure that you are there for others.
On December 15 this year, we celebrated Able’s thirteenth birthday! When I started Able&Co. (during a recession!), my purpose was to craft a life of dedicated service to my family, community, clients, team and friends. At the time, it didn’t matter that the statistics weren’t favorable to entrepreneurs. Most of my career pre-Able had been working as the right hand for company owners. This was a great vantage point to observe what to do and what not to do.
As I consider my journey since 2008, I recall how many wonderful memories and relationships have been forged since that year of significant personal and professional loss. I draw on these experiences as a source of strength to help me stay positive and remain true to my focus on Able&Co. and myself. The simple act of being grateful has been energizing and motivating. I’m especially grateful for the health of my family and my business, both of which allow me to do what I love — help others to transform and grow.
Last year, the pandemic provided a gift of sorts. The pause in our business provided time to think about Able&Co. and articulate what makes us the agency of choice, particularly for organizations growing through mergers, acquisitions or expansion. By defining ourselves as a strategic marketing and communications agency and owning this space, we have been able to diversify our portfolio. We like to say we’re not like the Army, but are like the Special Forces for our clients – specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped to deliver strategic guidance. We are experts at uncovering strategies that have not been considered and carving out a plan that leads to transformative success.
As this year closes and another begins, I am grateful for you and thank you for your support. I wish you kindness, health and happiness, as well as the time for you to consider your own journey.