Five Lessons from Five Years
This week, Middle of Six celebrates five years of collaboration with clients across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. To mark the occasion, we chatted with founder Wendy Simmons about the journey, and any lessons learned since launching the consultancy in 2016. Check out the highlights below, and here’s to the next five years!
1. Turns out, you don’t have to name a company after yourself for it to be successful. Contrary to early recommendations that the most personable brands are named after people, the name “Middle of Six” has inspired countless conversations and shed a light on our clients’ creative and problem-solving minds. I would never trade those connections and the brand equity we have built. If you are curious about the name, drop us a line or scope our blog post, What the heck is The Middle of Six?.
2. Moving from practitioner to entrepreneur is both terrifying and exhilarating. I know proposals, I know interviews, I know branding. When I established Middle of Six, I hardly knew anything about running payroll, B&O tax, L&I rates, or how to select and maintain the countless tools needed to run a business. Facing quarterly deadlines, client contracts, and “not knowing what you don’t know” is the terrifying part, but also the most exhilarating. Each challenge presents an opportunity to learn, innovate, and evolve – I wouldn’t want it any other way.
3. Building a team is much more than increasing capacity. In our world, marketing professionals are in high demand, and it would be easy to add “warm bodies” to simply keep up. But part of our culture is that each team member brings hands-on, in-house AEC experience and perspective, so we have been incredibly selective about each addition to our group. Every Middle of Sixer contributes something special to our team, culture, and our deep bench of knowledge.
4. Vision is important, but tenacity makes it happen. Strong brands are born from visionary leaders, but let’s give credit to the team members who help bring that vision to life. For Middle of Six, that meant spending a year building the infrastructure and resources to support our workload before we started promoting the company. Five years later, that “hustle and heart” continues to inspire our team as we help clients win and advance their firms, hitting our own internal and professional targets, and even (not-so-shameless plug) recording, producing, and branding a new podcast which launches this fall!
5. The AEC community is packed with remarkable people ready to mentor, connect, refer, and promote. From day one, I have been amazed by the support from our colleagues, clients, and contacts across the industry. There are at least a dozen people I should thank here (but I know it would make them blush), so I’ll just say “thank you” for taking time from your already overbooked schedules to recommend my team and make meaningful connections. It matters more than you can imagine.
By Wendy Simmons Principal Marketing Strategist