703 days. The Clever Catalyst is 703 days old. For those of your doing the math that’s exactly 2 years old. Today is the anniversary of the day I officially started this crazy journey.
When The Clever Catalyst was born it was in a very different world than we are living in today but has subsisted, like so many other businesses, all the same. As I reflect on the past two years I am feeling a lot of feelings. A little bit of pride, of a little bit of disbelief, a fair amount of awe but more than anything else I feel gratitude.
This gratitude sneaks up every time I think about my business and it is never subtle. You see when I started this business I did so to make money - of course. But how I made money was very important to me. I never wanted to start one of those agencies like so many I have had the pleasure to work for (and with) throughout the years that treated their staff and their clients like disposable means to an end. I never wanted to sit on a throne as the #bosslady and bark orders down at the masses. And I certainly never wanted to make money on the backs of those doing the actual work.
I wanted to make money but I wanted to do so with a team on my side. A team of people dedicated to working the same way I was. Dedicated to helping people achieve their goals while also being respected and adequately rewarded for their efforts. I wanted to build a team of like-minded, beautiful people that didn’t serve the wrong master and who cared as much about the clients and their goals as I did.
My team is every bit of that and so much more! And this, you see is the source for the overwhelming gratitude that suffocates out any other feeling I may have.
I would be nothing without my team, professionally at least. The Clever Catalyst would still be a fleeting whim without my team. I, myself, the person I am, would be different without my team. So today as I wax poetic I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for everything that you have done for me, for our clients, and the world as a whole. You are all incredible!
Bryan K Reed.
Bryan, if I am the heart of The Clever Catalyst, you are the veins that carry the blood. Without you to help to envision the mechanic and logistics of my crazy ideas I would just be spurting blood all over the walls. Your DECADES of experience is more than we deserve here at The Catalyst and the fact that you are even slumming it with us is more flattering than I know how to convey.
Without your support and friendship, I honestly would have probably never had the guts to start this company and for that, I will eternally grateful. You make the workday more tolerable and help me laugh through the tears of frustration more often than I like to admit! I am happy to call you and your entire ever-expanding family my friend, I am a better person for knowing you, and here’s to maybe our first normal year in business!
Jesse, you still have the record for the best response to a screening questions of all time. You may not even remember but when you applied I had a question on the application that asked “Why shouldn’t I hire you?”
It’s actually one of my favorite screeners because I can weed out all the losers that same lame stuff like “I care too much” or “I give too much to my employers” and the people who can’t even read the question and answer like “You should hire me because I have an amazing attention to detail!”
But I will never forget your answer. You said - paraphrasing because it’s been a while - “You will never be the most important thing in my life. I have two children that will always come first.” I still went through with the interview but girl you had the job the second I read that response.
You’ve been with us since the very beginning and have grown so much even just in that short time. You are an amazing mother, a talented writer, a dedicated team member, and just plain cooler than most of us. You perfectly encapsulate what The Clever Catalyst is, and regardless of how many more years you stick around (I’m hoping for at least 10-15, but I’m flexible), I know that you’ve left your mark on each and every one of us!
Mac, our little Black Cat of Doom and Destruction
When I say that you are the only one on the team that has the chops to keep up with being my assistant, that is NOT an overstatement. I loved your energy from our first conversation but I remember the moment when I knew you were the one. Bryan was asking for something and, as always, was trying to stir up trouble while doing so and you shut him down.
Just like that.
He came back to me and said something to the tune of Mac has a mouth just like you, and I was smitten! You are the no-nonsense, get-it-done, and don’t talk back to me while you do it, assistant of my dreams. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for being patient with me. And thank you so much for putting Bryan in his place. It’s a tiring job and I’m glad I have help.
Lydia, you are so new to the team that I didn’t even have time to get you worked up in the comic strip but don’t let that fool you. You are just as much a part of this team as the rest of us. You are kind, intelligent, and fluent in E-commerce in a way I didn’t even know I needed! The veracity in which you love your son and pour into the client’s needs was all I needed to be convinced of your place among us here at the cool kids’ table.
I am honored to have you on the team and you’ve already done so much! Here’s to the beginning of a long and happy mutually beneficial working relationship (and budding friendship)!
Thank you ALL!
I appreciate each and every one of you and I am fully aware that if anything deserves to be celebrated today it’s you. Thank you for helping me to make this dream a reality. Thank you for working so hard for our clients. Thank you for all having a sense of humor. And thank you so much for giving me so much to feel grateful for that I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything other than you this month!
Here’s to another amazing year!