It seems like yesterday. It was February 4, 2010. I had been working for various architect firms for the previous 15 years and was kicking around the idea to start up my own business. I live in Glastonbury, Connecticut and was visiting our Chamber of Commerce and was asking the people there some basic questions dealing with setting up my legal entity. They suggested I meet the two mentors from SCORE who provide free business mentoring in the community. I set up a meeting. I met Jim Cirilli and Mark Cutler and it was the beginning of an amazing journey which continues to this day. I remember looking at the SCORE logo on the documents they had with them; “For the life of your business” and thinking what that really meant.
In my business, I get the greatest compliments from those clients who have referred their friends and family to me. Over the last year, I have referred 6 of my friends and associates to SCORE. This is the greatest compliment I can give.
Over the last two years I have been blessed with the advice, friendship and support of my SCORE mentors. Mark and Jim continued to be my primary mentors but there were dozens of other specialists brought in to assist me with everything from business planning, to sales planning and execution, to putting together a marketing plan and then assisting me to find the right tools to reach my target audience to planning and executing a public relations plan. I found SCORE specialists in every functional area there to support me under the umbrella of my two main mentors who have helped me double my business the last two years.
I am a woman wearing many hats. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am the owner operator of a growing architecture firm in Connecticut. I am often asked how I have been able to grow what is often a one person show as chief cook and bottle washer. I tell them about SCORE. I tell them that on my team is an army of experienced people who volunteer their time and who have been there and done that and help me discover the right ways to grow my business and grow it profitably.
Among the team of SCORE volunteers who I have worked with over the years, included David LaBeau who had retired from SLAM, the largest firm in the area, a firm I had worked for and a man I had great respect for. There was Jim Cirilli, a sales executive who gave me the courage to go for it, who taught me the power of positive thinking. Through this power of positive thinking, a lesson he was teaching me while he battled against the terrible cancer, I have exceeded the goals established in my strategic plan. Jim and David are now gone but their learnings stay with me every day.
I am still growing and I am still relying upon Mark and the Greater Hartford Score team, my army of specialists I can call upon during my time of need. I am still out there telling the world about SCORE. It’s the best compliment I can give.