Happy Anniversary to me! November 15 marked the 5th Year I have been in business as SoConnected. It is the ride of every entrepreneur – ups, downs, setbacks, acceleration, stops, starts, joy, happiness, confusion, clarity, and exhilaration. As I think back over the last five years, there are so many people for whom I am grateful to travel with on this journey. Without them, I would be in a different place, altogether. Being that November is the month of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to offer thanks to the following people who contributed to my 5 years of continuous growth, exploration, dream building and stability.
Thank you, Father Ernie (resting peacefully in heaven) and Mike Ryan for trusting me with such important initiatives at SMG. It is through that role, as Director of Development, in 2012, that I learned the love for website development, social media and marketing.
Thank you, Peggy O’Flaherty for the opportunity to help you launch your Spiritual Direction Company in 2013, Creating Space. It was that incredible experience where I learned I wanted to indeed build a business based on what I loved doing for SMG.
Jeanne Heller, who knew one phone call would infuse the letters “SO” for “Social Media” and “CO” for “Content Writing” in the business name, “SoConnected”? Furthermore, who knew the name would transcend 5 years of business with 3 service models and remain relevant? I love the name to this day, and I feel proud each time I say it. It was your genius marketing skills that designed it. In fact, it was so good, a famous food chain store uses it for their birthday club. 😉
Vanessa Fry, for establishing my LLC 5 years ago, and more importantly, for being a kind, caring and generous friend who knew the limitations of the pocketbook of a new business owner. I’m pretty sure I still own you lunch, which is now an upgraded dinner! 😉
To Leanne Lally, another extremely generous genius. I simply said “SoConnected”, and with your divine design expertise, you made it a brand of beauty that no matter the service I provide, the logo and colors transcend time and exude the energy I bring to every project to help my clients get “SoConnected” with their readers.
Chris & Mary MacKenna, Thank you for the recommendation to build a new website at St. Mary of Gostyn and for the referral to Downers Grove Youth Baseball to update their website, too!
To Downers Grove Youth Baseball, Chris Dunn, Bob Riegler, thank you for five fantastic years of partnership as we service your website and marketing needs! As one of my first ‘official clients’, DGYB will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thank you, Jeff Nolan, Nolan Interactive, for the website support and business camaraderie we shared. I have never met someone who is so well versed in website development and all things technical. These days, I’m especially grateful for your website hosting service, NoNonsenseHosting.com; in 5 years, I’ve never had a hiccup.
Jean LaVallie, Beth Majerzsky, Marissa Butler, Jen Bugasky, and WESOS Sisters, wow. One day, I wandered into Honey Jam Café in Bolingbrook, unbeknownst to networking, and BAM! My whole life changed. WESOS was a soft place to land in the world of new entrepreneurship. I tried my wings (my voice), opened my mouth to sing (my elevator pitch) and spread my wings to fly (future opportunities). Although my schedule doesn’t allow me to participate anymore, I do plan to come back. It was where I met and built my first business owner besties and gained skills, knowledge, wisdom and confidence for that I didn’t know I yet needed. It’s delightful to see the organization’s growth, and I always speak so highly of WESOS because you all, as leaders and friends, allowed me to crawl, walk, run, fly, and I will always be grateful to be a WESOS Sister!
Melissa Noto, Melissa Noto Design Company, thank you for 5 years of graphic design support for SoCo and several other clients. Working with you is one of my joys. You perfectly fit the hole after Leanne finished the initial brand and built upon it beautifully, as well as developed more throughout the years. More importantly is our jeweled friendship. You are my rock. Thank you for always being there through all the good, bad, ugly and beautiful. You are an amazing woman, business owner, mom, wife, and friend. I love you, my sweet sister I never had. XO
Anne Marie Craighead and Dianne AMC Accounting, thank you for swooping me up under your wing, as accounting is not my thing, at all. For more than 3 years, you have been my magic wand to getting the books figured out when QB doesn’t make any sense with what it does. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Alison Cychosz, AMC Legal (not related to AMC Accounting), thank you for your legal support on agreements, client questions, incorporation, business practices, articles of incorporation and the famous business binder! Who knew a business had so many ‘official’ facets!
Sandra Price & the former Wise Chick Network, I found you via FB ads, and when we met, I knew you could help me fill the gaps of what I needed most. My favorite of your quotes, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” I’ve used that guideline this whole year, as I’ve worked to focus on what makes the most sense for my clients, business, family and me. We worked it hard over 90 days and your support following were a tremendous advantage for me to continue doing and growing and trying. I wouldn’t be in business today, if I didn’t have your wisdom, guidance, and advice directing me along the way for those 2 years.
Megan Wessels, Powerful Partners, where would I be without you? You expanded my knowledge base on networking and made me appreciate the opportunity to network and invited me into your network of outstanding women, business owners and friends. I have made so many wonderful relationships knowing you and have been rewarded through client referrals because of one simple introduction which shifted my entire client base and service list for the better! I love your dinner parties and all of your events. I’m lucky to know you professionally, but especially blessed to know you are my dear friend whom I admire, respect, adore and for whom I’m so very grateful!
I thank Peggy O’Flaherty for introducing me to the incredible, infamous, persuasive, dynamic and classy Networking Master, Lynn Lionhood of Networking Works, Power Lunches, AW, and many others. Lynn, what a wild 3 years! Thank you for all you do to extend opportunities for us to meet other business owners. Your events are always so very positive, educational, motivating and encouraging. Knowing you, I have grown in many different ways as a business owner, a woman in business, a mentor, a networker and a friend. The AW group is my whole heart and such a very important part of my life. I love you, girl. So very grateful for you!
Mark LeBlanc, I may have not walked a 500-mile Camino, but I drove 400 miles 2x to attend your weekend ‘retreat’ business bootcamp. It was a business changing weekend for me. Such growth, understanding, passion and energy. While the brain was on ‘overload’, it was the start of wonderful happenings for SoConnected. I’m thrilled I had the chance to attend and we had the chance to work together. You are a light, and because of your light, wisdom, sharing, expertise and advise, I will most definitely, Never Be the Same.
Since 2013, my business has grown differently several times. It seems about every two years, there is a shift of services, clients, passions and expertise that I offer. Business owners must remain flexible and nimble to keep up with the demands of technology, marketing and clients, to name a few. As I reflect on the last 5 years, I recall the times I was called to be Jack be Nimble.
All my clients, current and former, are extremely important to me, and I am grateful for each of you throughout the years. Fortunately, you know who you are, for purposes of discretion, I will reserve names. Please know that working with you is fun, challenging and exhilarating. I would not be here today without you. I thank you for inviting me to be part of your team over the years. I look forward to our bright futures!
For my published authors and my current authors, working with you deeply touches my heart. It is an absolute honor to join you on your journey to share your story. Thank you for trusting me with the most intimate and important parts of your life. Each of your books is forever etched in my heart. I love each one of you! XO
To all the team members I have hired to help me on projects and business needs, I thank you! It was lovely to work with you, and I truly appreciate all your efforts.
One organization that has significantly shaped me and prepared me to be better at presenting, speaking and business skills is National Speakers Association and National Speakers Association – Illinois Chapter. Thank you to all the volunteers and staff that make this machine hum. Being with all of you in our monthly meetings, the Winter Conference and the National Conference has shaped me the most of everything. I am eternally grateful for this organization and all the wonderful people I continue to meet.
Our journey leads each of us to where we are meant to be, and I am thrilled to share that I believe I have arrived. When I started SoConnected, the services were based on what I love to do and what I do well. Writing has always been in my blood, and it is my favorite service. As I was looking toward my career goals and plans, it was natural to narrow my services to focus on books: ghost writing and developmental editing books for my clients. In addition, I’ve started my own book. In the past year, I’ve been fortunate to work with 4 authors. Once again, as many times over the last 5 years, I find that I am doing what I love to do.
And it’s through these changes where I find the most growth happens. Of course, change is easier when you have incredibly talented, supportive, constructive, productive and encouraging people with you along the way.
Marla Tabaka, do you remember that weekend in February where the hotel walls were covered in 2 years of easel paper? We’ve come a long way, baby. Wow. In less than a year, you have helped me shape this business, stay focused, prioritize and find time for life’s joyful moments. I am a better version of myself, and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart, #OhMyMarla. I don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing now without you. I am now living my dream, and it feels incredible! Thank you.
They say, “Behind every man is a great woman.” I say, “In every entrepreneur’s ‘Success Kit’ is a Rebecca.” Rebecca Evola, 2 years ago, you purchased our armoire, and you lit up the room asking me what I did. Who knew we would make so much happen in two short years. You are an exceptionally hard worker, a go-getter, a problem solver, an energy stream, a great listener, researcher and brain stormer… to just name a few. A big HOWEVER, what is the most special is this incredible friendship we have made. Thank you for always being here for me – ups, downs and sideways. You mean the world to me, and I am so grateful for you!
And then, the last, but not least, to my family, Steve Tschosik, and our 3 teens. You are why I keep working so hard, growing, changing, shaping… to help provide for our family, to model women in business and passion and dedication and perseverance and living your dream. Without you all, I would not be here. You have walked along side me since Day 1, lifted me up when down and jumped with me when on Cloud 9. Your encouragement and support mean the world to me, and I love each of you with every fiber of my being. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for remaining supportive and staying SoConnected to me. I love our past, present and future together – SoConnected. XOXOXOXO
So, on the day before Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, I thank you with a big hug and a smile on my face, for being a part of my business, my life, my heart. I pray for you to have a glorious Thanksgiving and holiday season, filled with all the things you enjoy and surrounded by all those who love you. Cheers to all our futures!
Ghost Writer & Developmental Editor