What if ALL of our life’s experiences had prepared us perfectly for our next season of work?
That question propelled me a year ago as I launched Winsightz on August 15, 2015. Deep in my soul, I just knew that it was time for a new chapter in my life after over 15 years as the founding team member at Upic Solutions. The cause I had devoted my entire career to was struggling to maintain relevancy in the midst of losing almost 40 percent of their donor base over the previous eight years. And I felt like now was the time to pursue my dream of building a team which would bring a diverse set of life experiences in service to a select group of clients.
The launch of Winsightz was the culmination of months of preparation. I had built a business plan with multiple income streams. Our new website was ready and I had begun nurturing potential clients with a series of touchpoints. I had recently secured relationships with business partners addressing a specific need within the United Way fundraising model. Finally, I co-located in one of Cincinnati’s best business incubators and began absorbing as much information as I could about growing a new business. Classic business startup 101.
The next several months were a blur of activity. We launched WinBack, a software as a service beta program, designed to help six United Ways identify and overcome their donor retention challenges. Via LinkedIn, I joined forces with two of my former coworkers to craft SPOT-On, an inspiring update of the old CAN-DO model from the 1990’s. And in the fall, I reconnected with a former Upic board member who had an immediate need for an interim IT director.
Six months from our Winsightz launch, we began to meet our monthly gross income targets. But more surprisingly, only 16 percent of our income had been earned from activities on our original business plan. It was at that moment that I realized that this was going to be a very different journey than I imagined. I had no idea how much different.
That month we began a second IT engagement, this time for our new client in Tampa. My 15 years of building shared IT services was now being used to spot opportunities to turn IT from a cost center into a true strategic asset. Our SPOT-On dream became a reality with our first beta workshop in Louisville. Our team did an amazing job providing focus and inspiration to an already effective team at Metro United Way, preparing a path for greater donor engagement and retention.
The last three months proved to be an unexpected detour. The Tampa IT project turned into a longer term engagement implementing strategic IT services we had designed earlier. A change in my personal life allowed me to relocate my home and my business to Florida. And today, we have a team full of diverse life experiences working together to bring even greater value to our clients. Watch this blog over the next several weeks as we introduce our team and some of the ways we’re already serving our clients.
If you had asked me a year ago where would Winsightz be today, I would have never imagined writing this post from Florida, partnering with such an inspiring team, or working on such fulfilling projects. It fuels my faith and trust in God because I now understand how His plan is so much larger and higher than my plans. A special thank you to my friends and clients, for your trust and your encouragement over the past twelve months.
I cannot wait to see what unfolds over the next year. Happy anniversary, Winsightz!