This year Sterling celebrates 20 years in business. It is hard for me to believe that 20 years has passed in what feels like six weeks. I remember my father saying something like that in a speech he gave when he retired from his company after 35 years. I knew for him it was that he loved what he did every day and I know I am lucky enough to say the same thing.
Many things have changed at Sterling since its beginning. I started the company as a bit of a fluke, as I had no plans of any kind to be an entrepreneur. However, when the CEO of the company I was working for decided to outsource the marketing department I directed and asked me to manage what is today known as a call center, I think my soul simply rebelled. When I peeked in on that department and saw 100 people in headsets not looking too thrilled with their jobs, I knew if I took that position I might be one of them.
I always say, “another woman” went in to suggest that the CEO outsource that work to me and I become a company. For those who know me well, they might agree that was a bold move for me. However, driven by all your instincts telling you there are some places you don’t want to be, you move.
The CEO surprisingly said, “Write up a proposal” and, with the help of one wonderful friend I had in the legal department, I did. The next thing I knew, I was in my car and I had a company and one client—my former company.
Over time, people I worked with at that company went elsewhere and gave Sterling an opportunity to serve them and I am very grateful for that. The years have flown by and I am so lucky that we have clients we call friends, many who have been with us since we started.
It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been exactly where I want to be. We have a stellar group of people serving our wonderful clients working here at Sterling, all who have been with us for several years or more– one for 14 in fact! It has taken time, much learning and often humility to build the right infrastructure and a team that responds to it; and our world is a constant learning process as it changes often. However, we work to change with it—and hopefully ahead of it—to keep our clients exactly where they want and need to be.
The only thing I really want to say in this initial blog that kicks off our exciting new website is thank you. Thank you to the CEO that said, “Write it up”, thank you to the clients who have been so wonderful to work for and with over the years, thank you to our staff, who I value every day.
Also, thank you to my Dad, who taught me that if you do what you love, every day is too quick.
You will hear more about him in the future.