Seven years ago, Katherine E. Jacobs and I ate slices of the best dive NYC pizza. Immediately after, we proudly marched ourselves into the chief executive suites at the ACLU to announce it would be a capital idea to put our little search-firm-that-could on retainer. You see, we knew the demographics of all their state affiliate offices were preparing to undergo seismic shifts over the next decade.
We were audacious idealists with bold confidence and were damned good at our work. But, we were completely in over our heads in terms of a track record to justify such a demand. But, they said yes. And so began a relationship with not just them, but multiple large clients who would redefine how we presented our altitude and our work.
Afterward, we both went back to our hotel rooms that night and puked our guts up for hours and hours. Every great adventure comes with a little vomit. But that pizza provided it via a side of e. coli.
But, what mattered more was that that brazen act of bold confidence changed forever the way we saw ourselves, our firm, and the role of search in being partners with our clients.
Every year when my initial 2011 FB memory pops up, I think, “Hell yeah, I eat that pizza again.”