LinkedIn reminded me and my LinkedIn friends last week that Hostetler Public Relations has been in business 19 years. In the daily hub bub of life and work, this milestone hadn’t crossed my mind. The messages and notes from everyone came as a surprise and are very appreciated. They made me reflect over the weekend. I’ve been thinking about where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and how far the workplace has come over these past two decades I’ve been in business in central Indiana.
When I decided to become an independent PR practitioner in 2000, we were called freelancers. And I was one of just a few in Indianapolis. Work was outsourced project by project. Slowly mid-sized business owners and larger non-profit leaders began seeing the advantages to partnering with independent professionals. These are the clients we’ve worked with as an extension of their teams for over 10 years. And today there are many independent professionals in the city who specialize in websites, graphic design and more. We work together to help each other succeed. Many I proudly to call partners.
I started with a desk, telephone PC/monitor, dial up and a printer. The home office was taboo. There were no iPhones, Android phones, laptops, iPads and cool technology. The office phone rang with a message referring callers to a cell. I remember someone gifting me my first-ever BlackBerry handheld calendar. I thought this is great. Then I tried it. It was so hard to use! I also remember my first-ever laptop. It was heavy as a brick, but it got the job done. I had to “dock it” to make it work with my monitor. And software was all loaded to the computer with a disk drive. A cloud?! What was that?
Where to work
When I mentioned I worked at home, many people cocked their head like a curious puppy. Who worked from home? When our family moved to Zionsville, I eventually found an office off of Main Street in the Village. Credibility! Circumstances and life made me return home. Luckily, a few years later an invention called co-working space came around. In Zionsville we have zWORKS a fantastic hub of business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs. The energy is great and the support from others even better. And now, the home office is a space that makes my corporate friends jealous.
When I reflect on my personal growth, skills and achievements I’m proud and humble. I recall leaving my corporate job 20 years ago announcing I was going out on my own opening a business. There were many, many skeptics. I saw the looks on their faces and knew what they were thinking, “She’ll be back in the corporate office in a year.” I invested in myself with great coaching and training. And I opened myself to new skills. There was no social media, blogging or digital marketing 20 years ago. I listened, learned and grew.
As I continue to meet other professionals and find ways to partner, the future is bright. We’ve evolved to a company that works to simplify services for our clients. And most important, there’s balance in life. Our clients have similar philosophies. The result, we have fun while driving results.