January 31st. It’s hard to believe a whole month has passed since the new year.

January is always a funny month to me. It’s my birthday month; so it’s a reminder that, yes, I am another year older… maybe a little wiser, a little more patient, but still as determined as ever.

But as the fog of the new year inevitably takes a couple weeks to lift, figuring out where we’re headed always feels a little unclear.

This year, however, more than any other, the “newness” of it all has been distinctly different.

For those that might not know – I took on a new role this year. As of January 1st, after 15 years with Simantel, I have grown into a role I never imagined having – Co-owner and Principal of the agency.

And, even though I’ve been here for this long, there is one question I wasn’t expecting that has surrounded this promotion over the past month: “Is it weird?” people ask.

Truth is – if you would have asked me this a month ago when I walked into the office on January 2nd – without question, I would have said YES. It was weird.

But now, 31 days into this new role, without question, clearly the answer is NO, It’s not weird.

You see, I think if you spend 15 years anywhere, as I have at Simantel, it becomes your home. Outside of walking through my own front door, there is really no more comforting feeling than walking through Simantel’s back door. I know this place, I know the people, I know (pretty much) what to expect every day. It’s still the same team. I still have support. And, I still deeply love what we do.

However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was surreal. I’m now sitting in my leader’s office…the office that was my go-to for years to have conversations like: “I need advice” and “How do I do this thing I’ve never done before?”

It’s also strange (in a good way) that I now have a door that remains open between my new office and one of my partner’s offices. As an ownership team, we regularly talk about new things. Not just project things and team things – those we know how to navigate. But rather, more often we discuss things we don’t know or have never done before – and that’s exciting.

Most of all, this new role is humbling. I have heard from clients and vendors…congratulating me on the newfound success and talking about the potential to do more work together in the future. Most touching, perhaps, was the package I received from my first-ever client at Simantel. Her note said, “So proud of you, sweet girl. Here’s to the adventure you’ve created.” And man, she’s right. It has been an adventure!

So yeah, here I am in this new office, with the same wonderful people attempting to achieve the same positive goals. Many days uncertain if we’re doing the right things, but we are committed as ever to continue to try, be willing to fail, and, to get back up again.

There are still some days I look around and ask, “How did we get here, really?” And, like all wonderful things in life, it was most surely a combination of timing and luck, and for those that believe in these sorts of things, some bigger plan…maybe.

It’s hard to believe tomorrow will be February 1st, and before we know it, we’ll be deep into Q2 with a clearer line of sight to all that 2019 will hold. And, every day – while the tasks will change – the crazy-wonderful-wild ride of the job will remain.

And, isn’t that what we all want? To be in a role where we want to go to work? For that, I’m forever grateful. And, no, that part… that part isn’t weird. No matter what the next 15 years have in store, for all that I know I still don’t know and have so much to learn… I do know this:

The crazy. The excitement. The pressure. The fun. That’s the best kind of weird – that I never knew I could have. One might only find that level of “weird” at a little agency called Simantel in Peoria, IL.

So, while my title may have changed, and the office view may look different… the way I look at it – I now just get a greater honor of engaging others, on a broader scale and teaching them what it means to be a “Simantel-ite”.

Whether you’re an employee, partner, client – or perhaps someone in the community, my hope is that if you’re reading this, you’ll come along on this ride, calling yourself a Simantelite… because it’s the people we work with that challenge us, push us, and help us grow, that ultimately will define our success. Hopefully evolving Simantel into something we can’t even imagine today. The same way I never imagined this day, January 31, 2019, would come to be.

We are nowhere without a team. And, we hope that with you, we’ll keep evolving so that someday, we may just have the pleasure of telling someone else, “Here’s to the adventure.”