How quickly a year goes by! It feels like we were just in the thick of it with new transitions and M&A deals. Suddenly, it’s all in the rearview mirror.
At the end of the year, many of us who take time to reflect have the tendency to skip to the resolutions for next year. As humans, we have a bias toward the negative. We zoom in on what didn’t work as well as we hoped, and with the best of intentions, we immediately focus on resolutions for next year. This bias means we don’t always take time to feel pride and satisfaction about what we accomplished.
So, I’m going to give it to you straight: 2022 has been a phenomenal year for Audacia.
Our seventh year of business was transformative for us. Our business grew in more ways than one, we got clear about who we are, and we thought hard about what our priorities mean to us. While this sounds simple laid out in a list, an enormous amount of work went into all of this. Let me share some of our 2022 highlights with you.
We’ve had an incredible and growth-filled year for our business. We grew our team to 14 strong and growing (check out these interviews with Sarah Deming and Sarah Gershman). Together, we worked to create the same culture of trust and transparency we work to instill in our clients. Because I trust my team, I’m able to focus my energy on big-picture strategy.
On the numbers side, we doubled our top-line after multiple years of phenomenal growth. In addition to growing our team and top-line, we’ve been lucky to benefit from a growing community of supporters, partners, and subcontractors. We entered into many new rewarding subcontractor relationships and have received the benefit of expertise in everything from value propositions to executive presence.
We also had the opportunity to work with wonderful clients like Xator. In just a few months, we helped them craft a succinct, evocative, and authentic statement of what Xator does—no jargon needed. We got to watch the internal and external transformation that happens when employees can speak authentically and accurately about what they do.
And make no mistake, we worked hard to get to this point. We interviewed employees, read reviews, analyzed their competitive market positioning, and critically examined the marketing materials of both Xator and their competitors. If you want to hear more about this process, stay tuned for a case study in January!
Audacia’s Value Proposition
In addition to working with clients like Xator on their value proposition, we invested time, resources, and energy into working on our own value proposition. Our firm has evolved and changed since our launch in 2015. While people have an idea of what a communications firm does, Audacia isn’t a communications firm, or a PR firm, or a marketing agency. Let’s face it, we don’t fit the standard mold. In the midst of our evolution and growth, we needed to revisit how we talk about what we do. We chose to see this challenge as an opportunity to walk the walk.
In other words, we went through the same process we used for Xator and other clients: the ultimate act of putting our money where our mouth is. The process was rich: we learned so much about ourselves, about our clients, and we gained insight into how we’ve changed. And what did we learn?
Audacia Strategies is an advisory firm helping business leaders build the businesses of the future and uncover opportunities they never thought possible. We do this through a relentless focus on communications.
It might sound simple, but it took us months of work to get here. We’ll tell you more about how this process looked on the inside early next year.
Learning to Prioritize
I know my clients get overwhelmed by their day-to-day and that can keep them from achieving their strategy. Over the last year, it often felt like we were more often ruled by the urgent than the important, and we spent a lot of time thinking about this. Here’s what we learned.
First, our urgent is usually our clients’ important and urgent. What we do means we’re on call for a corporation when there’s a new CEO or when there’s a significant transaction. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to prioritize the urgent, and it’s part of doing business when you work with companies in transition.
Second, although it often felt like our days were ruled by the urgent, an imperfect devotion to the important still allowed us to prioritize our value proposition. It’s hard for companies to prioritize such reflective and research-intensive work, hence the need for external comms teams. But despite the days that felt ruled by the urgent, we managed to step back and do this important and clarifying work.
As we look to 2023, we’re thinking about how to attend to the urgent without letting it pull us off track. What are the changes we need to make in terms of our operations, staffing, and management to ensure we can balance the urgent and the important? How can we set realistic expectations for both ourselves and our customers? As much as we want it all done tomorrow, it doesn’t work like that. At Audacia, we want to continue to focus on dreaming big about the outcomes we want and work backward from there. The smartest way to invest your time is to start from where you are rather than where you wish you were.
Closing the Year With Gratitude
In reflecting on all the growth Audacia experienced this year, I want to offer gratitude for our clients, our team members, our business partners, and all of those who have referred business to us and supported us along the way. It feels like just yesterday that we started, yet here we are entering our eighth year of business. We are incredibly grateful for all of our supporters, and we are so lucky to do what we do.
On behalf of the Audacia Strategies team, we wish you a joyful holiday season and a healthy, happy new year. Let’s make 2023 Audacious!
Photo credit: Jacob Lund Photography from NounProject.com