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A Founder’s Five-Year Reflection

A Founder’s Five-Year Reflection

On November 7, 2017, I sat at my kitchen table and filed “Authentic LLC” with the State of Minnesota, and then held my breath when I pushed the button on our first pre-revenue business expense: $2,000 to buy our .com domain name. 

Following a recent painful job loss, and having no individual income and three children (then ages 7, 11, and 13) – that domain purchase felt extra significant. And it was. That purchase was the first bet I placed on myself. On my dream. It was an act of love toward myself and toward the team I hoped to build.

And, if I’m honest, It was also an act of resistance against every glass ceiling or naysayer I had faced in my life and career. 

Little did I know that only four short months later, my husband would also experience an unexpected job loss. I still hadn’t secured my first client. I was flung into my first entrepreneurial crisis.

And that is where our story truly started. At that moment, I doubled down on my belief. The following week, I won Authentic’s first client. By the end of the calendar year, Authentic had 12 active clients, including our first two Fractional CMO placements. My dream was finally real, because others believed in it.

Five years later, and I’m still doubling-down on belief! We’ve done the heavy lifting of educating the marketplace, and now we have the opportunity to scale our competitive advantage in big ways. I’m so excited by all that is ahead – and I am confident that we have the ideal team to realize our vision.

I’m so grateful to celebrate this 5-year milestone with my community. By far, the sweetest part of this journey for me has been the relationships built along the way.

To my team of brilliant, generous employees: Thank you for believing in our vision, and making Authentic a special place where we can all love our lives and love our work. I’m still betting on us, and on our dream. 

To our clients, partners, and friends: Thank you for trusting us with your business, your referrals, and your advocacy. We never take for granted how fortunate we are to be surrounded by such a strong and supportive community.

Here’s to the next 5 years, and many more. With love and so much gratitude.

Authentically Yours,

Jennifer Zick
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