It’s been a wee while since I dropped in for a blog hasn’t it? There has been literally weeks upon weeks of busyness, where client’s and family have been getting all of me! But during that time, this little agency passed it’s first year of life, so as I sit in my favourite cafe with the intention to write a blog about ethne.’s first year of business you wouldn’t believe it … Paul Kelly’s iconic song From Little Things Big Things Grow has come on the speaker sitting beside me. The name of the song couldn’t be more apt to what I had planned to write about.
I started ethne. in July last year with my primary goal to be more present and available to my little family during a time when life had become a little chaotic. In the year prior I had unexpectedly become a single Mum to three kids aged 15, 13 & 6. The juggle of family and work was intense, during a time when our hearts were shattered. Autopilot was switched on so to speak and I was heading into burn out. Only those very close to me saw the signs as I managed a flawless poker face to the outside world.
About that name …
In my Dad’s family, the name Ethne is passed down as a first or middle name to a little lady from each generation. It was given to me as a middle name and my Aunt Ethne was very pleased. (I have since passed it on to my youngest daughter.)
Growing up I hated the name. I would even try to avoid telling people at all costs. Then I learned about its meaning and how all the Ethne’s in my family had inadvertently reflected it’s meaning in our personalities.
Ethne essentially means ‘little fire’. And in many ways despite life’s challenges, I had always been the little fire that just kept going. Knowing full well that I needed to keep my little fire burning during one of the most difficult times in my life, I named my agency ethne. My little fire. A daily reminder for me to always keep my own cup full.
Today one of my besties said..’woah the little fire is becoming a big fire’. (Speaking of how well ethne. is going) And yes she is doing well but it has only come after many moments the fire almost burned out!
Our first year was like a roller coaster ride
My initial plans for ethne. were to offer a freelance service to small to medium businesses that suited the hours I needed to work around the kids.
It wasn’t long before a larger than I expected project was thrown my way and I teamed up with my old friend and colleague Derek Robertson as ethne’s Senior WordPress Developer to deliver a website for a national company, which we did with finesse.
Six months later Derek and I were thrown a huge curve ball and together I am proud to say represented ethne. in the honest and transparent manner, I had always prided myself on. This event initially rocked my confidence in business. I questioned everything. Even my ability to to give my clients what they needed (crazy hey?).
Between the two of us we bounced back stronger and with my determination to keep putting one foot in front of the other (for my children most of all) some of the very best clients found us and we built them new fabulous websites and consulted on all things digital marketing. It wasn’t long before I felt the need to add more freelancers to the ethne. team.
Growing The Team
The drive to find on-shore freelancers that specialised themselves in the key areas I wanted to expand my services into was immensely important to me. I advertised only once and an amazing local lady named Steph came forward to write and strategise with me.
Later, I was also lucky enough to know a few people that were looking for work and others I could talk into coming and sharing some projects with us.
I can also say, that prior to this team coming together, I had the privilege of working with almost all them on other projects in other companies, so I knew how they interacted on projects and how they work perfectly with clients.
Sitting here today, I am very proud of what I have created. I love the people I have brought together in this team. I call them friends more than colleagues and I am pretty sure our clients new and old have all grown to think they are the best too.
Thank you Derek, Steph, Deb, Leigh, Jesse, Dan and Milly for joining the ethne. team. If I haven’t told you enough how much I have appreciated your work this last year, let this post be the one that shows you how much you mean to me.
This week we launched our $99 offer that took many hours of consultation and deliberation. I wanted to be sure that the offer gave small businesses a cost effective way they could use all of our services from week to week, without being bogged down in paying for a service they don’t always require. This offering has been a massive hit. It seriously warms my heart to know we have managed to deliver exactly what small businesses needed.
So yes, the little fire has started to burn bigger. I am forever grateful for those on my sidelines cheering me on. The friends that share my business and have supported me along the way, the family that have my back day in day out AND that one client that arrived on my doorstep, coffees in hand with the intention to tell me straight just how I needed to somehow be delivering packages to small business.
From little things, big things have grown and I thank you all for joining me around the fire and very much intend on continuing to deliver exactly what our clients need in a transparent, honest and ethical way.
Now let me grab the marshmallows to assist in planning how we will navigate our next year and so many more after 😉